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happy presidents day



in honor of the presidents we've spent this three-day weekend completing all the tiny jobs around the apartment that have been neglected for the past two years. i think we can almost officially say our renovation is complete. i've also been eating. roughly estimating, i'd say 60% of my diet this week has been of "sugar and oils; consume sparingly" variety. a cheesecake left over from valentine's day, chocolate chips hanging around as rewards for ruth's continued potty training (no diaper all day sunday, including church!), chocolate peanut butter by the spoonful, and as of last night; mary todd lincoln's white cake.

the recipe is from chip's mother, who used to make this cake for her kids growing up. i love tradition and it turns out i love the cake. it tastes old fashioned in the best way possible. a nice subtle flavor thanks to the almonds and a really nice consistency. i used martha stewart's seven minute frosting, but whipped cream would also be pretty and delicious.

i skipped mixing chopped candied pineapple and cherries into the frosting, which i almost regret- it would have been so old-fashioney then. but, i didn't have any and thought the plain white frosting would make a better home for my log cabin addition. we were really close to sticking pennies all over the cake but the idea of that dirty money all over was just too gross.

we're now off to take advantage of the few daylight hours we have left. eve's begging for the museum, chip's pushing the aquarium and ruth just wants more treats. i kind of feel like a nap, but i think that is all the sugar talking. or the baby. . . tough to say at this point.


Mary Todd Lincoln's White Cake

1c butter, softened
2c sugar
     -cream together
1c milk
     -add alternately with stirred together mixture of:
3c flour, sifted
3tsp baking powder
     -add and mix well:
1c finely chopped blanched almonds
     -fold in:
6 egg white, beaten stiff
1tsp vanilla

-bake 60 minutes in well greased and floured 9x13 pan (don't over bake), cut in half lengthwise and layer. frost with any white boiled frosting or whipped cream, optionally adding 1/2c chopped candied pineapple and cherries. i'm now thinking that adding the pineapple/cherries to the frosting for the layer between the cakes would be perfect. still white and smooth but a little more exciting and appropriate for something with mary todd lincoln's name attached to it.

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Reader Comments (11)

I love traditions! I love reading your and Jeanie's blogs and grabbing ideas on how to incorporate the porter traditions in too! Happy Presidents Day! Hope you had fun with Chip and the girls...

February 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

i am so proud of you for having a president's day tradition...that would be really hard to come up with.

February 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpam

poor snarly-toothed hippo about to devour Lincoln's log cabin. didn't even get a mention.

February 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChip

What fun! That cake sounds great!! I'm glad that you had a fun day. We strayed from the presidents inspired theme and went to Chuck E. Cheese for a combo. Annie/Lizzie B-day. ( Now that we are all finally over the flu, Ariann really wanted her birthday dinner out and Lizzie's birthday is next week so we went two for one.) Maybe we'll do better next year with honoring the Pres. this cake will definately help. Thanks for your fun posts.

February 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeatherann

What a fun tradition. That recipe sounds kind of tricky to me. I'd need a lesson. You amaze me more every day!

February 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusanna

'Love the "log cabin" .... clever girl!

February 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMom

Chip- I love the hippo, made me laugh!

I always aspire to celebrate all the holidays in some way or another, but usually fall way short. So good work on hitting Presidents day! I will definitely give the cake a try. Sounds sooo good.

February 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjeanie

I love this, I was at a loss for what to possibly do on this holiday...i don't know why but this reminded me of the seinfeld episode where elaine eats the slice of 17th century cake in her bosses fridge. i love the thought of incorporating ancient, or just vintage recipes into our lives. thanks for yet another great post!

February 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatria

Another way to deal with the candied pineapple and cherries is to make flowers around the base and on top of the cake. The red cherries are the center. Candied pineapple, if cut on the bias in little strips, makes good petals when placed around the center. Or use green cherries for the petals. This is especially good at Christmas time, when this white cake is also appropriate.
And, April's fool is coming up and Eve is about ready for that day's treat!

February 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChip's mom

there is a log cabin on top of that cake! awesome. i've had a problem since christmas--i'm eating tons and tons of sugar. i keep making cookies. so i know how it goes.

March 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjenny

oh rad. I totally want to start this tradition! But what size pan do you bake it in? I adore 7 minute frosting, too. It's great on hot chocolate.

February 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermargo

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