Back to all articles

The History of Drake’s Coffee Cakes

In 1896, Newman Drake opened the N.E. Drake Baking Company in Harlem, where he baked various types of pound cakes that quickly gained popularity locally. By 1914, he had brought in his brother, expanded the business, and was delivering cakes all around New York and Boston. In 1924, Newman expanded operations into New Jersey and brough in a third-generation baker named Ralph Ward as president of the newly reincorporated Drake Bakeries, Inc. Newman Drake passed away in March 1930, and that same year, the now-famous Drake’s Coffee Cakes debuted. Known for their cinnamon streusel topping, they soon became a fan favorite. In fact, they became so popular that they were even featured in a story line on Seinfeld. In 2013, McKee Foods took ownership of Drake’s products. After the public expressed distress at the discontinuation of the classic snacks in the late 2010s, in 2018 the company announced that they would continue baking Drake’s Coffee Cakes using the original recipe. One notable difference? The cakes would now come individually wrapped, fulfilling a long-time customer request. Today, Drake’s Coffee Cakes are available in most grocery stores and remain a beloved favorite with many devoted fans.

Share this article

card showing the history of rocking chairs

Your go-to guide for weird history facts

Subscribe to the FREE daily email that makes learning about history fun.