Sourdough Election Cake - The Gingered Whisk

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sourdough Election Cake

The other day a fan posted a link to a spectacular cake on our Sourdough Surprises Facebook page. The cake happened to be a recipe for a traditional cake served in the early America's during election time. And guess what, it features sourdough starter! I knew immediately that I was going to make this cake. I highly encourage you to take a look at this post by the Nourished Kitchen - it has a gorgeous tale of this cake (and our country's) history.

The cake turned out to be fun to make - two fermentation times, but rather simple. The spices in here are great - cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander and allspice - and make for a really nice "warm" cake. I substituted currants for a 50/50 mix of cranberries and cherries. I love how this cake turned out - soft and fluffy, spicy, and chock full of bits of fruit. It doesn't really need a frosting, but I am sure it would take one fabulously.  I love how you can see little bits of where the starter didn't get fully incorporated in. A mistake, sure, but it looks cool. I also feel like if you were to soak this cake in alcohol, it would be an awesome fruit cake!

Please Vote. And always be nice to others (during election time, especially).

Sourdough Election Cake (slightly adapted from the Nourished Kitchen)

4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mature, bubbly sourdough starter (100% hydration)
2 sticks butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 TBSP white wine
2 TBSP brandy
2 eggs, beaten
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
1 TBSP ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped prunes
1 cup dried currants, cranberries or cherries

In a large bowl combine the flour, buttermilk, and sourdough starter until you get a thick dough.
Form the dough into a round ball, place it in a bowl and allow it to rest, covered, for 8-12 hours.
In a medium bowl, beat the butter, sugar, molasses, wine, and brandy together until well combined. and fluffy.
Stir in the two beaten eggs and the spices.
Add the dough to this mixture and beat until the mixture resembles that of a thick cake.
Stir in the dried fruit.
Pour the cake into a greased bundt pan (you could also use a springform or dutch oven).
Cover the pan with a clean dish cloth and allow to rise until it is almost doubled in bulk (about 1.5 -2 hours)
Preheat your oven to 375F.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.


  1. I've yet to try a sourdough cake, but now I'm intrigued!

  2. I vote for this cake! Been meaning to get some starter goin again, this gives me a great reason to do it, thanks!

    1. You should get your starter going, and join us in Sourdough Surprises and make all kinds of amazing sourdough things! :)

    2. Oh, that looks like fun, I am startin that starter!

  3. How cool is history? And when history and cooking get combined? Awesome! Thanks for introducing this to my life :)

    1. I know, I love history! :) I might have to start looking into some more historical recipes to try!

  4. I love historical recipes too, from any country! I'm definitely trying this, Jenni. Looks delicious!

  5. Love the combo of history and baking here! I only recently learned about election cake. This sounds fantastic! Don't know if you're interested or not, but this cake would be perfect for the "spice" theme for BundtaMonth this month. Lovely!

    1. Thanks! :) I actually just saw that this month's theme was "spice"! I will definitely add it!

  6. This is awesome! I love heirloom type recipes like this! It's enough to make me want to pull out my starter...

  7. I've never started a cake with a sour dough starter and liked the history along with it too. Glad you linked up to the Bundt A Month. Your cake is beautiful!

  8. Your cake is absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for linking up to BundtaMonth! :)


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