June 4, 2014

Historical Food Fortnightly-Literary Foods: Anne of Green Gables Nut Cake

I am excited to be taking part in the Historical Food Fortnightly! If you haven't heard about it, go over and check it out.

The Challenge: "Literary Foods June 1 - June 14 "Food is described in great detail in much of the literature of the past. Make a dish that has been mentioned in a work of literature, based on historical documentation about that food item."

For this challenge, I decided to make the nut cake with pink icing and walnuts from Anne of Avonlea. It was a hard decision, I was considering making something from Les Miserables or Wuthering Heights as they were both books where food played a major role in the plot.  But I Love the Anne of Green Gables series and wanted to make this cake a few years back but hadn't gotten around to it.

In Anne of Avonlea, Anne accidentally sells the wrong cow for  Mr. Harrison's and offers him a cake she baked to apologize.

"Poor Anne got her hat and her twenty dollars and was passing out when she happened to glance through the open pantry door. On the table reposed a nut cake which she had baked that morning. . .a particularly toothsome concoction iced with pink icing and adorned with walnuts. Anne had intended it for Friday evening, when the youth of Avonlea were to meet at Green Gables to organize the Improvement Society. But what were they compared to the justly offended Mr. Harrison? Anne thought that cake ought to soften the heart of any man, especially one who had to do his own cooking, and she promptly popped it into a box. She would take it to Mr. Harrison as a peace offering."

The Recipe:

The Date/Year and Region: 1902, Northeast US

How Did You Make It: 


- 1/2 Cup Butter
- 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
- 3/4 Cup Milk
- 2 Cups Sifted Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder (Rollings Reliable Recommended)
- 4 Egg Whites, beaten stiff
- 1 Cup Hickory Nuts, ground 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the Baking Powder and the Flour together in a medium sized mixing bowl, add the ground nuts. In a separate bowl, cream the Butter into the Sugar add the Milk. When thoroughly mixed add the Butter mixture into the Flour mixture and add the Egg Whites. Grease and Flour 2 9 inch loaf pans. Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.

For the glaze: Mix 1 1/2 Cups of Powdered Sugar with a Tablespoon of Vanilla and enough hot Water to form a stiff paste. Spread on the cake once cooled.

Time to Complete: 1 1/2 Hours with baking time included.

Total Cost:  I already had flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, food coloring, and eggs on hand. I had to buy the walnuts, butter and powdered sugar, which came to about $8.00.

How Successful Was It?: It looked good and tasted better than I thought it would. The cake is dense but the sugar frosting made it very tasty. "Toothsome" was the word for this.

How Accurate Is It?: I did not use hickory nuts as they are impossible to find in stores and the trees here don't have nuts yet. I substituted walnuts instead.  

I had a lot of fun making this and can't wait to see what everyone else is making.  


  1. I just read that chapter of Anne of Avonlea last night! Crazy town!

  2. It's beautiful! I love all the "Anne" books so this was a treat.

    1. I love them too! It was delicious. I might try and make this in a loaf pan.

  3. This cake was awesome! I'm sorry I didn't get to help you bake it. It's always a lot of fun cooking with you. You did an excellent job with this cake. I can't wait to taste the next challenge. :)

  4. Mmm, that cake looks good! I'll have to try it! :)


  5. But since you used walnuts, it's actually even more like Anne's cake! It looks great.


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