# Can someone explain what a cake walk is?

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I've heard of one but never seen it done. Hobbes' pumpkin party tomorrow night is having one and I'm meant to provide a cake. Full-sized cake? Cupcake? For what purpose?

Thank you

Laura

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I loved cake walks when I was a kid!

Full size cake.

Numbers are taped in a circle or oval on the floor. People stand on a number. They play music. When the music stops, everyone is standing on a different number. They draw a number from a hat, and whoever is standing on that number, gets a cake.

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I've heard of one but never seen it done. Hobbes' pumpkin party tomorrow night is having one and I'm meant to provide a cake. Full-sized cake? Cupcake? For what purpose?

Thank you

Laura

It is musical chairs and the winner gets a cake. Usually you buy a ticket to participate in the game. They ahve several rounds, which each round winner getting a cake. I have seen anything from full sized cakes to a cupcake, depending on the venue.

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I wondered that for years...and just went to a Fall Fair and found out what is was like 2 weeks ago!

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Okay, I LOVED these in my childhood! At our church fairs we actually would win full-sized cakes! That was the most exciting part! Something to take home for the whole family (though some of the young guy winners would scarf the whole thing on the spot... oh, the memories!).

Anyway, the way we did it was that there was sort of a race-track oval on the ground, divided into squares with numbers on each. Each person who gave a ticket (.25 ea?) chose a starting square. Then I think they played some music and everyone walked. When the music stopped, your number was the number upon which you stopped. Then a spinning wheel of numbers (think Wheel of Fortune, or roulette) would be spun and the person standing on the right number won the cake. I don't know where those spinning wheels came from, but they were there every year.

I have also heard of folks giving cupcakes instead. That is certainly easier when you are dealing with large numbers. I loved the whole cake thing, though.... just seemed super special!

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You know, this could certainly tie-in with the "candy is not a snack" thread and the general thoughts about how treats are overabundant these days. Back when I was a kid, there weren't cupcakes on every corner, but now kids get all kinds of sweets without even playing a game to win them.

But you're in England, right? Are sweets crazily available there like they are here?

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There's available, and there's choosing to partake at all moments of the day (a cup holder for coffee in a stroller, a cupholder for kids in their car seat, etc).

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I would call and ask what size to provide.

I have seen both full size cakes and/or individual servings.

Dds school just had one and most items were divided up into smaller servings. 4 large cookies, 12 smaller ones, a 4x4 slice of cake, 1/4 pie etc. I donated a smaller, fancy, almond cake (6x10 maybe) and it was left whole.....it was also one of the first to go :).

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When I was a child, cake walks were a regular feature of church and fire company picnics. A large circle was roped off. Participants walked around the circle while the band played music. Attendants collected coins, it was either a dime or a quarter a turn. When the band stopped, participants stopped. A spinner was spun (metal arrow on a post), The person the arrow pointed to won the cake. The "cake" was sometimes cupcakes, pie, a case of soda, or even a watermelon.

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Back when I was a kid, there weren't cupcakes on every corner, but now kids get all kinds of sweets without even playing a game to win them.

Cake walks have been around for a hundred years, at least. Whole cakes are traditional. Think double layer birthday cake style. Pies, cupcakes and cookies have all been used. Some places divvy stuff up, so they can raise more money on their limited donations. You should ask what they expect, as they can't really cut your cake in half on the spot (well, I suppose they could, but it would be nice to know if they wanted cupcakes instead.)

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The cakes pictured are full size. I don't bake, so this is going to be an expensive party.

Thanks, all.

Laura

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Y

But you're in England, right? Are sweets crazily available there like they are here?

The boys' school has compulsory school lunches (no packed lunches allowed and they cater to medical/cultural/religious requirements). I think that part of the reason for that is to enforce a reasonable sugar policy: there are desserts at lunch, but they are not the main feature.

I haven't seen it too much at activities: when we did American cub scouts in China, it was assumed that a snack would be part of the session. Cub scouts here doesn't have a snack - the children drink water if they need to.

Laura

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Our grocery store bakery has cake walks on occasion! Everyone goes running to the bakery to get a chance to win a cake. Then the losers often will go and buy a cake anyway (which is why the grocery store does it).

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I love cake walks!!!

I have been to smaller gatherings where they did cupcakes because it was just for children; but when it's for adults or all ages, it's probably going to be a full-size cake (or a batch of brownies, a few dozen cookies, etc.).

Also, at the "Fall" Carnivals (as someone else said in another thread, it's still Halloween if the kids are in costume and they're collecting candy), there is usually a candy bar walk, where they give out full-size candy bars. The kids get really excited about this because they've been walking around collecting all those smaller ones.

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They drew my number at a cake walk when I was in first grade and I got to pick out the cake I wanted. It was beautiful and white and full sized! :D

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Oh, my!

