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Hartford Election Cake - A Family Feast

Hartford Election Cake

  • Prep Time: 3 hours 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings


  • 1 cup whole milk heated to 110 degrees F (no higher)
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1 cup mixed dried fruit such as raisins, dates or cherries (all raisins would be fine)
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water, or 1 teaspoon of Flori Di Sicilia, or ½ teaspoon orange extract plus ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 8 tablespoons butter softened, 1 stick
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • Butter and flour to prepare pan
  • 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 and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar for two minutes on medium speed.
  4. Add eggs and beat for two more minutes.
  5. Drain liquid from dried fruit and add liquid to sugar and egg mixture. Mix to combine. Save the fruit for a later step.
  6. Sift flour into a bowl with the salt, allspice, cinnamon and coriander.
  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 butter and flour a 10” Bundt pan.
  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 degrees F.
  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. Serve warm out of the oven, or sliced and toasted with butter.