A Haven for Vee

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Found Mrs. Lincoln and Her Cake, Too

The Recipe: Mary Todd Lincoln's Almond White Cake

The Blogger and Blog: *Suzanne of At Home With the Farmer's Wife*

The Frosting: Buttercream Tea Frosting

The Blogger and Blog: *Marye at Baking Delights*

When Suzanne shared this recipe, I knew that one day I'd be baking it because wouldn't it be cool to bake such a cake for the local Historical Society? Ours is called the hysterical society, but that's another story. Anyway, that day was last week. No, I didn't bake it for the Historical Society unless you call two aging folks living here at the Haven and one visiting 99-year-old grandmother a "society."

Sadly, the baking of said cake didn't work out as well as I'd hoped because I made a mistake that is embarrassing to confess. First a picture showing how thick and dense this cake batter was. I think I'd use extra liquid next time.

(John calls the above picture Owl on a Perch.)

This was my big mistake...I didn't check the cake. I set the timer and left to work in the yard. Not good. Now I had an overbaked cake with 19 seconds left on the clock.

I used Marye's frosting recipe substituting almond tea to infuse the cream. The frosting was yummy!

The cake had a mild almond flavor. Should I try it again, I will use almond flavoring in addition to the vanilla and almonds for some added flavor, and I will start checking at 35 minutes for doneness. Live and learn. Still, we've managed to eat it...just two pieces left for lunch today.

Have you ever tried baking a vintage recipe?

In other news, things are getting quite hectic here. My mother's surgery is scheduled for next week and my grandmother is coming to stay with John and me for a while. This means that we are busily making a place for her and hoping and trusting that she'll feel at home while she's with us. If I don't visit as often or if I skip a day or two here and there, don't worry, I shall resurface soon. And, though it may be selfish of me, I so want to take my groom off for a day this week knowing that time alone will become precious indeed after the weekend. Thanks so much for all your prayers, support, and concern.


  1. Boy I wished I lived near you. That cake looks grand to me. My blog today has my mom's cookbook on it. I have tried the pies like she used to make. Those old recipes are sure different than today's. They, of course did not have self-rising flour and short cuts we use today.

  2. What? You are not perfect???

    Thanks for sharing this lovely cake anyway...and it must have been wonderful since it is about gone.

    Looks very wonderful to me.

    I'll keep you in prayer as you have these changes and your Mother's surgery upcoming.


    Becky K.

  3. It looks yummy! My thoughts and prayers are with you as your mom has her surgery and you entertain a house guest. Thanks for posting the link on my blog- I was listening to all of those old bands on YouTube yesterday- what fun!

  4. No, I've not tried a vintage recipe, I have too many new ones sitting around that I haven't even tried yet!!:-)
    Before I read about the owl on the perch I thought the exact same thing!!!
    Hope and pray all goes well with your mom's surgery.
    I'm sure your grandmother will love staying with you!
    Enjoy your day out with John.

  5. Love your definition of the historical society. Using their recipes correctly wouldn't you have to use historical appliances? I am going to check this out esp. the frosting. My mother's frosting is lost and I am always on the look-out for her buttercream recipe.
    I pray all goes well with your mother's surgery and your grandmother's stay with you.

  6. The other night I was baking cookies and reading blogs and forgot the timer...not pretty...your cake on the other hand looks delish! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I may have to give it a try. I'll be keeping you and your mom in my prayers. I hope you have a chance to get away for a day with your honey. ~Kathy

  7. Now I am interested in vintage baking!! I will have to try that recipe. It looks delightful and I love almond.

  8. Best wishes to your mother, on her surgery.

    Best wishes to you and John, on/with your grandmother coming to live with you.

    Don't worry about any lack of blogging time fall-out from all of this.

    Just please, don't give up too much, of what _you_ need, for quality of life. Remember that to become frazzled, is not a moral necessity. Not even a good idea, actually. For you, or for all which you wish to do... For everyone.

    Gentle hugs,
    Aunt Amelia

  9. Your cake looks lovely despite the over-baking. I've done that many a time. My son tells me that I wouldn't if I "loved the food".

    I was baking a vintage cake at my blog yesterday to celebrate Queen Victoria's b-day!

    I'm saying a prayer for your mom's surgery - and for you folks as your grandma comes to stay with you awhile.


  10. I was so excited about that cake when you first mentioned it here. It looks absolutely delicious. I'm thinking of having a Mary Todd Lincoln party and making this as my contribution :>)
    I will keep you and your mother in my thoughts and prayers. I hope everything goes well with your mother's surgery.
    Your grandmother is going to love her stay with you and your hubby.How blessed she is to have the two of you ♥
    Thank you for all of the kind comments you have left on my blog.

  11. I am so glad you updated us on your mother, still praying. It will be a delight to have Nana with you and I am sure she will make for some good blog posts. I say sweep your groom away and have a great time!

    Yes, I did try a vintage recipe called White Water Cake, let's just say it rivaled that of anything Ellie May Clampett ever thought of baking. It would have made a great door stop.

    Have a great day!

  12. What a beautifully decorated cake! Wow! And can I just say how much I ((heart)) almond flavoring? Are you sharing the recipe, or do I have to Google it? =)

  13. YUM!!!! I want a some.

    I love your new header photo, I always love seeing little areas of your home. You stage your collections and things so nicely.

    Happy Tuesday Vee!

  14. The cake looks most delicious...and I'm sure it will be good to the last crumb!

    I will be thinking of you all...as your mom goes for surgery...and you have your grandmother.

    You deserve a break this week...make it happen.

  15. Well it doesn't look overcooked...yum yum

    Stay Cozy, Carrie

  16. You might have made mistakes, but I can't tell from the pictures, it looks yummy to me!
    Praying for your family! Take Care!

  17. ...and right after she baked this cake, Mary gave Abraham a slice. Abraham tried a forkful and said "Mary...how about we get us a full time cook?"
    And Mary beamed. Her plan had worked!

    (Just kidding...the cake looked wonderful. But I personally made the error of cooking well when I first married, and have been stuck with the task ever since!)

  18. Oh boy how many times have I overbaked a cake. .that is why making chocolate cake is easier. . it's hard to tell. . but yours still looks wonderful and I think I'll try that frosting.
    All the best with your gram!

  19. I am happy to get the recipe, too! And by all means..make it again! heehee! Coconut cakes sure bring back good memories!

  20. I wish I had a piece of that over cooked cake RIGHT now..........it sure looks yummmmy...

  21. Ummmm that cake looks good. My favorite flavors too! Hope all goes well with your family! V.

  22. Hi Vee
    This cake looks so yummy! The oldest recipe I've tried was for molasses cookies that date back to colonial times, from a recipe booklet I bought at Strurbridge Village. They were good!

    I wish your Mom a good surgery and a successful outcome and a quick recovery. I will pray for her!
    I'm sure your Nan will enjoy her stay with you and John.

    Be sure not to worry about all of us and give your time where it is most needed!
    {{{ HUugs}}} Pat

  23. That DOES look like an owl on a perch!!WoW!!

    I'm sure your cake was fine...thats nothing extra frosting can't solve. :)

    Have a great visit with your Grandmother...how wonderful that you get to spend time with her.

  24. I could never tell by your photo that the cake was overbaked as it looks delicious. That is so funny about the owl on the perch. I was thinking it looked like an owl when I first saw it too.
    I will be keeping your mom in my prayers.

  25. Oh! My

    Two slices of that cake please.


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