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National Devil Dog Day is certainly one of the sweetest days on the annual calendar. It combines culinary delight with historical reverence. This day is not just about savoring a delicious treat.

Rather, it speaks to a significant historical nickname and a cherished family tradition. National Devil Dog Day serves as a bridge between the past and the present.

But how? Well, it turns out that it honors the legacy of the U.S. Marines or “Devil Dogs” and a chocolatey cake bearing the same name. You can say that it’s taking a bite out of military history.

History of National Devil Dog Day

National Devil Dog Day carries us all the way back to the fighting days of World War I. It was then that the ferocity and tenacity of U.S. Marines earned them the nickname “Devil Dogs” from their German adversaries.

This term of respect and fear represented the Marines’ relentless spirit on the battlefield. Indeed, their spirit soon permeated American culture. It appeared in U.S. recruiting posters, songs, and movies. It even inspired the names of some sports teams.

Amid this cultural phenomenon, the American baked goods company Drake’s Cakes seized upon this American bravery symbol.

They felt inspired to create a cake that would echo this legendary name. Thus, the Devil Dog cake was born. It consisted of two elongated pieces of devil’s food cake with a marshmallow center.

This creation paid homage to the Marines. But it was also a significant time in food innovation. That’s because it was a new era that had created hydrogenated oil to extend shelf life.

In 2017, the establishment of National Devil Dog Day found its roots in a heartwarming family story. Sean Alexander Sobel was inspired by memories of his grandfather, Howard Leslie Sobel.

Sobol recalled how his granddad had often kept Devil Dogs cakes in his cupboard. He decided to establish a day in honor of this family favorite treat. This family tradition, where Sean relished these cakes with his grandfather, became a national celebration.

The bankruptcy of Hostess Brands, the original owner of Drake’s, and the subsequent acquisition by McKee Foods Corporation in 2013 did not end the popularity of Devil Dogs. Instead, reintroducing this cake and others like Ring Dings and Yankee Doodles marked a revival of nostalgic treats.

How to Celebrate National Devil Dog Day

Celebrating National Devil Dog Day can be as simple as indulging in a Devil Dog cake. On the other hand, it might mean learning more about the rich history of the U.S. Marines of World War I. Here are some ways to spend National Devil Dog Day:

Indulge in a Devil Dog

You might kick off the day with the most obvious and delightful way to celebrate. Grab a Devil Dog cake and enjoy its rich flavor. Indeed, savoring this delicious snack cake is a must.

Explore United States Marine History

Read about the time-honored story of the U.S. Marines. In particular, brush up on their role in World War I. Books like “Through the Wheat: The U.S. Marines in World War I” offer insight into the bravery that earned them the name Devil Dogs.

Bake Your Own Devil Dog Cake

Do you love baking? Numerous recipes are available online that allow you to recreate this classic treat. Turn your kitchen into a Devil Dogs lab and experiment with different variations of the snack. Of course, you’ll want to share your homemade treats with friends and neighbors.

Learn About Food Innovation 

The history behind Devil Dogs is also a lesson in the evolution of food technology. The development of hydrogenated oils and the growth of the commercial baking industry are equally fascinating for anyone interested in culinary history.

National Devil Dog Day is a sweet reminder of the ties between culinary delights and historical events. Yes, it certainly is a celebration of a snack cake.

But it’s even bigger than that, as it’s also about the U.S. Marines’ enduring spirit, the baking industry’s evolution, and the power of family memories. So, on National Devil Dog Day let’s all take a bite of history…and enjoy it!

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