Munchie Monday: Cider Cake

Acres and acres of apples grew on the Macculloch property for most of the 1800s. It is not surprising that Louisa Macculloch ((1785-1863) has an early recipe for cider cake among the 160 recipes in her cookbook. Considered to be a classic American dessert, cider cake called for hard apple cider, grown and made in America, which provided an inexpensive substitute to imported brandy. The collection at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum has one remaining piece of china, a tea cup and bowl, that was used by the Macculloch family in the 1800s. Perhaps it is the tea cup that was used to measure ingredients for the cider cake recipe shared here.

Cider Cake

3 tea cups of flour

2 tea cups of sugar

1 ditto of butter

1 ditto of cider

2 eggs to be mixed as pound cakes and when all prepared for the oven, add a teaspoonful of pearlash to the cider and stir it in.

Adapted Recipe for Cider Cake

3 cups of flour

2 cups of sugar

1 cup of butter (2 sticks), softened

1 cup of hard cider

2 eggs

½ teaspoon of baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add two eggs and sifted flour. Stir ½ teaspoon of baking soda into cider (this will fizz up) and add.  Pour mixture into greased loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out dry. Let cool in loaf pan for 20 minutes. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream.


  • Other early cider cake recipes include raisins and a variety of spices. Read a short history of cider cakes and recipe that includes raisins and spices.
  • Explore a interesting, but longer, history of hard cider in America, with a recipe for cider cake with a caramel frosting.
  • This recipe was featured in the Fall 2022 Issue of The Black River Journal

Two slices of baked cider cake sit on a plate with whipped cream to the side.

Topic: Munchie Monday
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