Have you ever heard of Lady Baltimore Cake?
I hadn’t until I came across a recipe and video on Martha Stewart’s website.
Even if you already know how to make Lady Baltimore cake, it is still totally worth checking out the video with Martha and Amy Sedaris making this classic cake. The two are hilarious and Amy is the hoot.
In the beginning there are two layers of a white cake. It is not yellow cake (no egg yolks) and no butter cake (it uses only some shortening).
The frosting and filling starts out with what many know as 7-minute frosting.
For the filling, Martha suggests to put aside one-third of the frosting, but for me one-quarter would have been sufficient.
Additionally, to the suggested soaked raisins and chopped walnuts and dried figs, I also chopped up some dried cranberries for some tartness.
Mixing all the goodies with part of the frosting will look something like this. Sorry for the blurry picture.
And after leveling the cake layers, filling them, stacking and frosting with the remaining icing it looks something like this. The frosting doesn’t have to be done too neatly, as it looks really nice to just make a pattern with a spatula or spoon.
My finished Lady Baltimore cake did not have the most aesthetic appeal as I was in a big hurry to get to my dad’s birthday party. But the taste was great, and very different from your standard flavors.
I did not regret venturing out of my “cake comfort-zone” to try this cake with an elegant name.
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe.
- 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 1⅓ cups milk
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup shortening
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 6 large egg whites
- ½ cup raisins, chopped
- ¼ cup rum, kirsch, or warm tea
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- Pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup chopped dried figs
- ¼ cup chopped dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 375F. Grease two 8" round cake pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl stir together milk and vanilla.
- In your mixing bowl cream together shortening and 1 cup sugar with electric mixer. On low speed, add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with milk mixture; beginning and ending with flour. Beat until just combined.
- Using your mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. While still mixing, slowly add 3 tablespoons sugar; beat on high until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat. Fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining egg whites.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smooth with an offset spatula. Bake cakes until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
- Cool cake layers for 10 minutes in pans, then invert onto wire rack; peel off parchment. Re-invert cakes and let them cool completely.
- Put raisins and liquor/tea in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring sugar and a little more than ½ cup water to a boil. Continue boiling until syrup to soft-ball stage (234 degrees to 238F on a candy thermometer).
- Place egg whites in mixing bowl and mix with whisk attachment on low speed until foamy. Add salt and beat on medium-high speed until stiff but not dry. Do not overbeat.
- With mixer running, add syrup to whites, beating on high speed until not steaming anymore, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- For the filling, transfer ¼ of the frosting to a medium bowl. Drain raisins and stir into the frosting along with walnuts, figs and cranberries.
- Using a serrated knife, level the cake layers. Place strips of parchment paper around serving plate or cake stand. Place one layer on the plate. Spread filling over top of the cake layer. Top with other cake layer. Spread entire cake with frosting; remove parchment paper strips.