Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War


Abraham Lincoln's Favorite White Cake (a)

Long long ago , a certain little French caterer in Lexington, Kentucky, made a wonderful white cake in honor of his countrymen, Lafayette, who was to pay a visit to the city. The cake was beautifully decorated with flags made of color sugar, and with marvelous icing, but the cake itself contained only the whites of eggs and when cut the cake was snow-white. Thereupon the famous cake baker in the Blue-Grass region immediately began making white cakes; and the recipe for the most famous of all was originated in the household of the ancestors of Mary Todd who many years afterward made the cake for Abraham Lincoln after she became his wife, he declared this white cake was the best in Kentucky. Here is Mary Todd's recipe with modern baking instructions included:

    1 cupful of butter         Whites of 6 eggs
    2 cupfuls of Sugar         1 Teaspoonful of Vanilla
    1 cupful of milk             or other flavoring as
    3 cupfuls of flour           as preferred
    3 teaspoonsful of          1 Cupful of chopped blanched
      baking powder              Almonds

Cream the butter well, add the sugar and cream again, sift flour and baking powder together, add to butter and sugar alternately with milk. Then stir in the chopped nut meats and beat well, finally fold in the stiffly beaten whites of the eggs, pour into a well greases, paper-lined pan and bake one hour in a moderate oven. Ice with boiled icing to which you have added half a cupful of candied pineapple and cherries cut in very small pieces.


(a) The article has been published several times over the years; most recently in 1999 in in the Country Gentleman Service Department, Independence Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It also appeared in publications from the Groce Post (Circleville, Ohio) and Sgt. Enderlin SUVCW Camp 73 (Chillicothe, Ohio).

Submitted by:
Donald E. Darby
National Patriotic Instructor
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
January 2001

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