Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Cake

This delicious white cake, with a subtle almond flavor, was one of Mary Todd Lincoln’s specialties.  Some historians say the First Lady didn’t serve the cake with frosting, but it certainly adds great flavor.

Mary Todd Lincoln

First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln

Yield: 1 cake
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes (includes cooling)
Difficulty Rating: Intermediate
Recipe Created By: Charlyn Fargo
Recipe From: Illinois Farm Bureau Partners

Mary Todd Lincoln's White Cake

Abe was honestly crazy over Mary’s white cake.

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 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

Frosting:

  • 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

 

Instructions:

  • 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.

Spring Cheesecake Cake (raspberry, lemon & orange)

Click here for a delightful recipe from the “I am Baker” blog.

Spring Cheesecake Cake (raspberry, lemon and orange)

Find this recipe and more on the I am Baker blog. (Photo by Amanda Rettke)

Spring Cheesecake Cake (raspberry, lemon & orange)

Ingredients:

Raspberry Cheesecake

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) McCormick® Raspberry Extract
  • 2 drops McCormick® Red food coloring

Lemon Cheesecake

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract

Orange Cheesecake

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) McCormick® Pure Orange Extract
  • 1 drop McCormick® Red food coloring
  • 1 drop McCormick® Yellow food coloring

White Sheet Cake

  • 1 cup (230g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (285g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup (240 ml) cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons (15-25 grams) confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder (optional)

Instructions:

Raspberry Cheesecake

  1. Place cream cheese into bowl of stand mixer fixed with paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Add in sugar and egg and beat on medium speed until smooth, 3-5 minutes.
    Scrape down sides of mixer bowl.
  2. With mixer on low speed, add in extract and food coloring.
  3. Prepare an 8-inch cake pan (grease and/or butter pan then line with parchment paper) and then pour the filling into the pan.
  4. Bake until cheesecake is set, 18-24 minutes at 325 degrees in a convection oven or 350 degrees in a regular oven. (Cheesecake can be slightly golden but not brown)
  5. Set the cheesecake on a wire rack and let it cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before assembling cake.

Lemon Cheesecake

  1. Place cream cheese into bowl of stand mixer fixed with paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Add in sugar and egg and beat on medium speed until smooth, 3-5 minutes.
    Scrape down sides of mixer bowl.
  2. With mixer on low speed, add in extract.
  3. Prepare an 8-inch cake pan (grease and/or butter pan then line with parchment paper) and then pour the filling into the pan.
  4. Bake until cheesecake is set, 18-24 minutes at 325 degrees in a convection oven or 350 degrees in a regular oven. (Cheesecake can be slightly golden but not brown)
  5. Set the cheesecake on a wire rack and let it cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before assembling cake.

Orange Cheesecake

  1. Place cream cheese into bowl of stand mixer fixed with paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Add in sugar and egg and beat on medium speed until smooth, 3-5 minutes.
    Scrape down sides of mixer bowl.
  2. With mixer on low speed, add in extract and food coloring.
  3. Prepare an 8-inch cake pan (grease and/or butter pan then line with parchment paper) and then pour the filling into the pan.
  4. Bake until cheesecake is set, 18-24 minutes at 325 degrees in a convection oven or 350 degrees in a regular oven. (Cheesecake can be slightly golden but not brown)
  5. Set the cheesecake on a wire rack and let it cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before assembling cake.

White Sheet Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Prepare a 12×17 inch half sheet/jelly roll pan by spraying with non-stick spray then lining with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Add the sugar on medium speed and beat until fluffy and light in color, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add in eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
  5. With mixer on low speed, slowly pour in vanilla and then sour cream. (scrape bowl if necessary)
    Mix for 1-2 minutes on medium speed or until ingredients are fully incorporated.
  6. With mixer on low speed, pour half of the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture. Now pour in half of the milk.
  7. Repeat with the rest of the flour and milk and mix until combined and smooth, about 30 seconds. Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan using a small offset spatula. (be sure it is nice and level!)
  8. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Place in freezer until ready to assemble cake.

Whipped Cream
Place your mixing bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes.
In stand mixer, whisk whipped cream for 1-2 minutes. Add in remaining ingredients and beat just until stiff peaks form. (If you need a more stable whipped cream add in meringue powder. If using immediately, you can omit the meringue powder.) Chill until ready to use. Makes about 2 cups (480 ml) whipped cream.
To Assemble Cake

  1. Make sure cheesecakes and white sheet cake are chilled. Place clean 8-inch pan on top of sheet cake and run a sharp paring knife around the edge. You now have a perfect 8-inch round white cake disc. Do this again so you have 2 total.
  2. Remove chilled orange cheesecake from pan and set on cake stand. (this is a thin cheesecake and when very chilled, can be easily popped out of the lined cake pan. You can also use a spring-form pan)
    Place one 8-inch white cake on top.
  3. Remove lemon cheesecake from pan and gently place on top of white cake.
  4. Place other 8-inch white cake on top of lemon cheesecake.
  5. Remove raspberry cheesecake from pan and gentle place on top of white cake.
  6. Cover cake in chilled whipped cream and serve. (You can refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.)
Photo by Amanda Rettke

Check out the I am Baker blog.  (Photo by Amanda Rettke)

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Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Cake

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.

Mary Todd Lincoln

Former First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln's White Cake

Abe was honestly crazy over Mary’s white cake.

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Recipe Created by: Charlyn Fargo
Recipe From: Illinois Farm Bureau Partners

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 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

 

Frosting:

  • 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

 

Instructions:

  • 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.