This recipe for railroad cake was recorded ca. 1850 in the Monticello area. Recipes for railroad cake begin to appear in conjunction with railroad construction across the United States. Perhaps the simple cakes were served in the dining cars of passenger trains. Although the origins of the recipes unclear, they show the influence that the railroads had on the popular culture.
The railroad that served the Monticello area was the Pensacola and Gulf Railroad. Incorporated in 1853, it was initally planned to run between Pensacola and Georgia, thus the name. In 1855, the Legislature redefined the railroad's charter, relocating the route between Pensacola and Lake City. The survey of the route began in July 1855. The railway was completed to Drifton, just south of Monticello, by January 1858. The full route was open by December 1860.