New Hampshire: Let Them Eat Cake

The following ancient cake recipes were gleaned from old New Hampshire newspapers:

BLACK CAKE: Three pounds of butter and three pounds of sugar beat to a cream, three glasses of brandy and two of rose water, twenty-eight eggs and three pounds of flour added by degrees together, six pounds of currants, six pounds of seeded raisins, one ounce of cinnamon, one ounce of nutmeg, three quarters of an ounce of cloves, half an ounce of mace, one pound of lemon. Two large loaves, baked five hours. [New-Hampshire Patriot, Concord NH; 2 August 1830, Vol 2, Issue 5]

TAYLOR CAKE.–A friend who has tested the following recipe, assures us that the cake is capital, and that is possesses the rare quality of keeping good TEN MONTHS. So that if made now, as “Ratification’ cake, it will be fresh for ‘Election’ cake in November, and still good for “Inauguration’ cake in March next.
RECIPE.–Seven eggs, two pounds sugar; one and a half pounds butter; seven cups flour; one and a half pounds currants or chopped raisins; three nutmegs; a tablespoonful of cinnamon; a pint of cider; a teaspoonful of saleratus [Boston Traveler] [Farmer’s Cabinet, Amherst NH; 6 July 1848; Vol 48, Issue 47]

SAM’S TEA CAKE.–Take a quarter of a pound of salt pork chopped fine; pour upon it half a pint of boiling water; add one tea-cupful of molasses, one do. of sugar, 5 do. of flour, half pound of chopped raisins, two eggs, one tea-spoonful of saleratus, and spice to the taste. It is improved much by adding a cup of currants. [Farmer’s Cabinet; Amherst NH; 24 May 1855; Volume 53, Issue 42]

CHEAP CAKE.–Take 12 oz of sweet, fat, salt pork, cut it very fine, and chop until it has the appearance of lard (it cannot be chopped too much), put it into a pint cup and pour on boiling water until the cup is full. When cool enough to mix with the hand, add 2 cups of sugar, 1 of molasses, 1 tablespoonful of saleratus of soda dissolved in a little water, spice (I prefer cinnamon and nutmeg), 1-2 pound raisins, same of currants–very good without fruit–and flour sufficient to make it of the consistence of ordinary stirred cake. By adding a little wine it will keep good three months. [Farmer’s Cabinet, Amherst NH; 30 June 1864; Volume 62, Issue 49]

BOSTON FRUIT CAKE.–One cup of molasses, eight eggs, five cups of sugar, two and a half cups of butter, two of milk, one tablespoonful of saleratus, two dessert spoonfulls of cream tartar, one and a half pound of currants, one and a half pounds raisins. Bake one hour. [Farmer’s Cabinet, Amherst NH; 7 September 1865; Volume 64, Issue 7]


*Cake Recipes From My Friends*
(if you have one on your blog to add, send me the link!)

My special thanks to Thomas MacEntee who provided this link to a collection of his mother’s recipes at “And I Helped!

-Letters from a Hill Farm, Great Cake Recipes


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