19th century Newport Lady Cakes

19th century Newport Lady Cakes_page

Joyce White who runs A Taste of History with Joyce White writes: This recipe is one in a collection of 19th c. recipes I found at the Maryland Historical Society.  It is a light and moist cake that is lightly scented with nutmeg. Perfect with your favorite cup of tea!

Newport Lady Cake

Sift a pound of flour, mix with it, a teaspoonful & a half of cream of tartar. Then take a light pound of powdered sugar, half a pound of butter creamed, six eggs beaten separately, a tea cup full of milk & cream, half a nutmeg, half a teaspoonful of soda.  Mix well together, & bake slowly for half an hour.

Anna Maria Morris Manuscript, Special Collections, MD Historical Society Library, 1824

Transcription by Joyce White

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp ground nutmeg
2 sticks butter, softened
1 pound of powdered sugar (3¾ cups)
6 eggs, no larger than large
½ cup whole milk


[1] Preheat oven to 375° F.

[2] Grease a tube or Bundt pan and set on a baking sheet.

[3] Sift together the flour, baking powder, and nutmeg.

[4] In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and powdered sugar.  Then, add the eggs, beating after each addition.

[5] Then, add the dry ingredients and the milk, alternately.  If the batter is excessively dense, add a bit more milk.

[6] Pour into the prepared baking pan.

[7] Bake 45-60 minutes, or until cake is golden and springs back to the touch.

[8] Garnish with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, and/or crystallized mint or flowers.