In the Kitchen Tonight…Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Cake

We wanted to do something special tonight in the kitchen to honor and remember the wedding anniversary of Abraham and Mary Lincoln who were unitedin marriage on November 4, 1842.  

I have read ALOT of books about the lives of both Abraham and Mary Lincoln and what has always seem to peak my interest about these two is how they both came from such diverse backgrounds – she grew up with servants and living in a beautiful home in Lexington, Kentucky while he was born in a log cabin in the backwoods of Kentucky.  Somehow they simply found one another and with the trials and tribulations of courtship (their previous engagement was broken off and her family was not thrilled about her marrying someone “beneath” her) they decided that in the end, they simply wanted to be together.  

Mary Lincoln made a white cake for Abraham Lincoln while they were courting and it was one of his favorites after they were married. So, with yesterday being their wedding anniversary, I felt it was very fitting to make something that was dear to both of their hearts (and their taste buds!)

The recipe that I used was from the book, Lincoln’s Table, by Donna D. McCreary and was adapted by Janice Cooke Newman. 

Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Cake 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup blanched almonds, chopped in a food processor until they resemble a coarse flour

  • 1 Cup butter

  • 2 Cups sugar

  • 3 Cups flour

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 Cup milk

  • 6 egg whites

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • confectionary sugar

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.

  • Cream butter and sugar.  Sift flour and baking powder 3 times. Add to creamed butter and sugar, alternating with milk.  Stir in almonds and beat well.

  • Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.  Stir in vanilla extract.

  • Pour into prepared pan and and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Turn out on a wire rack and cool.  When cool, sift confectionary sugar over top.

  • A basic white frosting sprinkled with almonds was also popular.

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