Our dense, citrusy Election Cake is topped with a tangy orange syrup, an orange icing glaze, and garnished with candied orange segments. We make our election cake with a ripe sourdough starter that is 100% hydrated (equal parts flour and water). If you don’t have sourdough starter ready to go, you can find an alternative recipe using instant yeast from our friends at OWL Bakery in Asheville, N.C. Our recipe was adapted from recipes by Richard Miscovich and Susannah Gebhart. Yields one dozen 4-inch bundtlette cakes.


283g / 2½ Cups    Whole wheat flour, sifted
283g / 2½ Cups    All purpose flour
365g / 1¼ Cups    Milk, room-temperature
75g / ¼ Cup    Active sourdough starter

In a medium bowl, mix the sourdough starter into the room-temperature milk until well-dispersed. Slowly combine the four until incorporated. Cover and let sit for 8–10 hours in a warm place such as above the refrigerator.


113g / ½ Cup    Orange Juice
113g / ½ Cup    Sugar

Mix orange juice and sugar, and warm in a microwave or stovetop until the sugar is dissolved.


250g / 2C    Powdered sugar
2–3 Tbsp    Orange Juice


226g / 1 Cup    Butter, unsalted, room-temperature
155g / ¾ Cup    Sugar
6g / 1 Tbsp    Cinnamon, ground
1g / ½ tsp    Nutmeg, freshly grated
3g / ½ tsp    Ginger, ground
1g / 1/4 tsp    Cloves, ground
2g / 1 Tbsp    Orange zest
2    Eggs, whole
85g / ⅓ Cup    Plain Yogurt
63g / ¼ Cup    Molasses, black strap
11g / 2 tsp    Salt
200g / 1 3/4 Cup    Dried tart cherries, chopped
200g / 1 1/2 Cups    Pecans, chopped
30g / 2 Tbsp    Bourbon
1005g    Preferment

In a microwave-safe bowl, pour the bourbon over the dried cherries, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Set aside.

Cream the butter, sugar, spices, and the zest of one orage until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing the first egg to become incorporated before adding and incorporating the second. Mix in the molasses, yogurt, and the salt. With the mixer on low speed, add in small pieces of the preferment (about 2 Tbsp at a time), until combined, making sure not to over-mix the dough. Slowly fold in the bourbon-soaked cherries and the nuts until they are evenly distributed.

Coat 4-inch bundtlette pans with butter or cooking spray. Divide the dough evenly into twelve 4-inch bundlette pans (the pans should be 3/4 full). Set the pans in a warm place to proof for 60-90 minutes until they’ve risen slightly.

Bake at 375º for 8 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350º and bake for 10–15 more minutes until a knife poked into the cake comes out clean. remove from the oven and allow pans to cool for 10 minutes before removing the cakes from the pan. Brush on orange syrup, then Let cool completely before topping with icing.


Election Cakes


Bakers across the U.S. are uniting to bring back an historic American tradition, the ELECTION CAKE.

This dense spice cake—made with whole wheat sourdough leavening, whiskey-soaked cherries, and pecans—was first created by women in the late 1700s who were trying to encourage voter turnout.

Black Pearl Tarts, along with bakers across the country, will donate 20% of election cake profits to the League of Women Voters, a non-partisan non-profit organization that works on voting access, education and policy.


Sold Out! We are no longer accepting orders for election cakes. Visit our online shop to see what you can order right now, or find us on Uber EATS or Postmates.