Thursday, May 1, 2014

Civil War Fried Cakes (donuts)

I included the following recipe in my book, Ever True: A Union Private and His Wife, because my great-great grand parents spoke of them in their love letters to each other (other mentioned foods are also included in my book such as Johnnycakes, apple dumplings and Mrs. Seward's Pound Cake).
Fried Cakes (donuts)


My mother remembers her mother making fried cakes on their farm in Sodus, N.Y. For an extra treat she coated them with sugar.


5 tablespoons butter

1 cup sugar

2 beaten eggs

4 cups sifted flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

Cream together sugar and butter. Stir in beaten eggs. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt; add to sugar mixture alternately with milk. Chill thoroughly.


Roll out 1/3 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with floured donut cutter (the hole is necessary in order for the dough to cook throughout).

Fry a few at a time in deep fat (turn deep electric frying pan to 375 degrees) until brown, turning once. Drain. Makes about 3 dozen.


To sugar donuts: When cool, place a few at a time in a paper bag with confectioners or granulated sugar and shake well. 

Mary Ann McDowell Avazian