During the days when George Washington was President, this cake was characteristic of those served not only for dessert, but for tea, and also with coffee. This particular recipe for Washington Cake is an adaption of one found on a recipe card from the early 70s; the card was a part of a series called McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection, and after it piqued my curiosity, I researched a little and found that this type of cake does, in fact, date back to the 1700s. Fresh butter and eggs were plentiful in those days, as well as dried fruits, so it stands to reason that the President’s cooks probably kept this cake on hand for snacks and to serve guests.
Actually a pound cake, Washington Cake, is typical of the cakes baked in the South on the plantations during the early days of America, and apparently the recipe was popular enough that it spread to the northern parts of the US too. The cake needs no frosting or other adornment- it’s just right as is. Just because it’s old fashioned, though, doesn’t mean it isn’t fabulous. In fact, this cake is so good, it is perfect to serve during the yearly President’s Day celebration at your house.
24-30 thin slices
1 1/2 cups butter, (no subs – remember, they didn’t have margarine in those days)
2 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups currants
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Grease and flour the bottom of a 10" tube pan, or spray with Baker's Joy.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add the eggs, one at a time, while beating at medium speed, stopping to scrape the sides periodically. Stir in the vanilla.
- Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a fine strainer set over the butter mixture; gently shake the mixture through.
- Add the nutmeg and mix on low speed, gradually adding the milk, just until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the currants and mix.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
- Bake for 70-80 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven to a cooling rack.
- Cool thoroughly before removing from the pan.
- To serve, slice in very thin slices.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 340 Calories from Fat 121
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 36% Protein 6% Carb. 59%
Nutrient Amount per
Total Fat 13 g
Saturated Fat 8 g
Cholesterol 86 mg
Sodium 210 mg
Total Carbohydrate 50 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 23 g
Protein 5 g
Vitamin A 11% Vitamin C 1% Calcium 0% Iron 4%