Wow! That’s a mouthful.
I believe that good food can play a role in people learning and appreciating each other’s culture. And with that thought in mind, I’m celebrating June 19 by making this dish from one of my go-to cookbooks, The Black Family Reunion Cookbook (at left).
June 19, or Juneteenth as it’s called in African-American communities, commemorates the day in 1865 when a union army general arrived in Galveston, Texas and issued an order emancipating the last slaves in the United States.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 but Texas held out complying with it for two years. And so, some believe this is America’s true Independence Day because it wasn’t until June 19, 1865 that all men in the U.S. were free from slavery.
People around the country celebrate Juneteenth with picnics, festivals, parades, sporting events and concerts. Some even celebrate with this breakfast cake.
Many advocated to make Juneteenth a national holiday, including a Texas woman who walked around the country with a petition in 2017 when she was 90-years-old. President Joe Biden signed legislation in June, 2021 that made it a national holiday.
Fighting racism requires understanding, including an understanding that racism and the outlawing of slavery are part of everyone’s history and culture in the United States. Making Juneteenth a national holiday helps foster that understanding.
What This Cake Tastes Like
Of course, none of this describes what this pastry tastes like. So here’s my attempt to describe its delights: If a blueberry muffin and a honey bun had a baby, this would be it.
Making it is pretty simple, and fun: your hands will be covered in blueberry juice.
Don’t spare the honey, either. It’s going to be a sweet day.
Emancipation Proclamation Breakfast Cake
- Butter Flavored Crisco (1/3 cup)
- Sugar (1/3 cup)
- Large Egg (1)
- All-purpose flour (2 cups)
- Baking powder (1 tbsp.)
- Salt (1/2 tsp.)
- Cinnamon (1/4 tsp.)
- Milk (1/3 cup)
- Blueberries, fresh or frozen (1 1/2 cups)
- Honey (1/4 cup)
- Grated orange peel (from 1 orange)
- Grated lemon peel (from 1 lemon)
- Step 1 Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 9-inch pie plate.
- Step 2 Combine Butter Flavored Crisco and sugar in large bowl. Beat with electric mixer until creamy. Then beat in 1 egg.
- Step 3 Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in another bowl. Add alternately with milk to creamed mixture. Fold in the blueberries.
- Step 4 Pat dough out to 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into nine 3-inch rounds. (I did this by using a glass with a 3-inch opening.
- Step 5 Place one round in the center of the pie plate. Arrange the other eight tilted and overlapping around the center dough circle.
- Step 6 Spread honey over the top. Sprinkle the orange and lemon peel on top.
- Step 7 Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the dough in the center is thoroughly baked. Serve warm or at room temperature.