Washington Cake, Madison Cake, Jackson Jumbles, Tyler Pudding

Many first families have passed down hand written recipes while others have had their recipes submitted in books of printed compilations, such as Julia Grant in Our Own Cook Book. The Washingtons owned an edition by Glasse, the Adams had Housekeeper’s Pocket book, and Mrs. Lincoln bought Leslie’s Directions.

Numerous recipes have been named to honor the Presidents including Washington Cake, Washington Pie, Madison Cake, Tyler Pudding, and Jackson Jumbles. Martha Washington Cake and even a Martha Washington ‘s Crab Soup [Nesbitt] celebrate the first First Lady.

Stir together a pound of butter and a pound of sugar; and sift into another pan a pound of flour. Beat six eggs very light, and stir them into the butter and sugar, alternately with the flour and a pint of rich milk or cream; if the milk is sour it will be no disadvantage. Add a glass of wine, a glass of brandy, a powdered nutmeg, and a table-spoonful of powdered cinnamon. Lastly, stir in a small tea-spoonful of pearl-ash, or sal-aratus, that has been melted in a little vinegar; take care not to put in too much pearl-ash, lest it give the cake an unpleasant taste. Stir the whole very hard; put it into a buttered tin pan, (or into little tins,) and bake it in a brisk oven. Wrapped in a thick cloth, this cake will keep soft for a week.
Leslie, Eliza. Directions for Cookery... Philadelphia: Carey & Hart, 1840

One pound of sugar, one of flour, half pound butter, four eggs, one pound of raisins, one of currants, one gill of brandy, tea cup of cream, spice to your taste.
Cook Not Mad. Watertown, NY: Knowlton & Rice, 1831

Pick clean two pounds of sultana raisins, (those that have no seeds,) and cut them in half. If you cannot procure the sultana, use the bloom or muscatel raisins, removing all the seeds. When the raisins are cut in two, dredge them thickly on all sides with flour, to prevent their sinking or clodding in the cake while baking. Sift into a pan a pound and three quarters (not more) of flour. Cut up a pound of fresh butter into a deep pan. Mix with it a pound of white lump-sugar finely powdered; and stir them together till they become a thick, white, cream. Have ready a teaspoonful of powdered nutmeg, and a table-spoonful of powdered cinnamon, and mix these spices, gradually, with the butter and sugar. Beat fourteen eggs (not fewer) till very light and thick. Then stir them, gradually, into the beaten butter and sugar, alternately with the flour and a pint of rich milk, (sour milk will be best.) Add at the last a very small tea-spoonful of pearlash, or of bi-carbonate of soda, dissolved in a large wine-glass of brandy. Give the whole a hard stirring, and then put it immediately into a deep circular tin pan, the sides and bottom of which have been first well greased with fresh butter. Set it directly into a well-heated oven, and let it bake from five to six hours, according to its size. It requires long and steady baking. When cool, cover it (top and sides) with a thick icing, made in the usual way of beaten white of egg and sugar, and flavoured with rose-water or lemon.
If the above directions are closely followed this will be found a very fine cake, and it will keep soft and fresh a week if the air is carefully excluded from it.
It will be still better, if in addition to the two pounds of raisins, you mix in two pounds of Zante currants, picked, washed, dried before the fire, and then well floured. Half a pound of citron cut into slips and floured, may also be added.
Leslie, Eliza. The Lady's Receipt Book. Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1847

Three tea-cups of sugar, one of butter, five of flour, one tea-spoonful of salæratus in a cup of sour cream and two eggs; bake in a quick oven; season them with the peel of a fresh lemon grated, and half a wine-glass of brandy.
Lea, Elizabeth Ellicott. Domestic Cookery. Baltimore: Cushings and Bailey, 1869

Four eggs, 3 coffee cups of sugar, 1 teacup of butter, 1 teacup of cream. Season with lemon and bake in a paste.
Frazer, Mary Harris. Kentucky Receipt Book. Louisville: Bradley & Gilbert Company, c1903

White House kitchen history

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