Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mary Todd Lincoln's Cinnamon Cake

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is one of the recipes I tested while searching for cakes and pastries that could be served on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning. I came across this recipe in an old issue of Midwest Living magazine, and while I found the flavors of the cake to be a bit much for breakfast, the cake, which is texturally like a Sally Lunn, would be perfect to serve with afternoon coffee or as part of a more formal tea. Mary Lincoln's cinnamon cake is actually a lightly yeasted batter bread that I think you will find very easy to make and even easier to enjoy. It's spiced much like an old-English tea cake, and it gets extra flavor from the macerated currants that are soaked for hours before they are added to the batter. The soused currants add moisture to the cake, and it will keep for several days if it is well-wrapped. I do hope you'll give this recipe a try. Here is how the cake is made.

Mary Todd Lincoln's Cinnamon Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Midwest Living magazine

1 cup dried currants or 1 cup raisins
1/4 cup brandy or 1/4 cup orange juice
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1-1/4 cups warm milk
1 tablespoon sugar
3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided use
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Orange Glaze
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice

1) In a jar, combine currants or raisins and brandy or orange juice. Cover tightly. Let soak overnight.
2) Grease a 10-inch tube pan. Set aside.
3) In a medium bowl, combine yeast, milk, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand until mixture is bubbly.
4) By hand, beat in 1 cup flour until smooth. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 45 minutes).
5) In a bowl, stir together the 2-3/4 cups flour, cinnamon, mace, and salt and set aside. Drain currants, reserving brandy or juice.
6) In a large mixing bowl, beat 1 cup sugar and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until very light. Add egg and beat until light.
7) Beat in lemon peel, lemon juice, and reserved brandy or orange juice. Add yeast mixture and beat until thoroughly combined.
8) By hand, stir in currants, then stir in flour mixture until well combined.
9) Turn batter into prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
10) Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
11) Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cake, remove from pan and complete cooling on a wire rack.
12) To make glaze: In a bowl, stir together powdered sugar and orange juice until mixture is smooth and drizzles easily. Drizzle cake with glaze or powdered sugar. Yield: 12 servings.

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Ginny said...

These ingredients together would be so good! And the smell I bet!!! What a coincidence, we just finished watching the Lincoln movie. Sally field had to gain at least 20 pounds to play Mary, maybe it was all the cake...

Katz Tales said...

It looks picture perfect!

Foodycat said...

I think an American Sally Lunn must be different to an English one! They are a pretty plain enriched yeasted bread - not nearly as delicious as this looks!

Jenn S said...

This does sound like a perfect cake for tea time... heck, for me, it would be good any time!

Kim G. said...

I know I would love a piece of this beautiful cake with my afternoon tea!

Susan Lindquist said...

Love the old-fashioned feel and look to your cake! I can see a sprig of holly stuck in the top and a glass of eggnog alongside!

PS - Have been thinking about you a lot and hoping your recuperating continues smoothly!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

This looks good and I bet it tastes good. as for the brandy, who could possibly want to use orange juice :) Have a good day, Diane

Melynda Brown said...

I will love this, thanks!

lindalou said...

Any idea how it got it's name. Very curious.

David said...

Mary, What a great looking cake! Time for a cup of coffee with my slice... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

zippiknits said...

I really love this cake. I love to eat it anytime of day. hehe

Lenia said...

This is a mouthwatering cake,Mary!

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