Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cider Cake from The Kentucky Housewife

It's been such an incredibly busy and fulfilling summer, so I am far beyond in posting.  Let's swing back into action with a cider cake!

Cider cake just sounds so very autumnal.  Since the recipe calls for sweet cider, there does seem to be a reason for that feeling.

I've had mixed luck with various cider cake recipes.  While they taste nice, the resulting cake is heavy and dense.  Period cakes are much denser than our modern taste expects, but my results were heavier than normal.

Today's version comes from The Kentucky Housewife of 1839

The Recipe

What I Did

I decided to apply what I have learned about period cake baking technique to this recipe and beat the egg whites and yolks separately, rather than adding the eggs in whole, as I usually would.

I have a kitchen scale (highly recommend one!), so I weighed out my sugar.

Separate the whites from the yolks of 6 eggs.  Beat the egg whites until stiff.  

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until thick and lemony

In yet another bowl, cream the butter, add the sugar and continue creaming.  Add the egg yolks, cider, and 1 c of flour. Grate in 2 whole nutmegs.  Mix well.      Add "enough flour to make a thick batter."  I added flour a half cup at a time and wound up with a grand total of 3 1/2 c (including that first cup of flour).  The batter is a bit thick, but we are going to fold the egg whites into it, which will lighten it.

Gently fold in the egg whites until just incorporated.  The beaten eggs are the only form of leavening in this cake, so this is an important step!   Turn into a well greased pan (my pan of chose is a bundt pan)

Bake in a 350 degree F oven until done - for me this was 50 minutes.  Test the cake's doneness with a toothpick or cake tester.  As you can see, it looks pale on top., but the sides are clearly golden brown.

Remove from oven, let cool.  Remove from pan.  There is a bit of doming on the top of the cake, so it did rise a bit!


You may ice the cake if you wish.  Previous cakes have taught me that icing in this period is more akin to a glaze and is often fruit juice based.    In this case, cider seemed appropriate.  The sugar is granulated rather than powdered, so there is a grit and crunch to the icing.

1/4 c of cider
1/2 c of sugar

Mix well with a spoon,  Carefully spoon over the cake.

My Version of the Recipe

6 oz of butter
8 oz granulated sugar
2 nutmegs, grated
6 eggs, separated
2 c of sweet cider
3 1/2 c flour

Beat the egg whites until stiff.  In a separate bowl, beat the eggs yolks until thick and lemony.  Set aside.

In a larger bowl, cream the butter, add the sugar and cream together.  Add egg yolks and 1 c flour, Beat.  Add 2 c cider; grate the nutmegs into the mixing bowl.  Mix together.  Add the rest of the flour (2 1/2 c) and beat.  Gently fold in the beaten egg whites.

Turn into a well-greased bundt pan.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until done (approximately 50 min).  Test doneness with a cake tester.

Remove from oven, let cool in pan.  Turn out ont a rack.  Place on a plate.  Ice if desired.

 1/4 c cider
1/2 c granulated sugar

Mix together.  Spoon carefully over cake.

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