The other day on NPR New Orleans, they spoke of the OWL Bakery [in Asheville] attempting to bring back the election cake this year. I have been baking election cakes for years on Election Day. My recipe is from the 11th edition of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 1965. I often have a supper party or an afternoon tea on or near Election Day and serve the dessert. My cake is a nice, moist cake that, with a dollop of whipped cream or Cool Whip and a good cup of coffee, is a very nice dessert. I have never thought of taking some to the poll workers to enjoy and give them inspiration, but this is a nice idea.
The OWL Bakery has more of the history of the cake than I do. My history says that the women baked the cakes, and they were served in the bars where the men waited long, long hours for the results of the election to be final. The bars did not want the men to become totally drunk while they waited. It was my understanding there was not a forerunner of “muster” cake. Interesting.
I will try and bake one of the OWL Bakery cakes. I am sure it is good. Thanks to the OWL Bakery for trying to revive this tradition.
— Susan L. Smith