Well before our country gained its independence, colonial housewives were making special cakes to celebrate the democratic ideals of their new homeland. This recipe has been adapted for modern kitchens.
Cake and Icing
2 packages active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons each)
1 1/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°F)
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
4 1/2 cups sifted flour, divided
3/4 cup margarine or butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup currants
1/4 cup chopped citron (candied)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of salt
In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast on the warm water; stir to dissolve. Add 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 1/2 cups flour and beat well by hand, or for 2 minutes with an electric mixer at medium speed. Cover and let rise in a warm place until bubbly, about 30 minutes. In a separate bowl, cream the margarine (or butter) and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Set aside. Sift the remaining 3 cups of flour with the salt, cinnamon, cloves, mace, and nutmeg. When the yeast mixture is bubbly, add the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar and beat well. Combine with the yeast mixture. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, beating with a spoon after each addition. Beat until smooth.
Stir in the raisins, currants, citron, and nuts. Pour into a well-greased and -floured 10-inch tube pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Bake at 375°F for about 1 hour. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn onto a rack to finish cooling. While slightly warm, spread with confectioners’ sugar icing.
In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar with enough milk to make a mixture of spreading consistency. Add the vanilla and salt and stir until smooth.