Cakes that Span the Decades — Dancing Away the Blues in the 1930s with an Art Deco Cake

April 4th, 2014 by Steve Rocco

Wilton Dancing in the Dark 1930s Fondant CakeWe were on the move in the 1930s. While the United States was contending with The Great Depression and The Dust Bowl, dancing lifted the mood for many, if only temporarily. Gathering places in towns large and small were filled with upbeat tempos and the latest dances — Jazz, Jitterbug, Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing and the Shag — in addition to traditional square dancing.

Dancing helped to raise spirits and forget the hardships, plus it allowed you to visit with friends and neighbors. At a time when tickets to the movies cost anywhere from 10¢ to 25¢, depending on where you lived, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers arrived on the movie screen. Their renegade, now iconic, style of dance — a mix of tap, classical and ballroom — and their ability to make it appear effortless inspired dancers across the country. Since “talkies” had taken over, movie musicals, whether Astaire and Rogers or Busby Berkeley spectaculars, made people fall in love with dancing (and sometimes, while dancing).

Meanwhile, Art Deco was in its heyday — its rectangular symmetrical design replacing the organic motifs and curving lines of Art Nouveau, its stylistic predecessor. The style blended luxury and grace with technology, reflected in the geometric linear designs often created using modern (for the day) materials, such as stainless steel and Bakelite. The design aesthetic caught the world by storm and was used in everything from dishware and homewares to architecture and graphic arts.

Inspired by these two image-rich influencers of the 1930s and thrilled that the music and dancing were suggested by many of you, we aspired to create an elegant cake befitting the decade. To create the 1930s cake, Kathy Krupa, one of our cake decorators, started with a silhouette of elegant dancers formed of fondant. She added the fondant Art Deco medallion to the front and accented it with silver and gold Color Mist food color spray.

The small (6 in.) but tall square cake makes the whole design seem like the couple is dancing on top of an elegant New York skyscraper without a care in the world. Don’t you think the Dancing In The Dark 1930s Fondant Cake is perfect for our salute to the Thirties?

Now, to bring you into our monthly anniversary celebration! Leave a comment below telling us what iconic images pop into your head when you think about the 1940s? You never know, your feedback might just inspire our sketches for the 1940s Cake. So leave us a comment! We’ll be releasing the 1940s cake in just a few weeks.

Tags: ,

Steve Rocco Steve is the Senior Director of Cake and Visual Design for Wilton Products. He is responsible for designing all the projects for Wilton's publications and packaging. Steve works with a team of 17 cake decorators who create a 3-d work of edible art from his sketches. Steve has been with Wilton for 24 years and within that time he has been responsible for thousands of project ideas ranging from cookies, candies, and cakes. Steve is also responsible for art directing the photography for all of Wilton's publications, working with a team of photographers and prop stylists to create the mood and sets to showcase all the projects created by Wilton's cake decorators.

2 Replies

  1. Conni says:

    The Great Depression comes to mind first but the Music was amazing and so was the Fashion. I love the Furniture of that era as well.

  2. Kathy Bolger says:

    I think of Rosie the Riveter because of WWII, and that picture of the sailor kissing the girl when he returns from war…was she a nurse?How about the pic of soldiers planting the flag in Iwa Jima? Of course, there are a great many movie stars that I adore…Lauren Bacall, Cary Grant, Rita Hayworth, Jimmy Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, and John Wayne…gosh there are so many more. Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. Bettie Gable and Betty Davis. So, something war related, or, what I would pick….the glitz and glamour of movies….Casablanca or It’s a Wonderful Life. Maybe a marquis??

Leave a Reply

To prevent spam please solve the math problem below :