Clara Silverstein, who will be presenting heritage recipes at the Society’s program on December 1st, has released a version of Groton’s own Sara Adelia Boutwell’s 1850s-era cider cake, a dessert fit for a 19th Century governor! This updated recipe was originally published on Clara’s Heritage Recipe Box website.
Sara Adelia Boutwell’s Cider Cake (1850s)
Makes 16 (2 inch square) pieces
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup molasses
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup sour milk or buttermilk (see note)
Powdered sugar, for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-by-8-inch pan.
- Sift together the flour, ginger and baking soda and place in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the cider, molasses, melted butter and buttermilk.
- Slowly add the cider mixture to the flour mixture, stirring gently, just to combine the ingredients (do not mix too much).
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 18 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool before slicing and serving. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar if desired.
Note: The original recipe called for sweet milk, but I wanted a more acidic ingredient to help the baking soda work effectively. To make your own sour milk, add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of milk, stir, and let it sit until bubbles form on top, about 5 minutes.