By Brian Rosenfeld
Harnessing the power of cake, Senior Jacob Roth created the holiday of Cake Week, a “week-long celebration of brotherhood, peace, love, and equality celebrated through the pastry delight of cake.” Roth views cake as more than merely food: “Cake is a symbol of celebration and merriment. Unlike ice cream, no one ever eats cake when they are unhappy. Cake, despite being an indulgence, represents a unifying instrument that brings out the best in people… If you bring cake in front of a group of people, they’re social. They’re all sharing… And I think that if you were to bring this message to the world, it would allow people to have a week-long holiday of understanding and tolerance.”
Cake Week began two years ago. One day, Roth, instead of doing his homework, felt like baking a cake. Having recently read an article about a root beer cake, he decided to make one and bring it to school the next day. Facing many questions about why he brought in a cake, Roth created Cake Week. He said, “People kept pestering me: ‘Why? Why did you bring in a cake?’ I needed some sort of a reason, so I gave people a reason. Off the top of my head, I created the concept of International Cake Week… I would say to people: ‘Why don’t you know about International Cake Week?’”
The first Cake Week occurred in January, so Roth decided to maintain some consistency by having the annual Cake Week during this month. Upon learning that David Bowie’s birthday was January 9, Roth, a “very-large Bowie fan,” established that each Cake Week would be the week of Bowie’s birthday. Roth considers this to now be part of the Cake Week legend.
According to Roth, most people do not have the time to bake, and as of now, he does not have a Cake Week successor; however, last year, senior Adam Angel contributed a cake to Cake Week and will join Roth again this year. Angel said, “When I saw the work Jacob put into making these cakes, bringing them into school, and then giving them to others, I felt bad that he was the only one giving. I decided to contribute because ultimately it means more cake for all.”
Although Roth’s most unique and well-known cake is his root beer cake, he also prepares chocolate, red velvet, vanilla, and layered cakes, and even a “Chocolate Assisted Suicide” cake, among others. Due to time limitations, Roth uses cake mixes to prepare the desserts. He said, “No one expects me to make a Bruce’s quality cake… The point is that I’m bringing it in and everyone gets a piece. It’s free. And it’s fun.” To improve his cakes’ texture and consistency, Roth adds pudding mix.
Ironically, Roth himself does not indulge in his desserts. He said, “I do not eat cake. Ever. I am not a fan of sweets. I am not a fan of desserts. I try to eat healthy… I do this purely for everyone else… I don’t like cake, but what I do like is seeing people happy that I brought them cake. I would rather see someone else happy than myself happy.”
Because of this attitude, Cake Week has generated “pretty positive” feedback. According to Roth, people seem to enjoy the cakes and are appreciative. Senior Brent Kane said, “[Cake Week]’s amazing. It put a bright spot in my day.”
Angel echoed Kane’s sentiments, saying, “A simple act of cake can make someone’s day (or week, for that matter). As a bonus, Jacob’s cakes are delicious.”