Food Gifts for Friends and Neighbors & Cherry Almond Cake Recipe

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, December 15, 1914: <<no entry>>

Front door decorated for Christmas
Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1913)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

What was keeping Grandma so busy that she had no time to write in her diary? Maybe she was baking holiday treats to give friends and neighbors.

I have warm memories from my childhood of neighbors knocking on the door holding a tray of cookies, homemade plum pudding, or a tin of candy—and I’m guessing that food gifts were even more common a hundred years ago.

The many readers who are participating in the Bake-a-thon are giving Grandma a wonderful send-off to live the rest of her life as the diary winds down. As part of the Bake-a-thon, Pam (Quiall) at Butterfly Sand included a wonderful recipe for Cherry Almond Cake in a comment several days ago. Here’s her story and recipe.

My Mother and I would make several batches of Cherry Almond Cake. Some were small loaves for the neighbours and a big round one for us. Wonderful memories of Christmas,

CHERRY ALMOND CAKE

1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup almonds
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 1/2 cups glazed cherries
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
4 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

First:
Slice cherries and nuts (buy almonds already blanched and sliced). Combine 1/2 cup flour with cherries and almonds in bowl. Mix until fruit is well coated.

Second:
Combine remaining flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.

Third:
Cream butter until fluffy, add flavourings. Gradually add sugar, mixing until creamy. Beat eggs until light and lemon-coloured. Add to creamed mixture. Beat together well.

Fourth:
Add dry ingredients to butter, etc., alternately with almonds and nuts, folding in gently until well combined. Add lemon juice and then milk.

Turn into prepared tin. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.

If using small loaf pans (4 will do) bake for 1 hour and then check. Time will vary because of the size of the loaves.

15 thoughts on “Food Gifts for Friends and Neighbors & Cherry Almond Cake Recipe

    1. Oh dear. . . It’s always so hard to avoid these foods during the holiday season. If it’s any consolation, tomorrow’s post has absolutely nothing to do with food. 🙂

  1. I’m way behind on Christmas preparation, but I’ve decided that it doesn’t have to be over on the 26th. I look forward to some time in the kitchen in the next week or so.
    and by the way, though I haven’t participated, I do love that your are doing Grandma’s Bake a Thon. Such a neat idea and such a warm, homey, old fashioned way to wind down the diary

    1. Things get so hectic in the weeks before Christmas. 🙂 Thanks for letting me know that you are enjoying the Bake-a-thon. It’s nice to know that you like it.

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