Traditional Election Cake

Traditional Election Cake

Today when we vote we might get a little sticker that says “I voted” and voters in mail ballot states don’t even get that! There was a time in America’s past when people celebrated elections by getting a yummy piece of election cake once they had done their civic duty. But, this delicious cake goes back to the days before the Revolutionary War!


  • For the cake
  • 2 /3 cup warm water
  • 1 packet dry activated yeast
  • 1 pinch granulated sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace (can substitute allspice)
  • 2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup other dried fruit (cherries, figs, or blueberries are all ideal)
  • For the glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brandy or whisky (or use 1/2 tablespoon rum extract mixed with 1/2 tablespoon water)
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl add yeast to warm water, sprinkling granulated sugar on top. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Add to that powdered sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla and mix well. Add eggs and mix until only just combined.
  4. In a separate bowl flour combine sugar, dry spices, baking powder.
  5. Add one cup of flour mixture to the yeast mixture. Add butter and combine until incorporated.
  6. Add flour mixture to yeast and butter mixture, reserving one tablespoon of flour for the next step.
  7. Toss dried fruit with tablespoon of flour mixture until coated. Fold fruit into batter.
  8. Pour batter into bundt pan. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 1 1/2 hours to rise.
  9. Preheat oven to 350˚ and bake for 50-60 minutes or until knife stuck in center comes out clean.
  10. Allow cake to cool before inverting from pan.
  11. To make the icing combine all glaze ingredients and mix until smooth. Drizzle over completely cooled cake.