Sunday, February 26, 2006

Chocolaty Keen

"Chocolaty keen with cream in between." That's how it was billed and when I was a kid, and that was all it took for my mouth to ache with desire for a Lucky Cake. Tip Top bakery was responsible for the confection and my quarters helped fill that company's coffers. The old black and white television commercial featured a childlike figure, with a flute if I recall correctly. But it was a long time ago. I doubt Lucky Cakes are even made anymore. Which is too bad because writing that first sentence puts the taste back in my mouth.

For those unaffected by Lucky Cake fever, the snack/dessert/breakfast food was simply a moist, round chocolate cake cut in half sandwich style and layered with the finest white cream filling imaginable. That was it. No icing, no fancy swirled white frosting across the top - just plain cake and filling that you were lucky to discover and even luckier to consume.

I remember bugging my parents to buy one (or several if I played my cards right) on every grocery trip. And when the day finally arrived that I was old enough to hike the full city block to the corner store to buy one myself, why it was a Kodak moment indeed. The Price's house was the halfway point in my trek and the point at which it felt I had escaped the gravity of my small house on Mulberry Street and had stepped into the "real world." Across the street from the Price house was a duplex, then an open lot that would soon become a construction site, a battlefield, an alien planet and a fierce jungle in the imaginations of my brother and me.

Across the street from that, on the corner of Mulberry and Columbia, was the market - a butcher shop that also sold a few grocery items like milk, bread and snack items. John was my favorite butcher. He was thick chested, tall (or so it seemed from my vantage point at that time) with light colored horn-rimmed glasses and short cropped dark hair. John was cool. His starched white shirt and crisp apron was always neat and clean despite his profession. He treated me like his best customer and later, after I began frequenting his establishment, John would greet me with a slight grin and point to the shelf where the Lucky Cakes were proudly displayed. Yeah, old John knew his customers all right. I'd plunk down my quarter, John would thank me for my patronage and I'd be on my way.

I must have run all the way home because the return trip always seemed much shorter. And when I got there, it was me, an ice cold glass of milk and my Lucky Cake. Man, life didn't get much better than that for a kid.

20 comments:

Dr. Steve said...

I too loved tip top lucky cakes. Bozo the clown show was sponsered by lucky cakes.In fact if you remember the lucky cake was placed on top of a cardboard type of wrapper and on the back of the wrapper was a puzzle, sometimes with a riddle or joke on it as well. Those were happy carefree days for me as well.It brings back fond memories.

Debbie said...

MMMM, I fondly remember Lucky Cakes. They were so delicious, so much better than Hostess or Little Debbies are today. I too remember trying to get a few out of my parents every time we made a trip to the neighborhood Jewel. They were one of the best treats and I do remember the cardboard with the puzzle or joke. Were they just in Chicago or were they in other places? And since you mentioned it I also remember the little jingle about the chocolatey keen. I would not have thought of that. Anyway, thanks for the great memories of carefree days in the past!

Dr. Steve said...

Dr. Steve said... To Debbie, I grew up in Bayside Queens New York where there were plenty of Tip Top Lucky Cakes. I suspect it was a national type brand at that time and was distributed across the country. Enjoy the memories.

Baby Boomer 1955 said...

Something from deep down inside prompted me to walk over to the computer and initiate a search for Tip Top Bakery's Lucky Cake...The 'lunch cake' was delicious and far better than the similar Hostess Suzy Q's...Being a baby boomer, it's refreshing to see that others still remember this tasty treat...At work I've recalled this delight and no one ever remembers it...My sweet tooth and I are now validated!......

Larry Potter said...

I grew up in Zion, IL, about 45 miles north of Chicago and about 2 miles from the WI border and I remember growing up in the 50's and walking uptown to Mrs. Writtenhouse's little store on Sheridan Road and buying Tip Top Lucky Cakes. They were indeed much, much better than Suzy Q's.
I think I recall Two Ton Baker from Chicago doing commercials for them, think he used to appear in parades and he played piano and work a funny little hat. Man, those Lucky Cakes were soooooooo good!!!

Larry Potter
wallmann33@msn.com

Fife said...

