PRIMARY SEASON SPECIAL: THE HISTORY OF ELECTION CAKES!

April 17, 2016

The New York Primary is this week. So we thought it would be the perfect time to revisit our cupcake historian’s thoughts on the history of ELECTION CAKES. What are ELECTION CAKES you ask? Simply the most politically significant dessert we can think of.

It turns out there was a time in American history when election days were days of CELEBRATION—when a community came together to embrace that unalienable right. The earliest election cakes were enormous affairs, commissioned by local governments, and made to feed the entire voting body.

The first homemade election cakes were more like spice cakes, followed by a sourdough version. These days, what’s commonly referred to as an election cake is more of a fruitcake in a Bundt-cake shape complete with nutmeg, raisins and clove. This version is also called a HARTFORD ELECTION CAKE, which dates all the way back to 1771. (Apparently, back in 18th Century Hartford, Connecticut, if a man voted a straight party ticket, he was given some election cake.)

Many recipes for the Hartford Election Cake can be found on line. But we figure ANY CAKE made in the right spirit makes a good election cake. And we certainly love the idea of the entire community coming together over VOTING AND DESSERT!

So we offer this RED, WHITE AND BLUE CUPCAKE CAKE as a commemoration of all the primaries sweeping our nation, and with hopes for a good outcome (whatever your persuasion).

Here’s the All-American recipe:

Start with the base of the cake. Use standard sized cupcakes. Cover 3/4s of them in vanilla frosting. Cover 1/4 of them in blue-tinted frosting. Arrange them into a flag-shaped rectangle.

Then add mini-cupcakes (covered in red-tinted frosting) to the top of the white cupcakes to make the stripes. And on top of those mini-cupcakes, we placed Red Hots, Hot Tamales, swedish fish, red Twizzler pieces and red jelly beans. RED is one of the most popular candy colors, so we’re sure you’ll come up with something all your own.

The same goes for the white candies that make up the stars. We used white Good & Plentys, Sixlets, white M&Ms and Baby Tears. We even used Chiclets (for a little extra chewiness). So have fun. And enjoy your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of cupcakes!!

Happy Voting,

Alan and Karen

 

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