Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Type

Honors Project



First Advisor

Dr. Charles Gallagher

Second Advisor

Dr. Vincent Kling


This research examines four American baked goods: apple pie, Yum-Yum Cake (better known as Depression Cake), beignets, and bagels. Individual cultural and culinary elements of each dish were examined, focusing on elements of the immigration and economic situation in America at the time. The baked goods are also placed in the larger picture of American culture. The analysis of each one shows that they are interrelated on deeper cultural, economic, and social levels. The study of these four baked goods is only a glimpse into the many cultural traditions that make up American society, but the paper creates a framework for why it is important to examine the roots of the dishes we eat. The hope is that this project will emphasize the historical, sociological, and cultural aspects of the seemingly mundane in American society, and how our history still impacts us today.