Scripture cake was also known as “Bible Cake,” “Scriptural Cake” and “Old Testament Cake,” and was extremely popular in the latter part of the nineteenth century, especially in the southern Appalachians. The cake was meant as a way to teach young girls baking and Bible verses; the original recipes didn’t include the ingredients out to the side as provided on this one. The earliest recipe for this cake I have been able to find was published in the Atlanta Constitution on June 27, 1897. Some researchers believe the cake dates to the late 1700s in England or Ireland, while others claim the cake a favorite of Dolly Madison, wife of U.S. president James Madison.
Recipes differ on amounts of ingredients and occasionally the Bible verses used to find them; this recipe is based on one found in Key to the Pantry, published by the ladies of the Church of the Epiphany in Danville, Virginia in 1897. This cake may also be baked in two 9-by 5-inch loaf pans, with a reduction in cooking time of about 15 minutes.
For the cake:
3/4 cup Judges 5:25 (butter)
1 1/2 cup Jeremiah 6:20 (sugar)
5 Isaiah 10:14 (eggs, separated)
3 cups sifted Leviticus 24:5 (flour)
3 teaspoons 2 Kings 2:20 (salt)
3 teaspoons Amos 4:5 (baking powder)
1 teaspoon Exodus 30:23 (cinnamon)
1/4 teaspoon each 2 Chronicles 9:9 (spices-nutmeg, ginger, allspice)
1/2 cup Judges 4:19 (milk)
3/4 chopped Genesis 43:11 (nuts)
3/4 cup finely chopped Jeremiah 24:5 (figs
3/4 cup 2 Samuel 16:1 (raisins)
Whole Genesis 43:11 for garnish (almonds)
In a 4-quart mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and spices.
Beat flour mixture into butter and egg mixture, alternating with milk, until flour is just blended in. Beat egg whites untill stiff; fold into batter. Fold in chopped nuts, figs and raisins. Turn into 10-inch tube pan that has been greased and dusted with flour.
Bake at 325 degrees F until a cake tester inserted into cake comes out clean, about an hour and ten minutes.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. After fifteen minutes, turn cake out from pan onto wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle with Burnt Jeremiah Syrup.
Burnt Jeremiah Syrup:
1 1/2 cups Jeremiah 6:20 (sugar)
1/2 cup Genesis 24:45 (water)
1/4 cup Genesis 18:8 (butter)
in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, melt sugar, stirring ocasionally to prevent sticking. After sugar melts, continue cooking, stirring continuously, until it is a deep golden brown. Add water and cook, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove from the heat, add butter and stir till until it melts; allow to cool.
Drizzle over cooled scripture cake and garnish with whole almonds.