Some of the world’s most important inventions have been accidental: Just look at Penicillin, plastic, vulcanized rubber and Cracker Barrel’s Double Chocolate Fudge
Okay. Maybe creating a dessert isn’t quite on par with discovering lifesaving antibiotics, but—as anyone who has ever tussled over a marzipan flower at a childhood birthday party knows—cake can be serious business.
Making the Most of a Classic
In 1997, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s product development team was brainstorming ways to further incorporate
Coke-based recipes for savory dishes like crock pot stews and roasts are not that unusual, especially in the South. And Cracker Barrel’s hub is in Lebanon, Tenn., where the company was first established by oil jobber Dan Evins to lure folks off the interstate to his family’s gas station with the promise of homeyness and a decent meal. But a
At that time, the company was relying somewhat on “speed scratch” recipes, which means that they hired outside companies to create the basis for certain dishes and then finished the cooking or baking in their own restaurant kitchens. So Cracker Barrel commissioned a manufacturer to create batter samples.
But when the batter arrived and they baked it, something strange happened: “We said, ‘Oh my gosh! This doesn’t look anything like the one we made,’” recalls Gillituk about this new darker, richer and denser incarnation. “We decided to taste it anyway and we loved it! In fact, we started marching pieces of cake up and down the hallways, asking for opinions, and everyone loved it.”
In fact, the outside company had made a mathematical error when scaling up the recipe, more than doubling the cocoa. And, just like that, Cracker Barrel’s Double Chocolate Fudge
Originally, the dessert was offered for limited periods and, during off times, fans would write letters and call to request it. Then, in 2009, as a 40th anniversary special, the company made the
Millions of Slices
Last year, Cracker Barrel purchased enough batter to make 2,286,432 pieces of Double Chocolate Fudge
Clearly, this now signature cake went over well with customers from the beginning. “There was a time when the mention of Cracker Barrel immediately made people think of breakfast,” says Gillituk. “Today people think of the