Casting our vote for Election Cake

Sharing a slice in Salem, the “City of Peace”Up until the 1940’s, election cakes were a common item found in many cookbooks.  Originating in England, it is similar to a fruitcake or sweet bread leavened with yeast.   In early America, Election Cakes were used to sustain voters.  Linda Stradley of What’s Cooking America has a terrific overview of the history of Election Day CakeWe learned of election cakes while doing some food related research at the Salem Public Library (much thanks to all the librarians for their wonderful assistance!)  Visit the library and see their historic collections – including What Salem Dames Cooked.  This 1910 cookbook is a collection of recipes from 1683 to the early 1900s.  It’s full of memorable items, such as Election Day Cake and Salem Pudding!

In honor of the Election Day and celebrating our right to vote, we attempted one recipe we found online – you’ll find dozens of varying degrees of difficulty.  After sharing the cake with neighbors we agree there is something delightfully unique in an old-fashioned taste.  And of course, we shopped locally for our needed ingredients.  Thank you to Tour Partners Milk & Honey and Salem Spice for helping to make this a sweet success!

Making a cake?Shop locally – bake happily.

Clockwise, left to right, luscious dried cranberries and organic, locally sourced items at Milk and Honey.Ground cloves, nutmeg and amazing(!) cinnamon powder atSalem SpicePhoto above: mixing our ingredients.  Although many recipes called for a mixture of dried fruit, we preferred the simplicity of cranberries alone, letting the spices shine.

Below: our heart shaped tube pan was a fun alternative.  We added a simple lemon glaze to the top.

Note: we welcome photos of any attempts you have made or might make at this cake and other historic New England recipes.

Email your photos with descriptions to us for a chance to be shown in an upcoming Salem Food Tour eNews.

Food + Comedy = Warm laughter to start your week

Salem Food Tours is happy to support not only the culinary arts, but all local arts.  Enjoy this ‘food fun’ clip by Salem-based comic Mark Scalia, on his latest Tour. 

Mark Scalia


Having some fun with a wonderful guest from Austria on a recent Salem Food Tour. Chef Doug Papows delicious sauce broke us – table manners be gone! 


In the news

Art Throb features Salem Food Tours

Salem Food Tours is thrilled to be featured in this months Art Throb Magazine, November’s “The Political Issue.” Click here to find out where you can pick up your free copy.  If you don’t know about this magazine, make note – it is a terrific resource for all local arts and happenings! 

In the news

What’s the Soup reviews Salem Food Tours

Click here to read the full article from What’s the Soup.  This engaging website is a MUST for all soup lovers!

From the pens of our guests

“THANK YOU for an absolutely fantastic and wonderful time on our tour this afternoon! It was so great for a local Salemite like me to be able to proudly show my visiting family the amazing culinary talents and treasures we have right here in Salem! EVERYONE should do this tour! – L.S., Salem, MA, via Facebook 

Did you know?

Food Tours are a fun way to step outside your comfort zone and try foods you’ve never had before.Our Tours are available throughout the year, and are perfect for locals as well as visiting guests and small groups as a special outing.Click herefor FAQsClick here for ticket info

Aprons, dishtowels, mugs,

oh my!

Visit our shop to view all aprons and other Salem Food Tour items – a deliciously fun way to bring a little Salem magic to your kitchen.  Also make great holiday gifts!


While on a Salem Food Tour, management is not responsible for any excess joy or belly laughter that may occur.  We reserve the right to make sure you leave with great memories.