Election Day cake

The Wilton Historical Society tells us Election Day was a day of great celebration in the 18th and 19th Centuries. So much so that it merited a cake!

Voters went to major cities like Hartford to cast their ballots and then stayed to socialize. Often, city residents hosted elaborate banquets where the dessert course consisted of coffee, hot cider, and a generous portion of Election Cake.

Election Cake is a cross between bread and cake. Full of fruits and nuts, this rich dessert became a staple of Election Day celebrations. While there are numerous variations to the recipe, one submitted by a Mrs. Charles Flagg of Hartford in 1890 included butter, sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder, raisins, currants, citron, almonds, vanilla, and milk, as well as specific instructions as to what time of day to put it together.

Although the cake began its association with the city of Hartford in the 1830s, Connecticut recipes for it date back to 1771.

In the early 19th Century, as the parades and balls held in Hartford became more elaborate, Connecticut residents began identifying Election Day with the city of Hartford and the celebrations there became one of the great festivals in the state.

As a result, Election Cake soon established itself as a Hartford tradition.