Martha's Great Cake

Here's Martha Washington's “Great Cake” recipe in the exact words in which it was written for celebrating what she called “a true Virginia Christmas” at Mount Vernon. 

Be forewarned that you start with 40 eggs!!! If you'd like a more manageable recipe, there's a nice adaptation on the Mount Vernon Web site here.


For ingredients, please see the instructions.


Take 40 eggs and divide the whites from the yolks and beat them to a froth, start to work four pounds of butter to cream and put the whites of eggs to it a spoon full at a time till it is well worked. Then put four pounds of sugar finely powdered to it in the same way, then put in the yolks of eggs, and five pounds of flower, and five pounds of fruit. Two hours will bake it. Add to it half an ounce of mace, one nutmeg, half a pint of wine, and some French brandy.

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