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79-year-old 'mummy cake' discovered after surviving WWII bombing

For those who like their desserts with a hefty dash of charcoal.
/ Source: TODAY

So, who's up for some cake? Nut cake?

Nut cake from the 20th century?

Nut cake that's been charred by British bombing raids in World War II and is around 79 years old?

Yeah, we thought so.

Manfred Schneider, head of the Archaeology Department of Lubeck, Germany, and Doris Muhrenberg, archaeologist in the Archaeology Department watch over the so-called "mummy cake."Marcus Brandt / DPA via Alamy

But there are some folks who are extremely delighted to have an entire hazelnut and almond cake unearthed in a cellar in Lübeck, Germany. But they don't include Paul Hollywood and Pru Leith from "The Great British Baking Show": These are archaeologists, and what they've dug up for the occasion is pretty special … if not exactly edible.

According to recent reports, the nut cake was discovered remarkably intact and still resembling a (squashed) cake, down to the sugar icing swirls on the top and the pulverized nuts around the edges. There's also a wax paper cover on it, too.

Kind of puts the cake from Princess Diana and Prince Charles' wedding to shame, though the couple with the 50-year-old wedding cake they chew on each year might understand. And this new discovery has nothing on the 141-year-old fruitcake a Michigan family keeps forwarding along.

"Although it is heavily charred and blackened with soot on the outside, the heat has shrunk (it) to only a third of its original height," Lisa Renn, excavation manager for the city’s archaeological team, said in a statement (translated via Google Translate in Smithsonian magazine).

Delicious? Maybe not.Marcus Brandt / DPA via Alamy

During WWII, German and British bombers attacked each other's cities regularly, with many casualties. But this particular incendiary strike that took out everything around the cake but the cake is unique.

The statement suggests the cake was probably homemade (they also found coffee service and fine crockery nearby). The owner of the house, a merchant named Johann Wärme, could have been setting up a gathering for Palm Sunday. The bombing occurred overnight between March 28 and 29, 1942, which was the early hours of the holiday. Also discovered was a gramophone and albums, including Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" and "Ninth Symphony."

The preserved cake may still contain dangerous chemicals from the bomb.Marcus Brandt / DPA via Alamy

Next up: The cake will continue to be preserved, as best possible, but it might also still have traces of chemicals from the bomb, including phosphorus. Those combustible compounds have to be removed before the preservation can begin. Eventually, the hope is to put it on display.

When that happens, Dirk Rieger, Lübeck’s Historic Monuments Protection Authority head of archaeology, told Live Science he hopes people "will hopefully see not only the destruction of the war but also the joy that people had."

He added, "This cake is like a window into 80 years ago."