Photo -- See Caption Below

Cake Stand
c 1850

Mary Lincoln did not know much about cooking when she was first married, having grown up in a house with slaves who cooked and cleaned.  She bought a cookbook and learned quickly.  Mr. Lincoln claimed that the best thing he ever ate was her white cake with almonds that she frequently served on this stand.

Glass. H 20.3, Dia28.5 cm
Lincoln Home National Historic Site, LIHO 255

Mary Todd Lincoln's White Cake

1 cup blanched and chopped almonds
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
6 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
confectionary sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream butter and sugar. Sift flour and baking powder 3 times. Add to creamed butter and sugar, alternating with milk. Stir in almonds and beat well.
  • Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Stir in vanilla extract.
  • Pour into greased and floured Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Turn out on a wire rack and cool. When cool, sift confectionary sugar over top.