Vintage Recipe: Margaret Chase Smith’s Blueberry Cake

After months of denying rumors that she would seek the top of the Republican ticket or the vice presidential nomination, inspirational Mainer Senator Margaret Chase Smith announced her run for President in January, 1964.

“I have few illusions and no money, but I’m staying for the finish,” she noted, “When people keep telling you, you can’t do a thing, you kind of like to try.”

Although she wasn’t elected, Mrs. Smith was the first woman to have her name put in for nomination for the presidency by a major political party. She also created a winning Maine classic: Margaret Chase Smith’s Blueberry Cake. This delightful recipe is from an undated vintage very well-loved pamphlet in my collection, “Maine Blueberry Recipes…” Seventh Edition, Published by The Maine Department of Agriculture.


I’ve learned, as a collector of vintage cookbooks and recipes, that the best-tasting results are the from the recipes showing the most mileage on them evidenced by mementos made of splashed and spilled ingredients. Clearly this was prized!


Here’s my gluten-free adaptation:


8 tbsp unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill oat flour

4 tsp aluminum-free baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp nutmeg

2 cups Maine blueberries


Follow Mrs. Smith’s instructions for the preparation, then pour the batter into two well-greased cake pans and bake them in a 350 degree (not 375) oven for forty minutes. Allow to cool for twenty minutes (not ten) in the baking pans before turning gently onto a cooling rack. In lieu of traditional frosting I used freshly whipped heavy cream.

Margaret Chase Smith Blueberry Cake (1).jpg

This cake is delightfully spicy, gently sweet and bursting with blueberries!


4 thoughts on “Vintage Recipe: Margaret Chase Smith’s Blueberry Cake

  1. Hello Averyl,
    that looks delicious – even for someone like me who is all thumbs. The main job is to transform the “strange measurements” (like “cups”) intro metric ones. But as for the baking it is pretty simple.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Uli! Yes, this is a very simple recipe and so easy to make. I’m not too fussy with frosting it perfectly, either. It tastes just as lovely.

      For conversions there are many calculators online. I have to use them when I cook from my old British baking books!


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