Simple Wedding Cake Recipe found in Orange County Observer by Annie Catron, January 16 1908, Courtesy of Simple Wedding Cake Recipe found in Orange County Observer by Annie Catron, January 16 1908, Courtesy of

Published on January 16, 1908, the Orange County Observer (Hillsborough) featured a “Simple Wedding Cake” recipe by Annie Catron. Presumably, the article makes the assumption that the reader understands what a wedding ceremony is, and the role that the cake plays in the event.  Traditionally, the wedding cake plays an important role in symbolizing the newlywed’s promise to provide for each other in their future together. The recipe in the newspaper describes the wedding recipe as “simple,” implying that the ingredients, flour, sugar, almonds, assorted fruits, milk, and eggs were easily accessible and could be found in the average person’s household during the time period [1].

As with the article in the newspaper, wedding cakes today are featured throughout contemporary media outlets. However, rather than being featured in newspapers, wedding cake recipes tend to be more prevalent in magazines, online articles, and other forms of media, as newspapers have declined in popularity. Additionally, wedding cakes in advertisements today highlight the change in culture; rather than publishing wedding cake recipes, contemporary outlets tend to display photos of large, ornate wedding cakes that consumers can purchase from a professional establishment. This also highlights a shift in the cultural perspective revolving around wedding cakes. What was once a common at-home practice, has now evolved into an industry built on extravagance.

This article is quintessential for understanding Orange County, North Carolina, and more specifically, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at this moment. It gives the reader context clues for what food items were easily accessible and what was common practice for wedding cakes during this time period. Regardless of the medium or extravagance, the popularity of wedding cakes and wedding ceremonies has not faded, and shows that they are an important and timeless part of society.


[1] Catron, Annie. “Simple Wedding Cake.” Orange County Observer (Hillsborough), January 16,

1908, XXVII ed., sec. 18. Accessed October 3, 2018.


– Sammi Ti