Albany Cake

Louisa Macculloch’s (1785-1863) recipes provide a glimpse into the tastes of a 19th-century New Jersey family as well as their access to ingredients that range from the typical to the unusual. Typical ingredients include flour, egg, milk, sugar, spices, and butter which were combined in a variety of ways and quantities. Spices include cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, and caraway seeds. Unusual ingredients in the Macculloch cookbook include lemons, oranges, pecans, coconut, raisins, and rosewater.

Among the many dessert recipes is one for Albany Cake, which was a popular 19th-century dessert. Although the name stayed the same, recipes for Albany cakes varied from puddings to cookies (tea cakes) to actual cakes. Louisa’s recipe is very similar to one that was published in the 1865 edition of “Mrs. Goodfellow’s Cookery as it Should be”.

Albany Cake
½ lb. of butter
1 lb. of sugar
1 ½ lb. of flour
3 eggs
1 cup of sweet cream
1 tea spoon of soda dissolved in the cream.
Bitter almonds to the taste

Mix the butter, eggs, and sugar together. Beat well. Stir in the flour and the cream. Roll out thin in flour and sugar. Bake quick.

Adapted Albany Cake Recipe

1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
2 ¾ cup of flour
1 egg
½ cup of cream
1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in the cream
Sliced almonds (topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar, add egg. Stir in flour and cream. Roll out on floured board and cut into desired shape. Sprinkle with sugar and almonds. Bake 11-12 minutes on greased cookie sheet. Makes 2 dozen.


To see more historic recipes for Albany cakes visit and

Several baked cookies with nuts on top sit stacked on a plate.

Topic: Munchie Monday
Age / Level: High School, Life Long Learner