A recipe from the White House Cook Book:

I was given this first edition (from 1913) that my great-aunt’s mother used.

Soft Ginger Cake

“Stir to a cream one cupful of butter and half a cupful of brown sugar; add to this two cupfuls of cooking molasses, a cupful of sweet milk, a tablespoonful of ginger, a teaspoonful of ground cinnamon; beat all thoroughly together, then add three eggs, the whites and yolks beaten separately; beat into this two cupfuls of sifted flour, then a teaspoonful of soda dissolved in a spoonful of water and last  two more cupfuls of sifted flour. Butter and paper two common square breadpans, divide this mixture and pour half into each. Bake in a moderate oven, This cake requires long and slow baking, from forty to sixty minutes. I find that if sour milk is used the cakes are much lighter, but either sweet or sour is most excellent.”



White House Cook Book
The Saalfield Publishing Company: New York, 1913.

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