This beautiful special occasion cake has SO much history. The internet is full of different variations. Pictured above is from Erin Mann. I read lots of different recipes on this cake and decided to go with the one from Sing For your Supper.
Her post made my mouth water and as I was reading I knew this was the one to go for. Two ingredients that were different from the rest- coconut and Grand Marnier. I have tasted cakes with Grand Marnier before and knew it was great for desserts. Take a look at her beautiful cake-
According to “All Cakes Considered,” this cake was first developed in the late 1800s at a Charleston, N.C. tea room called Lady Baltimore. Owen Wister’s novel popularized the cake. To thank him, the tea room would send him one of these cakes each year at Christmas time.
“I should like a slice, if you please, of Lady Baltimore,” I said with extreme formality. I returned to the table and she brought me the cake, and I had my first felicitous meeting with Lady Baltimore. Oh, my goodness! Did you ever taste it? It’s all soft, and it’s in layers, and it has nuts — but I can’t write any more about it; my mouth waters too much. Delighted surprise caused me once more to speak aloud, and with my mouth full, “But, dear me, this is delicious.”
-from Owen Wister’s 1906 novel Lady Baltimore
There is just too much to tell about this cake. Also, as you search Lady Baltimore Cake a great combo to go with Lady Baltimore is the Lord Baltimore Cake for the groom.
I hope you enjoy the version of the cake I made from Sing For Your Supper. I added nuts to my filling. Next time I will try it without the lemon zest (my husband is not a fan of lemon).
Lady Baltimore Cake
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
grated zest of one lemon
3 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
6 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 3 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease generously.
Cream butter, sugar and lemon zest together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
Combine milk, water and vanilla. Add small amounts of flour mixture to creamed butter mixture, alternately with milk mixture, beating until smooth after each addition.
Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold into batter. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The cakes shouldn’t get very brown on top. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then transfer cakes to wire wracks to cool completely.
For the Orange Marmalade Filling:
3/4 (18-ounce) jar orange marmalade
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier (or any orange liqueur), optional
Heat the marmalade, orange juice and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat just before it reaches boiling point. Remove from heat and stir in the Grand Marnier. Strain out the peels and allow to cool to room temperature.
For the Frosting:
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
sweetened, flaked coconut, for garnish
Using a mixer, beat egg whites until stiff.
Boil sugar, water and cream of tartar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, or until a small amount of syrup will form a soft ball when dropped into very cold water (this is what’s known as “soft ball stage”).
With the mixer running, slowly pour the hot syrup over the egg whites and continue to beat until the mixture is of spreading consistency (this could take up to 10 minutes; don’t be alarmed if your mixture is runny, just keep beating and eventually it will thicken up.). Add vanilla.
Spread half of the orange marmalade filling in the center of the bottom cake layer, leaving an inch border around the outside (when you add the frosting, the marmalade will spread). Gently spread some of the frosting over the marmalade and place second cake layer on top. Repeat with the other half of the marmalade filling and more frosting, then place the third cake layer on top. Frost the whole cake with the frosting (be generous, the recipe makes a TON of frosting!) and sprinkle generously with coconut. Refrigerate until 30 minutes to one hour before serving.