Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Lincoln's Birthday

I have this tradition.  Every year on (or near) the 12th of February I make some cupcakes.  Nothing fancy or crazy or meant to look like some kind of food but is actually cake.  Just simple chocolate cupcakes.  No, it is not to celebrate V-day or S.A.D. (as some of you may prefer).  No, these cupcakes are meant to celebrate Abraham Lincoln's birthday.  (Do you know the date of his birthday?  Hint: I just gave you the first half.  Don't wikipedia Lincoln's Birthday - it has the wrong date.  So sad.) (Someone has since changed it -  so now it's correct).

If you know me at all, you know that I am a huge Lincoln fan.  Different people have different theories about how it started - but personally, I can't remember not liking Lincoln.  And of course with that comes a great deal of teasing.  I don't know why - it's not like I made the teasing easy or anything.

This is me in the 5th grade.  We had to read a biography about someone and do a presentation in class.
We were required to dress up - I didn't just decide to do that on my own.
I still have that poster.  It's now framed with a copy of the Gettysburg Address.  The frame used to hang in my room, but now it's off in the corner somewhere.  But I still have it.

A few years ago was the bicentennial celebration of Lincoln's birth.  Of course I had to have a party, and when I have a party, there is usually a cake.

My friend Sean drew the picture for me.
I used rice paper to put the design on the cake.
This was pretty early on in my cake decorating days - I think it's pretty good for my skill level at the time.  Maybe for the 300th anniversary of his birth I'll make a 3d stand up cake model of the Lincoln Memorial.  Perhaps like this one.  I would love to know if someone proposed using this cake.  Because I highly approve.  Highly.

This couple had a Lincoln memorial wedding cake!  (Scroll down to the last picture)

I found this one on twitter - so I don't know who made it.  I want this for my birthday.

Just wow.
 And if I could make 3d cakes like this - I would open my own bakery and forget the whole lawyer thing.

Made by Roland A. Winbeckler, owner of

Apparently he is a 2 time gold medalist at the World Culinary Olympics in 1971.  Olympics for food?  Wow, who knew?

I have a few books full of Lincoln quotes and I was going to see if he said anything memorable about cake.  Then I realized that they are currently packed away into boxes on the patio like most of my books.  I do know that Mary Lincoln often made a white cake for the president.  The legend goes that Lincoln always said, "Mary's White Cake is the best I have ever eaten."  Many historians say it was never served with frosting.

Mary didn't have the advantage
of Wilton products and Michaels classes.
This is the first time that I have celebrated Lincoln's birthday as an attorney myself.  I made the cupcakes early this year because I was going to bring them to my small group.  By the time I found out we weren't having small group this week, I had already made the cupcakes, so my family lucked out.

This year I introduced my niece to the tradition - she helped me make the cupcakes.

 She helped me mix the batter and put it in the cupcake tins.

Aunt Joy, take a picture of me with the cupcakes!
She also "helped" with frosting the cupcakes.  And of course showing them off when they were finished.

 Then we loaded them into the cupcake carrier to take them to her house for dessert!

 Peter was very excited about the cupcakes.

Pretending to steal a cupcake.
I accidentally used dark chocolate cocoa to make the frosting, and it actually turned out really really good.  I may have to continue that in the future.

So next year, if you find me around the 12th of February, I may just have a cupcake for you.  If you can remember whose birthday it is.

Happy 203rd Birthday Lincoln!

. . . . . . . . .

Recipe for Mary Lincoln's White Cake:

1 cup butter                               1 tsp vanilla
2 cups sugar                              1 tsp almond extract
3 cups flour                               1 cup chopped blanched almonds
2 tsp baking powder                  6 egg whites
1 cup milk                                 1/4 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Sift together flour and baking powder; remove 2 tablespoons and set aside.  Add sifted ingredients, alternating with milk, to creamed mixture.  Stir in vanilla and almond extracts.  Combine almonds with reserved flour and add to batter.

Beat egg white until stiff; add in salt.  Fold into batter.  Pour into greased and floured bundt pan (Or use baking release or Pam spray).  Bake at 375 degrees until a cake tester comes out clean, about 55 minutes.  Cool 5 to 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool on rack.

(When I made this cake I didn't sift the flour.  Nor did I use a cake tester.  I also sprinkled powdered sugar on top and garnished with some raspberries and blackberries.)


wolfie said...

Why don't you just edit the Wikipedia page for Lincoln and fix the date? That's the whole point of wikipedia in the first place

The Joys of Caking said...

Yeah, I probably should.