Chef Recipe: Washington Great Cake

Cross Keys Cafe has a new addition to the pastries this season. Washington Great Cake is available at our cafe located in the Museum of the American Revolution. This seasonal recipe dates back to the revolutionary times and that’s why it fitting to have it on the menu of this colonial-inspired spot in Old City.

Great Cake

As a holiday treat we are sharing the recipe with you so you can make it at home and share it with your friends and family this winter! This Washington Great Cake recipe has been adapted by Brûlée Catering’s Executive Pastry Chef James Rodebaugh. He finishes the cake with a cinnamon butter cream frosting and it can be topped with the frosting of your choice to make it your own. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Yields 1 half sheet pan

  • 4 Cups All purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  t ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t ground clove
  • 2 lbs Dried Fruit (Combination of Dried Cranberry, Raisins, Currants and Chopped Orange Peel)
  • 10 Eggs (Separated)
  • 1 Pound Softened butter
  • 1 Cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup Dark brown sugar(packed)
  • 1/4 Cup White wine
  • 1/4 Cup Brandy( VSOP)



  • Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Soak all the dried fruit in hot water for 30 mins to re-hydrate.
  • In a medium bowl, measure out all but 1/2 cup of the flour.
  • Add the spices to the remaining flour and combine.
  • Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour to the dried fruit. (This is important-the fruit will all sink to the bottom if you do not do this!)
  • Whip the egg whites to soft peak.
  • Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Add the egg yolks and beat to incorporate.
  • Mix wine and brandy and add to butter mixture. Mixture will look broken.
  • Fold in egg whites and mix till incorporated.
  • Add the flour and spice mixture to the wet ingredients.  Beat until well mixed, but do not over beat.
  • Then, add the flour-coated fruit to the batter.
  • Spread into parchment lined sheet pan and bake 15-20 mins until toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting Cake



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