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Sweet Baked Goods White Cake (by Mary Todd Lincoln)

Mary Todd's Vanilla Almond Cake

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
3 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
1 cup blanched almonds
6 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla​

Grease and flour a pan. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside. In a separate medium bowl, sift together flour and baking powder three times. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in the almonds. Stir in the vanilla, then fold beaten egg whites into the batter until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake about 1 hour. Let cake cool in pan about 15 minutes, then remove and let cool another hour before dusting with confectioners’ sugar.​

This cake was the invention of Monsieur Giron, a Lexington, Kentucky caterer, who created it in honor of the visit of his fellow Frenchman, Lafayette to that city in 1825. The Todd family loved the dessert so much, that they asked Giron for the recipe, and once the baker turned the recipe to the over, the family cherished it, ever after. It should be noted that the baking powder must have been added as an update to the recipe by a family member. There are reports that President Abraham Lincoln made the claim that this was the best cake he ever ate...