Martha Washington’s Great Cake


Martha Washington was the wife of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Her recipe for “Great Cake” would probably be one of the most patriotic and a big hit at any July 4th BBQ. Thanks to George Washington’s Mount Vernon website, we can share this super delicious cake recipe with you.

Take 40 eggs and divide the whites from the yolks and beat them to a froth. Then work 4 pounds of butter to a cream and put the whites of eggs to it a Spoon full at a time till it is well work’d. Then put 4 pounds of sugar finely powdered to it in the same manner then put in the Yolks of eggs and 5 pounds of flour and 5 pounds of fruit. 2 hours will bake it. Add to it half an ounce of mace and nutmeg half a pint of wine and some fresh brandy.

If you don’t think your friends and family can handle enough cake for more than 100 people, here is the modern adaptation of recipe:

Use 10 eggs, 1 pound of butter (usually 4 sticks), 1 pound of sugar (about 2 1/4 cups), 1 1/4 pounds of flour (2.5 cups), and about 1 1/4 pounds of fruit. According to the staff at Mt. Vernon they used raisins, currants and apples. As for the wine, they used cream sherry. The layers were baked in a 350 degree oven for 1.5 hours. Should be iced with a very stiff egg-white based icing, flavored with rosewater or orange-flower water.


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