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Retro Town Fair Recipes


As a part of our Greenbelt Labor Day festivities, the Greenbelt Museum held a Retro Town Fair on the grounds of the Historic House. Our Retro Town Fair is much like those the earliest Greenbelters enjoyed starting in 1939. Ribbons were awarded for the best entries. 

Here is a sampling of some of our Retro Town Fair entrants' recipes!

Mary Todd Lincoln's White Cake

Betty's Blueberry Buckle

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2018 Retro Town Fair Grand Champion-winning Mary Todd Lincoln white cake entered by Donna Peterson

Mary Todd Lincoln's White Cake 
(Recipe from Lincoln's Table by Donna D. McCreary was adapted by Janice Cooke Newman)

1 cup blanched almonds, chopped in a food processor until they resemble a coarse flour
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
6 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
confectionary sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.

  • Cream butter and sugar. Sift flour and baking powder 3 times. Add to creamed butter and sugar, alternating with milk. Stir in almonds and beat well.

  • Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Stir in vanilla extract.

  • Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Turn out on a wire rack and cool. When cool, sift confectionary sugar over top

A basic white frosting sprinkled with almonds was also popular.

recipe from the NPS Lincoln Home NHS

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Betty Timer with her 2018 Retro Town Fair Grand Champion-winning blueberry buckle

Betty's "Grand Champion" Blueberry Buckle

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 35 minutes. 9 inch greased square pan.


2 cups all-purpose sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking powder           

Mix dry ingredients together and set aside.

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ stick room temperature butter

¾ cup sugar

1 large egg

½ + cup milk

In bowl of stand mixer, with paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar about 1 minute. (The batter will be lumpy.) Add egg beat until batter is smooth.

Add 1/3 of flour mixture and 1/3 of milk. Continue this process until everything is combined. Batter will be smooth.

Put ½ batter in greased 9-inch square pan.

1 cup blueberries that you have coated with flour on top of this batter.

Top with the remainder of batter.


½ stick butter at room temperature

½ + cup flour

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ cup sugar

Work dry ingredients into butter to make crumb texture. Sprinkle on top of cake.

Bake on middle rack of oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool at least 10 minutes before serving. It is great warm!!

(+ means I sometimes adjust these ingredients by adding more if needed)

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