Emily Dickinson’s Rice Cakes

(continued)….poet. She even won the first prize for her cornmeal and rye bread at a town fair. This recipe is a simple gluten free rice cake that was an often requested specialty of hers especially when guests came. It’s easy to whip up and can be cut into squares and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Here I used graduated star cookie cutters to make a little Christmas tree. Half the recipe makes one small tree plus a few extra stars. The original quantity is shown here. By the way Dec. 10th was the great poets birthday!


1 cup rice flour
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 tsp. soda and 1/2 tsp. baking powdered dissolved in 2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla (or a pinch of nutmeg)


1. Sift the rice flour and baking powder/soda together. Set aside.
2. Beat the butter with the powdered sugar until fluffy.
3. Beat in the eggs until well incorporated and light.
4. Fold in the flour mixture, flavorings and milk mixture. Don’t over mix.
5. Spread the batter into a 8 X 8 inch (20 X 20 cm.) wax paper lined and greased pan.*
6. Bake in a 270deg F (180deg C) preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
7. Cool the cake. It will be a thin layer and can be easily cut into squares or desired shapes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
*This pan size is meant for half of this recipe – otherwise use a larger pan (9×12 inch or 22x 30 cm.)

TIP: The squares are delicious topped with a dollop of whipped cream and raspberries similar to a short cake.

NOTE: This recipe was taken from the 1906 Boston Cooking School Magazine.