Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day Cake

Fresh out of the oven and before glazing.
YUM!  Ready to eat.
     In honor of Election Day 2010 I dug out a recipe I had cut out of a magazine years ago.  Apparently, this is a traditional cake recipe that was made every election day for decades after the Revolution. It is leavened with yeast and has a slow raising time.. 5-7 hours and so was usually mixed up the night before.  Yeast was not all that reliable back then, and many a housewife lay awake worrying that her cake would not raise correctly.  It was a matter of pride to serve up a beautiful Election Day Cake.  I had never made a cake with yeast before so I was excited to try it.  I did make a few changes to the original recipe.  I'm not a huge fan of raisins so I used half raisins and half dried cranberries for the fruit.  I used orange juice instead of brandy and I baked it in my mini bundt pan so I could share it with some friends.  (Bill and I certainly do not need a big bundt cake for just the two of us!)   And, it is just as well that I planned to give most of it away.  This is one delicious cake!  Yep, I think we have just found (or is that rediscovered?) a new tradition!  Really you need to try this one- it is so good. I can see lots of possibilities with this recipe.. Next time I think I will see what cranberry juice will taste like..and for sure some pecans.
1 envelope dry yeast
1 T sugar
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brandy (can sub orange juice or cranberry juice)
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp mace
1/2 cup flour, for raisins

1 cup powdered sugar
2 T milk
 1 tsp vanilla

1) Dissolve yeast and 1 T sugar in warm milk.  Stir in 1/2 cup flour.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in warm place until sponge becomes bubbly, about 2-3 hours.

2) Pour brandy or juice over raisins in a small bowl and set aside to soak for 2-3 hours.

3) When ready to prepare batter, cream butter and 1 cup sugar together in a large bowl.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat the mixture until light and fluffy.

4) Drain brandy or juice off raisins.  Set raisins aside.

5) Combine 1 cup flour with spices and stir into butter mixture alternately with brandy or juice.  Add yeast mixture and beat thoroughly.  Mix raisins with 1/2 cup flour and stir into batter.

6) Pour batter into a well-buttered tube pan or loaf pan and let dough rise until nearly doubled in bulk.  This dough rises slowly and should sit in a warm place for 5-6 hours or overnight.

7) Bake at  350 for 50-60 minutes.  Cool slightly before removing cake from pan to cool on wire rack.  Spread cooled cake with glaze.

GLAZE:  Mix  powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until well combined and spread on cake.


  1. Yummy looking cakes!! Thanks for sharing here and on HBin5. Mary

  2. Wow, really a nice cake! Haven't tried using mace, wonder what it tastes like.

    Missed seeing you on the HB5 list, wondered where you were! Glad to see you back.


  3. This cake looks and sounds wonderful. I'm always looking out for recipes with mace so I can use mine. I'll have to get some mini pans first so I can give away/share. Thank you for the recipe!!

  4. Love the mini bundts! Several years ago, I was going to buy some mini bundt pans and I didn't. Been thinking about them ever since!

    Such an interesting recipe and so glad you decided to try it out! Love the idea of substituting cranberry juice!