Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Moccasins Cake

A quirky little museum in our town held a baking contest this past weekend. Entrants were asked to submit a baked good inspired by an exhibit. This museum is most famous for housing the bloodstained flag that was used to cradle President Abraham Lincoln's head after he was shot. 

Some locals were actually in the production of Our American Cousins that fateful evening at the Ford's Theater. One of them ripped down one of the flags adorning the theater and put it under the injured president's head. The flag was kept and passed down in the family from generation to generation until it was donated to the museum.

I took a tour a few weeks ago to find some inspiration and was determined to stay away from the Lincoln's flag theme because it was too obvious. My first ideas were to recreate these theatrical golden boots.

Or to make cupcakes with these civil defense helmets as toppers.

Then I went upstairs and found an exhibit on Father Francis (Frank) Craft and became so lost in his story, I knew I had to make something to represent him.

Frank Craft was a priest, a doctor and was present at Wounded Knee. A renaissance man, he studied in Europe and spoke 4 Indian languages. His first contact with the Sioux Indians was as a missionary. He became so close to them that he was offered a chief position with one of the tribes and he requested an Indian burial even though he was a Catholic priest.  The relics of his exhibit contributed by him included this pair of beaded moccasins. When I saw them I knew I had found my baking inspiration.

For the cake itself, I stayed with the Indian theme and used a recipe for Cornmeal Buttermilk layer cake I found on Tasty Kitchen. (Yep. Finally got rid of the buttermilk!) My go to vanilla buttercream recipe from Magnolia bakery was the perfect pairing.

The moccasins were fashioned from leftover homemade chocolate marshmallow fondant from the llama cupcakes . I almost went blind arranging the sprinkles to imitate the beading.

So how did I fare?

These were the other entries:

A Rainbow Trout Cake, A Sugar Cookie flavored American Flag Cake with the famous bloodstain on it, Historical Nooses.

Vinyl Records Cookies (Chocolate chip covered oreos), Abraham Lincoln face made out of fudge (my favorite), WWII Bomber Chocolate Cookies.

The entries were judged by the following:

Best Historical Representation

Most Creative
Best Tasting

The winners were (in the order above)

American Flag Cake

Noose Cookies
Chocolate Chip Covered Oreos

My moccasins, even though everyone oohed and ahhed over them, did not win anything. It's ok. I love being part of the community and participating in local events. So I'm already thinking about what I can make for next year's contest.

Also I was mostly pleased about how the cake came out. Dense, moist with a slight brown sugar flavor. It was delicious.


  1. I'm said to hear you didn't win anything! Your moccasin cake was adorable- I've never seen anything like it! Loving the colors!

  2. Oh my gosh, how cute is this cake! Only you would come up with something like this. :)

  3. OK I don't have to be nice to anybody, so what in the hell were the judges thinking? That American Flag Cake is pathetic. And what did chocolate-chip-covered Oreos have to do with the museum? You were totally robbed.

  4. I agree with Lauren! Whatever happen to judging on originality and creative design! You win in my book hands down (or foot down....hard!)

  5. Lora, this is brilliant!! I have to say that I'm being honest but you really deserved to win! :D

  6. Hi Lora,

    As Father Craft's biographer (Father Francis M Craft, Missionary to the Sioux, University of Nebraska Press, 2002), I stumbled on this during a periodic, compulsive internet search for current information or comments about my favorite subject. Let me assure you that he would be very pleased and proud of your inventive culinary creation. It's #1 in my book, too.

    Tom Foley
    Dunwoody, GA

  7. Hi,
    Just so you know, the museum visitors for the day did the judging, not the museum staff. I thought your mocassins were fabulous and was certain they would be judged best. I am sorry you didin't win, but there is always next year! Thanks for your support.
    With every good wish,
    Lori Strelecki, Museum Director


Thank you for your comments and feedback. I love hearing from you!