Monday, January 26, 2015

Almond Pound Cake -- A Delightful Recipe for Lincoln's Birthday

Mary Todd was said to have made an Almond Cake to tempt young lawyer Abraham Lincoln when he came calling on her in Springfield, Illinois. There are several versions of that cake.  I have two authentic period recipes in my book Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen: A Culinary View of his Life and Times.  This version is tasty and easy to make.  It is a "good keeper" and is particularly served with fruit, a simple sauce, or ice cream.

You can read more about how I came to write the book in the February 2015 issue of Guideposts magazine.

Abraham Lincoln was reported to have said that this kind of white almond cake was the best cake he had ever eaten. That he favored it may have had something to do with the remarkable woman who baked it for him.

Almond Pound Cake 

1/2 cup (one stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 ounces blanched, slivered almonds, finely crushed, or chopped into 1/16-inch pieces
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white wine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the mace, almond extract, lemon zest and juice, and almonds. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour, followed by the wine and then the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, mixing well after each addition. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is lightly browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes.

Photo by Tom Thulin Photography
Copyright 2015, Rae Katherine Eighmey  All rights reserved