Enfield Shaker Raised Cake Recipe

SISTER MARTHA WETHERELL, ENFIELD SHAKER VILLAGE, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Enfield Shaker Raised Cake
Enfield Shaker Raised Cake

ORIGINAL RECIPE

Three cups new milk, one cake yeast, two cups sugar, one cup butter, ten cups flour. Let rise overnight, add two cups sugar, two-thirds cup butter, two eggs, two cups raisins, season with nutmeg. Let it rise until light. Put in pans, raise again very light. Bake slowly 1 hour.

Enfield Shaker Raised Cake Recipe

KITCHEN-TESTED BY NAN MUNSEY, ENFIELD SHAKER MUSEUM

UPDATED RECIPE

First Day Ingredients
1 1/2 cups (368 grams) milk
1 1/8 teaspoon yeast
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) butter
5 cups (600 grams) flour

 

In a large bowl, combine slightly warmed milk and yeast.

Beat in sugar, salt, and softened butter.

Mix in flour.

Cover and let rise overnight.

Next Morning Ingredients
1 egg
1/3 cup (76 grams) melted butter
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

The next morning, beat the egg in a small bowl and add to the dough.

Add the butter, sugar, raisins, grated nutmeg, and baking powder, stirring until all ingredients are combined.

Cover and let rise for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Lightly grease you choice of pans: 2 round 9-inch cake pans, 2 load pans, or a combination.

Put one half the dough into each pan, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Bake the round pans for 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center, comes out clean.

If baking the cake in loaf pans, bake for 25 minutes at 350° Fahrenheit, then reduce the temperature after 35 minutes to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (to keep the top from browning too much).

 

Kitchen-Tester’s Note: The original recipe will make four round 9-inch pans of cake. The updated recipe has been reduced to half of that as we are not feeding a community as large as Sister Martha’s. The only difference in ingredient was the addition of salt for flavor and baking baking powder for a dependable rise. Tasters were reminded of Irish Soda Bread or lemon bread.

This recipe first appeared in Shaker Recipes for Cooks and Homemakers, by William Lassiter (New York: Greenwich Book Publishers, 1959, p. 125) and is attributed to Sister Martha Wetherhill. Shaker Recipes for Cooks and Homemakers was reprinted by Bonanza Books in 1978 under the title Shaker Recipes and Formulas for Cooks and Homemakers. Both editions are out of print, but are available at reasonable cost at www.abebooks.com or www.eBay.com.

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