Chester Alan Arthur never ran for president.

One source describes him as being best known for succeeding  James Garfield. Others might think he should be best known for his dapper style and his righteous facial hair. Burnsides! He had burnsides, a facial hairstyle named for Civil War General Ambrose Burnside. Even the White House website talks about his whiskers.

It can be said that Chester Alan Arthur handled his transition into the role of chief executive with panache. He, who had been a spoilsman rose above partisan politics to become a reformer. The jewels of his term were Civil Service Reform and the Pendleton Act.

Arthur, a man of the Gilded age, came to us in an era of nicknames. Among Arthur’s contemporaries were Boss Tweed (William Magear Tweed) and The Plumed Knight (James G. Blaine). Arthur was called Chet, a not surprising shortening of his name.  He was also The Gentleman Boss, Walrus, Prince Arthur and The Dude President.

Dude, in the late 1800s did not connote ranches or a pair of partiers who couldn’t find their car. Instead, dude was more of a word used to describe someone who was very particular about the way he behaved, spoke and dressed. If called upon to substitute a word for “dude” you might offer “dandy.” It turns out that Arthur’s fastidiousness went beyond how he chose to groom his face.


The Cake:

Someone whose personal style earns him the nickname Prince Arthur should have a rich cupcake in his honor. In this regard, chocolate seemed the obvious choice, layers of chocolate flavor. The cake is white chocolate flavored. The cupcake is filled with semisweet chocolate mousse which was just spiked with blackberry schnapps. The cake is topped with a chocolate buttercream frosting and garnished with semisweet chocolate drizzle and white sugar pearls. You know at first glance that this cupcake is sophisticated and memorable.