November 13, 2018

Hartford Election Cake ~ #BreadBakers

Honestly, these days I think there should be cake at every election.  
At least there would be something to look forward to.

The theme this month for the Bread Bakers is Yeasted Cakes. I loved fruited bread so I though I would look for a yeasted cake that was similar to this taste. The Hartford Election Cake originated in Hartford, Connecticut and mention of it goes all the way back to the 18th century. To me it really turned out as a cake-bread, even though most people would say it is more of a bread.

Be prepared to spend your day with this cake-bread as there are two long rises involved.  It never bothers me to spend the day with a loaf of bread as there is a great reward to look forward to at the end. I never realized how much I would grow to look forward to my bread adventures.  I still have a long way to go (more on this below), but I am determined to learn something new each time and one day be able to say I baked the perfect loaf of bread.

So, as I may have mentioned before, I sometimes have a hard time following a recipe.  Maybe I was a recipe developer in a past life?  Anyway, I decided that it may be a good idea to soak the dried fruit overnight. Don't follow my idea as it made the flavor of the fruit a little overwhelming. As I mentioned above I am still learning, especially when it comes to getting a "feel" for the dough.  I followed the recipe, but the texture I ended up with after it was baked, had me wondering if it was over-proofed.  It just did not look the same as the original when I sliced into it.  It's not like it was not a good cake-bread, it just wasn't at the level I wanted it to be.However, the little pockets of sugar certainly helped.

If you would like to know more about the Bread Bakers and see what the other bakers made for the Yeasted Cakes theme please scroll down below the recipe.

Hartford Election Cake
Printer Friendly Recipe


  • 250ml (1 cup whole milk) heated to 110 degrees F (no higher)
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 200g (1 cup mixed dried fruit such as raisins, dates or cherries)
  • 30ml (3 tablespoons) dark rum
  • 10ml (1 tablespoon orange blossom water or ½ teaspoon orange extract plus ½ teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 150g (¾ cup) brown sugar
  • 115g (8 tablespoons) butter softened, 1 stick
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 435g (3¼ cups) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 120g (1 cup) walnuts, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar


  1. Mix the yeast with the heated milk and set aside.
  2. Mix the dried fruit with the rum and orange blossom water; set aside.
  3. Sift flour into a bowl with the salt, allspice, cinnamon, and coriander; set aside
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar for two minutes on medium speed.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, scraping the sides between additions, and beat for two more minutes.
  6. Drain liquid from dried fruit (saving the fruit for a later step) and add liquid to sugar and egg mixture, mix to combine.
  7. Transfer to a stand mixer from a paddle to a dough hook.
  8. Alternate adding flour-spice mixture and milk mixture to form a very sticky dough. Beat only long enough to bring the dough together (the mixture will be loose looking).
  9. Pour dough into a large bowl, cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm draft free place for about two hours or until doubled in size.
  10. While the dough is rising, liberally spray a 10” Bundt pan with baking spray.
  11. Pour nuts and dried fruit into the dough and mix by hand just until mixed through.
  12. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan.
  13. Cover with a dish towel and let rise until almost doubled in size, about an additional hour.
  14. Preheat oven to 350℉
  15. Bake in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  16. Remove from oven and brush with the melted butter then sprinkle on the granulated sugar.
  17. Serve warm out of the oven, or sliced and toasted with butter.


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Our theme this month is Yeasted Cakes.

And don’t forget to check out all the amazing breads baked by our talented bakers ~


  1. I was very curious when I saw the name of your bread and I am glad I did not google it (like I generally do) I wanted the surprise! And I am stunned. I love the cake/bread it is glorious.Thanks for joining us in the discovery that is bread making.

  2. What a well risen cake it is. The shape of the bundt cake is so crisp clear. For a moment I thought you have purposely given the name as election cake.

  3. Yes, we do need cake for elections, just to celebrate that the endless ads are finally over! Your cake looks good to me!

  4. I was just talking with a baker friends about "election" cake. Almost every election year I see recipes but haven't tried making it yet. Determined to give it a try in 2020...

  5. Love the sound of this cake. I had never heard of it before and I really like your idea of making it mandatory at the polls....we need a reward for putting up with all the political ads for 6 months.

  6. Felice, the cake must be incredibly flavourful. Love the long list of ingredients that went into it. And, I am really intrigued about the 1/2 tsp coriander. Lovely recipe!

  7. looks delicious.. very nicely presented..


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