My little town had a family carnival in the fall and there was a cakewalk. Beautiful cakes, full sized. None store-bought. (We didn't even have store where you could buy cakes.) You had to pay a ticket for each spin. WE had numbers on the floor, and you'd stand on a number, and then the game runner would spin a large wheel, similar to a vertical roulette wheel, I guess, and whatever number you stood on. . . well, you hoped that was yours.

I remember being in 4th grade and winning a cake. Mine was white too, with coconut. I was overjoyed :)

T.

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Uh, why have I never heard of this? :confused:

:confused: Yeah. I always thought the term "cake walk" meant "effortless." Fancy there being such thing as a cake walk! Well, there'd have to be, wouldn't there? Who is going to decide on behalf of English speakers everywhere (or at least here) that instead of saying "effortless" we will now say "it'll be a cake walk, Mate?"

Rosie

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I'm guessing the origin of the expression is that it's a very easy game to win, vs. all the work of making a cake yourself or \$\$ of buying one. All you do is walk in a circle and stop, after all.

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Not quite the white fluffy cake I was looking for, nor the sexy legs, but this is what I pictured when I heard of cake walk.

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The first time I'd ever heard of a cakewalk other than the expression of something being very easy was about a year ago while listening to the Teaching Company's Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalk to Fusion lectures. According to that, the cakewalk was pretty much the Origin of All Jazz (including rock music). Yeah, people walked (danced) to a cake, and there was music that went with it, which developed into all sorts of other genres - ragtime, jazz, rock 'n' roll....

I was surprised enough to find out that the expression cakewalk originated from an actual walk to a cake, but I thought it was something from the distant past... who knew this was still going on?

Apparently all of you. Feeling like a real Yankee right now (I'm guessing this is mostly a southern thing??)... or maybe I'm just one of the New Elite... :tongue_smilie:

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:bigear: People still do these ? The last time I remember cake walks was in the 70's. We had them at the carnival at school - and I won a chocolate cake to my Dad's delight :lol: I remember having one at church too. Fun memories. :001_smile:

edited to add: To be in the cake walk you paid for a ticket. I don't remember the price. The cake was donated, and homemade. It was a 2 layer 8 inch cake.

Edited by Miss Sherry
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The first time I'd ever heard of a cakewalk other than the expression of something being very easy was about a year ago while listening to the Teaching Company's Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalk to Fusion lectures. According to that, the cakewalk was pretty much the Origin of All Jazz (including rock music). Yeah, people walked (danced) to a cake, and there was music that went with it, which developed into all sorts of other genres - ragtime, jazz, rock 'n' roll....

I was surprised enough to find out that the expression cakewalk originated from an actual walk to a cake, but I thought it was something from the distant past... who knew this was still going on?

Apparently all of you. Feeling like a real Yankee right now (I'm guessing this is mostly a southern thing??)... or maybe I'm just one of the New Elite... :tongue_smilie:

Well, the one's I remember were in Portland Oregon in the 70's. There wasn't specific music for it - you just played a record and stopped it after everyone walked around for awhile - whoever landed on whatever was the designated "winning" spot won the cake.

Maybe my experience of a cake walk is something totally different than what is generally thought of as a cake walk.

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:iagree: I thought it was just an expression meaning easy. I can't wait to ask my mom.

Uh, why have I never heard of this? :confused:
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Well, the one's I remember were in Portland Oregon in the 70's. There wasn't specific music for it - you just played a record and stopped it after everyone walked around for awhile - whoever landed on whatever was the designated "winning" spot won the cake.

Maybe my experience of a cake walk is something totally different than what is generally thought of as a cake walk.

LOL - the specific cakewalk music the Teaching Company was talking about was in the early 1800's, quite a while before recorded music, and apparently one of the main instruments used was "bones".

From the blurb for the TC course:

Beginning with the music and dance of the antebellum plantation, Professor Messenger reveals how the "cakewalks" of slave culture gave birth to a dance craze at the 19th century's end that was ignorant of its own humble roots.

I'm sure if the cakewalk tradition is still alive and well it's morphed quite a bit in the ensuing 200 years. :tongue_smilie: The modern version people are describing sounds like some kind of musical chairs with cake. :)

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Hobbes did his cake walk last night. There were over one hundred children and he cake walked for 40 minutes before winning a gingerbread square - he doesn't like gingerbread, but it was the last large cake, so he chose it. He should have chosen one of the cupcakes which were still available. I suspect he won't be cake walking again any time soon, but he enjoyed the rest of the party.

Laura

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The cakewalk was the most popular feature at my kids' school carnival so if any of you have a similar fund raising event, it's a good one. They solicited cakes and any other kinds of goodies from parents, plus any kinds of things that might go over well. People would send in all kinds of things--small toys, new books, squirt guns, crayons, hair stuff, etc.

It was traditional here to eat cake for breakfast the next morning. :001_smile:

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:iagree: I thought it was just an expression meaning easy.

Me too! I love learning the history behind expressions, but I honestly never thought about the origin of this one. I guess I equated it with "Piece of cake!" How cool to know there is an actual game called a Cake Walk, but that people still play them! I learn so much on this board!

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