Lady Baltimore Cake
This is my most favorite cake! And Hannah improved the recipe by adding orange emulsion, our latest fav in our kitchen. I just love the hint of orange flavor with crunch of seven-minute icing blended with toasted pecans and raisins. Perfect with a cup of hot tea in the afternoon.
It is not clear how and when this cake originated, but Owen Wister (1860-1938), a popular novelist wrote a fictional book with a central character named Lady Baltimore. In the novel, this cake was mentioned as this:
"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!"
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12.5 oz)
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar (10.5 oz)
1 cup canola oil
1 cup (minus 2 Tablespoon) orange juice
2 Tablespoon Orange Emulsion
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9 inch round layer pans or use parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until light, pale yellow. Add oil and then orange juice until well combined. Put flour, salt, and baking powder into wet mixture and gently fold with rubber spatula until just combined.
3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until an inserted wooden pick comes out clean. Do not over bake. Cool.
White, fluffy "seven minute" or boiled icing is quite beautiful on a cake.
If you want all-white frosting for outside of cake, reduce the nut and dried fruit. Reserve 1/3 frosting to add the nuts to put in the middle layer of cake.
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cup sugar (10.5 oz)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup of toasted pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup of raisins, cranberries, candied orange, or other favorite dried fruit, finely chopped
1. For frosting: Whisk the egg whites, sugar, baking powder, orange juice, and zest together in the top of a double boiler. Cook over boiling water, beating constantly, using hand-held mixer for about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. The frosting should be satiny and fluffy. (This is the hardest part, I promise!)
2. Gently fold the pecans and dried fruit into the frosting.
3. Spread about one third of the frosting over one cake layer. Place the second layer on top, and spread the remaining frosting over the tops and sides of the cake.