Remembering Honest Abe….his Kentucky home and favorite almond cake!

Today was the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday!

I thought this would be a good day to post some pictures of Abe Lincoln’s Kentucky home. Poppy and I went to see Abe’s birthplace last fall. The grounds and surroundings are beautiful and we could imagine Abe running in those woods as a child.

Abe's Stomping Grounds, KY

Abe’s Stomping Grounds, Hardin County KY

There is a small log cabin, kept in a building for preservation, that was once believed to be the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln.

The building is home to the little log cabin from Abe's era.

Home to the little log cabin from Abe’s era.

The staff explained that the log cabin is no longer thought of as Abe’s birthplace but is, rather, a log cabin from this area in Kentucky and from the 1800 era.

Log Cabin from the 1800's.

Log Cabin from the 1800’s.

Poppy reads the plaques outside the monument.

Poppy reads about an idyllic frontier.

Idyllic Frontier

Hey Poppy….who is that with you on the porch?

Poppy and Lincoln on the porch!

Poppy (Bud) and Lincoln on the porch!

Well….Southern gals find a recipe for every topic of conversation! So…to honor that tradition, and satisfy my curiosity, I looked up Abe’s favorite cake recipe…of course!

This is a deliciously moist, tender cake and has a delicate almond flavor…not overpowering.

Abe's Favorite Cake,Mrs. Lincoln's White Almond Cake

Abe’s Favorite Cake,
Mrs. Lincoln’s White Almond Cake

Here is a little bit of history ….an excerpt from LINCOLN HOME, National Historic Site

http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/exhibits/liho/printVersion.html

Food  and Entertaining Mary loved entertaining.

Mary’s main homemaking interest appeared to be cooking, especially  making sweets.  The  cookbooks she purchased after getting married are in the Presidential library  in Springfield.  Her white almond  cake was one of Mr. Lincoln’s favorite desserts.  She had brought the  recipe from her favorite bakery in Lexington, Kentucky.  Mary baked the white cake for Abraham Lincoln when they were  courting, as a Springfield housewife, and when she was First Lady.  Today, there are many versions of it,  including the one listed below.

The Lincolns purchased macaroon pyramids  (macaroon cookies stacked in a pyramid and covered with caramelized sugar  drizzle) from local confectioners when they had a big party. Mary often  served strawberries and cream, probably with cookies.  Oral tradition had it that the neighborhood  children were guaranteed a cookie or donut from Mrs. Lincoln when they played with  the Lincoln boys.  With Mary’s copious  amounts of sugar purchased, there were plenty of cookies.  During the course of one week in 1849, Mary  purchased 13 pounds of sugar!

Abe’s favorite cake…
Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Cake 

(Recipe from Lincoln’s Table by Donna D. McCreary was adapted by Janice  Cooke Newman)

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

  • 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 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.

I made this cake with a few changes….I used toasted, slivered honey almonds, added 1 teaspoon cardamom (goes well with almond), buttermilk , instead of milk,  1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.  I frosted the cake with an almond cream cheese frosting.

A tasty slice of the past!

A tasty slice of the past!

We stopped in at the gift shop and visitor’s center and I purchased this very cute country style sampler.

Country Bear Sampler

Country Bear Sampler

Only after bringing it home did I see that on the tag it read…Made in China!

I’m sure we could find some Kentucky folk to make these! It just doesn’t seem to fit into the whole ‘Idyllic Frontier’ theme…does it? Oh well…such is life on the new Frontier!

Until we meet again….

Happy trails on your Frontier…wherever that may be….Kentucky, China…wherever!

Wishing you a day that is blessed simply….

and simply blessed!

Vee

Barn in the mist

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17 comments on “Remembering Honest Abe….his Kentucky home and favorite almond cake!

  1. Sophie33 says:

    What a wonderful day out! Thanks for the tour! Lovely pics too! that cake looks amazing & very special indeed! :) Yummm!

  2. sugaredpecan says:

    The cake looks fabulous!

  3. Daniela says:

    A great history lesson, beautiful pictures and a delicious looking (historical :) ) cake recipe,thank you for sharing!

  4. southernheart1 says:

    Yes, we Southern gals can always come up with a good recipe, and I do like the way you combined the history with this one.
    It looks delicious! Blessings to you ~ Marsha

  5. petit4chocolatier says:

    Everything is beautiful. I wish I had a slice of that delicious cake!!

    • Victoria says:

      Thank you…and I wish you did too…there is still a whole bunch of it! We love it but….there are only two of us in this house. That is the trouble with being an empty nester! I will probably freeze some of it if hubby doesn’t take some with him to work tomorrow! :) His co-workers do quite like my love of baking! Thanks for the visit…I’ll be over soon to see what you’re cooking up! :) Blessings!

  6. [...] Remembering Honest Abe….his Kentucky home and favorite almond cake! (homeandtherange.wordpress.com) [...]

  7. Mustang.Koji says:

    The history lesson coupled with Abe’s cake recipe is a wonderful combination. I have not had the fortune of visiting his birthplace yet so it was nice to learn and see about it as well. Thanks!

  8. mshe says:

    Reblogged this on mykentuckyliving and commented:
    You have some great recipes.

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