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Laura Ingalls Wilder Letter to Jennie D. Lindquist (October 19, 1953)

Laura Ingalls Wilder letter 1953

Mansfield Mo.

October 19th 1953

Dear Miss Lindquist,

Mrs. Nordstrom has told me of your plan for the Christmas Horn Book. I am thrilled and in a hurry for Christmas time to come that I may see it.

You may use my letter to Clarence E. Kilburn, copy of which you enclosed, if you wish.

You must know that Almanzo died in 1949, October 23d.

I enclose my old gingerbread recipe and wish you good luck if you should try it.

Sincerely Laura Ingalls Wilder


1 cup brown sugar blended with
1/2 cup lard or other shortening.
1 cup molasses mixed well with this.
2 teaspoons baking soda in 1 cup boiling water
(Be sure cup is full of water after foam is run off into cake mixture).

Mix all well.

To 3 cups of flour have added one teaspoon each of the following spices: ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves; and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sift all into cake mixture and mix well.

Add lastly 2 well-beaten eggs.

The mixture should be quite thin.

Bake in a moderate oven for thirty minutes.

Raisins and, or, candied fruit may be added and a chocolate frosting adds to the goodness.

Letter reproduced and quoted with permission of the Estate of Roger Lea MacBride.



  1. Connie R. Neumann says:

    This letter is such a unique glimpse into the multi-faceted Laura: charming, complimentary, humble, generous and thoughtful. By the way, the gingerbread recipe is the best! I make it for Christmas with the recommended chocolate frosting, adding crushed peppermint candies on top in honor of the striped candy sticks that Laura and Mary receive in their Christmas stockings in “Little House on the Prairie.” Thanks to Wilder for sharing her recipe and heart so long ago.

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  1. […] This month’s project has to do with recipes. Laura often included a recipe with her letters to fans whether they had requested a recipe or whether it just filled up some space. I’ve linked in an image of the first page of one such letter. The typed transcript of the entire letter including the gingerbread recipe is available on the Horn Book‘s website:… […]

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