Guides and Materials About Mr. Franklin
An Introduction
Ben Across the Curriculum
Essay Contest


Ben’s Birthday Cake

Cake Judging
Photo by M. Kennedy for GPTMC
Jennifer Macdonald, assistant pastry chef at the Fountain Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, competed in “Ben’s Birthday Bake-Off” to win the right to present Ben with his official birthday cake, a Spiced Penny Pound Cake from the Desk of B. Franklin. This is her recipe, so you can bake a birthday cake for Ben at home!



¼ cup milk, room temperature
4 egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
16 tbsp unsalted butter (soft)

Combine milk, egg whites and vanilla in a bowl.  Whisk lightly. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients on low to blend.  Add the softened butter and half of the egg mixture and mix until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Increase speed to medium and beat one minute.  Gradually add the remaining egg mixture in two batches, beating well after each addition.  Scrape the batter into a greased and floured 6-cup loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Let cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan.  Invert on a wire rack and cool completely. 



Peel and core 3 golden delicious apples.  Cut the apples into ½” pieces.  In a large pan, combine 3 tbsp unsalted butter, ½ cup brown sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon.  Add ½ cup dried cranberries.  Add the apples and stir to coat them with the sugar mixture.  Cook the apples on medium heat until they are soft.  (Adjust sugar and cinnamon to taste.)

Remove from heat and puree in a food processor.   



1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp apple brandy

Bring water and sugar to a rolling boil.  Allow to cool completely.  Stir in 2 tbsp brandy. Terms of Use Credits