If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake

"If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake" is a popular song written by Al Hoffman, Bob Merrill, and Clem Watts and published in 1950.

"If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake"
Single by Eileen Barton
B-side"Poco, Loco in the Coco"
RecordedJanuary 1950
Producer(s)Tom Dowd
Eileen Barton singles chronology
"If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake"
"Dixieland Ball"

The best known version of the song was recorded by Eileen Barton in January 1950. Joe Lipman served as the musical director for the recording sessions for the two sides. The recording was released by National Records as catalog number 9103. When the song became too big a hit for National to handle, it arranged with Mercury Records to help with distribution.[1] The record first reached the Billboard charts on March 3, 1950 and lasted 15 weeks on the chart, peaking at #1.[2] The song was one of Tom Dowd's first hits as a producer.[3]

In 1962, Barton's recording of the song was included in a list of 101 Perennial Singles Hits compiled by Billboard – a group "For year-round programming by juke box operators and radio stations ... a catalog of standards that can provide consistent earnings for operators and a wealth of material for discussion by broadcasters."[4]

Cover versionsEdit

Another version was recorded by Georgia Gibbs. The recording was made on February 16, 1950 and released by Coral Records as catalogue number 60169. The record first reached the Billboard charts on March 17, 1950 and lasted six weeks on the chart, peaking at #21.[2]

A British version was recorded by Dame Gracie Fields in 1950, and was used on a British television advertising campaign for Rightmove in 2007.

Another version was recorded by Betty Harris and a choir, with Art Mooney's Orchestra. The recording was made on February 15, 1950 and released by MGM Records as catalogue number 10660.

Bing Crosby and Bob Hope recorded a version together that expanded on the standard lyrics to include verses about making a meal and preparing a goose.[5] This was first heard on the CBS radio programme, ‘Welcome Back Baseball’ broadcast on 15th April 1950.[6]

In Australia, a version was recorded by June Hamilton in May 1950 and released by Pacific Records as catalog number 10-0030.

Barton performed a second recording of the song for MGM in 1959. The new version reached #117 in the Music Vendor survey.

Two versions of the song were recorded for Sesame Street. The first was recorded in 1969 in a skit involving Ernie and Cookie Monster. A second version involving Cookie Monster and Count von Count was recorded in 1976 and released on the B side of "C is for Cookie".

Baker Bob sang that song before Piella Bakewell murdered him at the beginning of the Wallace and Gromit cartoon A Matter of Loaf and Death.

A version was used as the opening theme to Exit 57, a sketch comedy series that aired on Comedy Central and starred Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, Stephen Colbert, Mitch Rouse, and Jodi Lennon.

Manhattan band The Maxes recorded a version of the song in 2008 as part of a 12-song Al Hoffman collection titled The Maxes Sing Al Hoffman.

The song appeared on the M*A*S*H during the season one episode "Henry, Please Come Home" [original air date 11/19/1972]. Two Tokyo-based geisha girls performed the song, along with acoustic guitar accompaniment, to Hawkeye Pierce, Henry Blake and Trapper John McIntyre.

The song appeared in the 1978 film adaptation of Same Time, Next Year. When Doris is preparing to shower, George tells her that the song that played while they were making love was "If I Knew You Were Coming Id've Baked A Cake" and tells her that it will be their song. George later plays a part of the song on the piano in a later scene of the movie.

Certain versions of the song include the lyrics If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake "this morning" instead of "how d'you do".


Chart (1950) Peak
US Best-Selling Pop Singles (Billboard)[7] 1


  1. ^ "Billboard".
  2. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research.
  3. ^ Selvin, Joel (2015). Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues. Counterpoint. p. 32.
  4. ^ "101 Perennial Singles Hits" (PDF). Billboard. December 10, 1962. p. 47. Retrieved 18 September 2015.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ WAMU-FM broadcast of National Public Radio show at 9 PM Eastern Time on March 30, 2008.
  6. ^ Pairpoint, Lionel. "And Here's Bing". BING magazine. International Club Crosby.
  7. ^ "Best-Selling Pop Singles". Billboard. April 15, 1955. p. 40. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved October 10, 2015.