benzie area women’s history project
See a list of programs and participants since 1983.
We hope those of you who were able to attend on April 11 enjoyed Spies in Petticoats, a program featuring stories of the unusual women who worked on both sides as spies during the Civil War. The refreshments included some wonderful gingerbread as well as a cake made from a recipe by Mary Todd Lincoln. Since there were some requests, here is the recipe we used.
Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.
With an electric beater or stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light yellow in color and fluffy.
Sift flour and baking powder three times. Fold flour mix into creamed butter and sugar, alternating with milk, until well blended. Stir in almonds and beat well.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to stiff, firm peaks. (Save egg yolks for another use) Fold egg whites gently into batter. Add vanilla extract.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for one hour, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Cool for at least 20 minutes before inverting, then allow to completely cool before serving. Sift powdered sugar on top.
Photo: Pauline Cushman was an American actress and a spy for the Union Army during the American Civil War. Here she poses in a theater costume after the war. (Charles DeForest Fredricks, Albumen silver print, circa 1866, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)
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The Benzie Area Women's History Project is a committee affiliated with the Benzie Area Historical Society.