Hi to all of the Lucky Cake fans. I also remember the TV commercials & the great snack. I use to collect soda bottles on Saturday & Sunday morning to help pay for my after school cake habit. If I remember correctly, the little person in the ads was called Elmo Topp. Thanks for bringing back a good part of my childhood. Fife

jjdubs said...

As I sit here eating a Hostess Suzy Q, I too got to thinking about Lucky Cakes and thus found this blog. I remember as a youngster that I liked Lucky Cakes much better than Suzy Qs. I'm in northwest Indiana. Was the Tip Top bakery just in the Chicago area or were they more spread out?

John
Merrillville, IN

Anonymous said...

Now i know i am not dreaming! Yes, there was a product named luck cakes! And i remember the tv commercials too!(Chocolaty keen, with cream in between!

Barb Masciola said...

WE LOVE LUCKY CAKES!!! None of our friends remember lucky cakes, but we do! (that is, my sister and I) They were absolute heaven..After school we would sit in front of the TV and watch our favorite shows. Then our Tip Top commercial would come on with the little boy playing the flute. We would drool over the commercial because it seemed like you could actually taste the cream in between when they showed the lucky cake. There were times our mom would have a lucky cake waiting for us after school. Now that was a real treat!! Our favorite! Great memories for Cathy and Barb.

cathyjdm said...

Some co-workers and I were talking about Lucky Cakes today during lunch so I decided to do a search. I grew up in NJ and my elementary school sold Lucky Cakes in the cafeteria. For a special treat sometimes, we could have a Lucky Cake put in a bowl and the vanilla ice cream from a dixie cup put on top. Were we lucky or what??!

Anonymous said...

What made the Lucky Cake was actually a devils food cake

Anonymous said...

Elmo Topp was the nephew of Emily Tip the other cartoon spokes person for Tip Top Bread.
Her cartoon ads were amusing little skits where someone was always trying to get a free slice of Tip Top bread from her., examples were a ventrilaquist and his dummy; the ventrialquist asked her for a piece of bread to stuff in his mouth while the dummy still was talking, and of course the dummy's voice immediately changed to sound like a man with his mouth stuffed with bread. While he is doing this Emily ad-libs "I can see your lips moving". It was clever for the time, in the mid 50s.

Anonymous said...

If you want to see a commercial of Emily Tip look at http://www.buzzzco.com/Studio/VC-TipTop1.htm

Her voice was provided by Margaret Hamilton of Wizard of Oz fame.

Anonymous said...

I was raised in northeastern Ohio and I fondly remember getting a lucky cake in my lunch bag if I was good. We also had a sack lunch treat called "Handy Pie". Ring any bells?

Anonymous said...

I only have the memory of eating a lucky cake, but I would love to find the actual recipe. There was something in that cake, maybe cinammon, that made it unique and the cream was like no other in any cake (store bought or fresh made), that I've ever had. If you know of a recipe ,PLEASE SHARE!

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid the Hostess cakes cost 12 cents and I'm sure that the Lucky Cakes (which I also loved) would have been the same price. And I could hardly believe my mom when she said that they'd only been a nickel when she grew up and that they were bigger. Now they've gone up by 10x and they ARE smaller. Anyhow, the Lucky Cakes were great and the filling was a little stiffer than what you got from Hostess, and the cake itself was a bit firmer and less spongy. The recipes must exist someplace!

Anonymous said...

I too remember that Lucky Cake. From I remember about the taste of the treat was that it had a malty tatse to it, which was by far, better than Twinkies of Suzy Q's.

Anonymous said...

I placed an order for Lucky Cakes at www.luckycakes.net and expect to receive sometime this week. I'm so excited and hopeful! I'm 60. Don't remember having them after grade school. Have been yearning for them for decades. Pant-pant!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a picture of the product? i ate them for years....email duckhouse87@yahoo.com please

Anonymous said...

And that jingle... LUCK Y, CAKE (ell you see K why, see A Kay EEE). Best snack food ever. Any time I had some change in the Bronx, it was Lucky cake for me! Nothing today is as good as the memory of this delight!.

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