Mary Ann Todd Lincoln was the wife of the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and was First Lady of the United States from 1861 to 1865. A member of a large, wealthy Kentucky family, Mary was well educated. She was born December 13, 1818 in Lexington, KY and died July 16, 1882 in Springfield, IL.
This delicious white cake, with a subtle almond flavor, was one of Mary Todd Lincoln’s specialties. Some historians say Mary Todd Lincoln didn’t serve the cake with frosting, but it certainly adds great flavor.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup unsalted almonds, chopped
- 6 egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 egg whites
- ½ cup candied cherries, chopped
- ½ cup candied pineapple, chopped
- few drops vanilla or almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift together flour and baking powder; remove 2 tablespoons and set aside. Add sifted ingredients, alternating with milk, to creamed mixture. Stir in vanilla and almond extract. Combine almonds with reserved flour and add to batter.
- Beat egg whites until stiff. Add in salt. Fold into batter. Pour into three greased and floured 8- or 9-inch cake pans.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 5-10 minutes then remove from pans and cool on racks.
- While cake is baking, prepare frosting: Combine sugar and water in a saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil; cover and cook about 3 minutes until the steam has washed down any sugar crystals that may have formed on side of pan. Uncover and cook until syrup reaches 238-240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
- Whip egg whites until frothy; add in syrup in thin stream, whipping egg whites constantly until frosting is spreading consistency. Mix in cherries, pineapple and vanilla or almond flavoring. Frost cake once it has cooled.