Dessert-lovers across the world recognize the Brooklyn Blackout Cake, its decadent chocolate layers symbolic of a specific moment in history. But how many people know the story of that moment, or of Catherine and George Ebinger’s family business? The Ebingers opened the famous Ebinger’s Bakery, between 4th and 5th Avenues on 86th Street in Bay Ridge, in 1898. In the second half of the 19th century, the German population was skyrocketing in New York. As German infrastructure and German-owned businesses appeared around the city, a German bakery like Ebinger’s would not have been an anomaly. In fact, brands like Entenmann’s, Holtermann’s, and Drake’s that you may recognize today got their starts as German family-owned bakeries in New York City. Ebinger’s sold over 200 varieties of German desserts, but during World War II, one specific menu item became an unexpected legend….
September 9, 2019