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.
There is a small log cabin, kept in a building for preservation, that was once believed to be the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln.
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.
Hey Poppy….who is that with you 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.
Here is a little bit of history ….an excerpt from LINCOLN HOME, National Historic Site
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
- 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.
We stopped in at the gift shop and visitor’s center and I purchased this very cute country style 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!