Today in American history…Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809. He is truly my personal favorite in that I’ve always admired his strength and tenacity to succeed. Coming from humble beginnings and born in a log cabin in Kentucky, he taught himself at a young age to read and write. He would eventually become a famous lawyer, served a term as a US Representative from Illinois (1847-1849) and then as our 16th US President (1861-1865).
Mary Todd Lincoln quite often made a “white cake” for Abraham Lincoln while they were courting and it was one of his favorites after they were married. She made it for special holidays and especially his birthday. It was also served on their table at their home in Springfield, Illinois for a reception on the evening he was first elected to the Presidency. So, I like to imagine they would have had it today as well – to celebrate his birthday.
Here is a recipe from the book, Lincoln’s Table, by Donna D. McCreary and was adapted by Janice Cooke Newman. We’ve enjoyed making it several times and it’s something you can even make in your own kitchen. How wonderful for us to be able to enjoy something the same way Abraham Lincoln once did.
Happy Birthday, Mr President!
Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Cake
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
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.