The Stack Cake “Wedding Cake” Myth

I can’t believe I fell for that one. I must be getting soft. But you have to admit it makes for a nice story: dirt poor mountain folk, can barely afford a sack of flour, so each family spends a few precious pennies to make their own special layer. All are brought to the wedding party where they’re stacked and filled, then eaten reverentially in gratitude for life, love, and poor-but-happy mountain community.

Man, what a sucker. That saccharine fairy tale had me going for years. But like a typical city boy — who loves his hillbilly myths — I bought it like a half-price Snickers in the checkout aisle. Sigh.

A related myth holds that stack cakes were popularity contests for young mountain ladies. Taller cakes meant more layers, and by extension more friends or admirers at the girl’s [FILL IN THE BLANK] party. Both of these whoppers appeared at various points in articles written for the Louisville Courier Journal. Which just goes to show that even Kentuckians love their hillbilly mythology. More on that in future posts.

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