Cemetery or Funeral Cake

Cemetery or Funeral Cake

Milwaukee Public Library Historic Recipe File

In a 2013 op-ed for The Baptist NewsDallas-based pastor Mark Wingfield recalled a disappointing post-funeral feast: “There was no green bean casserole, no fried chicken, no homemade rolls, no chocolate cake. Finally, someone in the family drove over to KFC to bring home the kind of food we all needed in the moment. And did I mention there wasn’t even a single piece of chocolate cake brought to the house?” “Is it wrong of me to think of chocolate cake as heaven-sent?” Not when it brings comfort at a funeral.

A funeral cake is served during the reception held after the service. While some areas have a traditional recipe, others now look to fancy, decorated options that honour their deceased loved one. There were funeral cakes once just as we still have wedding cakes. These funeral cakes were the result of mourners coming from long distances A large cake would be baked, generally with the initials of the departecd iced on the top, cut into slices and served to the mourners, who did then as we now do with the pieces of wedding cake preserved them for a long time, as souvenirs of the occasion. Funeral cakes are still in vogue at funerals in rural England.

The cakes were decorated with symbolic patterns. Molds carved from wood or sometimes made of iron or stone were used to stamp decorative impressions on the cakes before baking Weaver has several molds including one of marble carved by a gravestone-maker from Schenectady NY Weaver said the Hudson Valley was also a centre for the carving of wooden molds from apple or beech wood. “The rose and the heart were the most common designs” he said “The rooster symbolizing resurrection was also used as was the fish for Christ and the dove Designs used on gravestones frequently show up The three plumes that decorate a hearse and the Masonic symbol were some others” Among the Pennsylvania Dutch raisin pie was usually served after a funeral often brought by mourners as a gift to the family of the deceased a tradition imported from Germany– also read How Heavenly Funeral Potatoes Got Their Name

Ms. Eva Mae’s Funeral Cake-Anytime there was a church call for food (usually funerals and wedding showers) you automatically knew you would see this cake somewhere among the dessert table. It was clearly recognizable because it was the longest cake there. It was a pound cake baked in a 16 x 4 loaf pan. The cake was presented in tin foil. Somehow along my growing up days, the name changed to aluminum foil, I just cannot remember when it did. Read the rest here– Click

Uninvited but unobserved, the mourners, partaken of the funeral cake and funeral wine. Being Invested with the conventional black kid gloves, hatband and scarf, and so arrayed had been ushered into a mourning coach, and had followed to the grave the mortal remains of some fellow-creature whom he did not know from the man in the moon”. 

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
24 Mar 1899, Fri  •  Page 4
The Morning Call
Allentown, Pennsylvania
19 Oct 1988, Wed  •  Page 71


How Heavenly Funeral Potatoes Got Their Name

How Religion Came to Richmond and the First Masonic Funeral

The Young Family Funeral Home Lanark County

The Woman Who Got the Dead End Sign Removed in Carleton Place

Ed Fleming — The First Funeral Parlour in Carleton Place

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Blast From the Past–Remembering Alan Barker– July 4 1979

Dead Ringers –To Live and Die in Morbid Times

The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals

The Last Man to Let you Down? Political Leanings at Local Funeral Homes?

Embalming 1891 – A Local Report

What was one of the Largest Funerals in Lanark County?

Things You Just Don’t say at a Funeral— Even if you Are a Professional Mourner

A Tale From the Patterson Funeral Home — Carleton Place

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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