Why Every Royal Family Member Has Had The Same Birthday Cake For Over 100 Years

Every year, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her birthday twice, once on the actual date of her birth, and another on the day designated for "Trooping the Colour" (via Yahoo! Style UK), which is an annual British celebration that has doubled as the "official birthday of the British sovereign" (via The Royal Family website) since the reign of King George II (who had a November birthday and got sick of celebrating in unpleasant weather). According to former British royal chef, Darren McGrady, that means that twice a year, every year, the British royal family can count on their royal chef to whip up a chocolate cake, which McGrady has dubbed "The" Chocolate Birthday Cake (via The Royal Chef).

However, the current royal family can count on that cake quite a bit more often than merely twice per year. That's because it's not solely the Queen who likes to celebrate her birthday with this cake. In fact, every member of the royal family asks for it as well, according to McGrady, and every time it's served, it always looks the same because "the pastry chefs are instructed never to write a name on the cake ... just 'Happy Birthday' ... Never Happy Birthday Your Majesty or even Happy Birthday Queenie!" So, what's the story with this much-craved birthday cake? Well, for starters, it's been beloved by members of the royal family for more than 100 years now. 

The sweet century-long history of the royal family's favorite birthday cake

The recipe for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's favorite (and only) birthday cake has been in the royal family since the Victorian age. according to former royal family chef Darren McGrady (via The Royal Chef). Specifically, the basic recipe was developed for Queen Victoria toward the end of her life by Gabriel Tschumi, a young cook who arrived at Buckingham Palace in 1899 (Queen Victoria died in 1901) and remained on the kitchen staff until 1932 (via London auctioneers, Dix Noonan Webb, which auctioned off Tschumi's "Long Service Medal" for £1,200 in 2008.) 

That fact that "The" birthday cake is a rich, nearly flourless chocolate tort covered in chocolate ganache might come as a surprise to those who associate Queen Victoria with Victoria sponge, a light-as-air, vanilla-flavored confection layered with vanilla buttercream and raspberry or strawberry jam, which the diminutive monarch was said to enjoy daily with her afternoon tea, according to The Royal Family website. However, it appears that this chocolate birthday cake developed for Queen Victoria more than 100 years ago made such an impact on the royal family that nothing else would do, and to this day, still won't.