One Halloween night when I was newly married, I came across an article in some magazine or other that told of a tradition in which little charms were baked in a cake and served to guests. Whatever the guests found in their slice told them something about their future. A four leaf clover meant luck, a daisy meant friendship, a rose meant love, etc. It seemed like a fun, whimsical idea, so I was game. I boiled up some charms to sanitize them and then dropped them into some spice cake batter. Problem number one was quickly apparent – how would I be able to ensure that each guest got one? I couldn’t, but fortunately the charms dropped to the bottom and the baking pan was glass, so I could sort of make out where they would be and try to ensure each guest got one. The second problem reared as I served the cake. I was nervous (as were my friends) that someone would swallow their charm, or worse, choke. The care that had to be taken took away from the enjoyment of the cake, and when the charms were finally found, they were so encrusted with cake crumbs it was hard to tell what they were. Cleaning them was a beast. I decided there had to be a better way, so the next year, I baked my cake sans charms, frosted the middle layer, then laid out the charms in the frosting, covered it all with the upper layer of cake and frosted the whole thing. This solved the cleaning problem and gave people a better idea of where to be wary when eating their cake, but my sister Alicia came up with the best idea of all. She picked up the fate cake tradition, but instead of serving the cake at All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween), she served it at New Years Eve, and her genius idea was to tie the charms to ribbons that stuck out of the side of the cake. Everyone was able to pull their charm from the central layer of frosting, read their “fortune” and enjoy their cake. Afterwards, I simply cleaned them with soap and water, let them dry, then put them away until next time. (One important tip I learned from hard experience: Do not use these with chocolate icing. It is VERY hard to clean!)
Now for Traditions We Treasure, we have improved upon that idea by adding a crystal bead to the end of the silver ribbon that can be easily grasped and pulled. Over the years, we’ve used different charms and made up different meanings for them, all of them positive. We have finally settled on twelve silver charms for this fate cake set, each with a meaning written out on a pretty card. This fun tradition is great for New Year’s, All Hallow’s Eve, birthday parties and really any other celebration where people and cake come together.
When would you like to share Fate Cake with your family and friends? Let us know about your adventures with Fate Cake Charms in the comments below.
Instructions: Bake your choice of cake, frost bottom layer, arrange fate cake charms in the frosting so that the beads on the end of the ribbons hang over the side. Put on top layer of cake and frost whole cake. Avoid strongly colored frosting – especially chocolate -as it is hard to wash out of the ribbons.