Lady Baltimore Cake

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 10 servings
  • Prep 25 mins
  • Cook 32 mins

The classic and much-loved Southern cake.

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Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

To get a head start on the cake, bake the layers a day ahead, wrap in foil and store overnight at room temperature. Another option is to freeze the layers. In either case, make the frosting and assemble the cake the day you serve it. The frosting becomes crisp upon standing and provides a crunchy contrast to the tender cake and creamy filling. Contrary to this frosting's name, you may need to beat the egg whites for up to 12 minutes to form stiff peaks.

Ingredients

Cake:
1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1/3 cup
2/3 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 -- egg whites
2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
Seven-Minute Frosting and Filling:
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 -- egg whites
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup chopped dried figs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Coat two 8-inch layer cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms with wax paper and coat paper with spray.
  2. To prepare cake, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar until well blended. Gradually add flour mixture alternately with milk, blending well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In another bowl beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat until nearly stiff peaks form. Stir about one-third of whites into batter; fold in remaining whites. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans, peel off wax paper and cool completely on racks.
  4. To prepare frosting, in top of a double boiler or large bowl that fits over a pot, combine sugar, cream of tartar, egg whites and water. Set over simmering water and beat with an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form, 7 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla and beat 1 minute or until thick enough to spread.
  5. To prepare filling, place 1½ cups frosting in a separate bowl and blend in almond extract, raisins, pecans and figs.
  6. Place one layer bottom side up on plate and top with fruit and nut filling. Cover with remaining cake layer, top side up. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining frosting. Sprinkle pecans around top edge of cake.

Recipe by Jean Kressy.

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