A woman brings a Lady Baltimore cake to the picnic table for her family.
Food - Drink
Lady Baltimore Cake Is A Lavish, Staple Dessert In The South
Lady Baltimore cake is a Southern icon with a fruit and nut filling, light texture, and white frosting. It sounds simple, but like many American treats, recipes vary quite a bit.
The credit for this cake often goes to Florence and Nina Ottolengui, sisters who managed the Lady Baltimore Tea Room in Charleston, South Carolina in the 20th century.
The 1906 romance novel "Lady Baltimore" by Owen Wister featured the cake and promoted it to stardom. Today, it's still a staple of home dinners and special occasions in the South.
Lady Baltimore cake uses an egg white-based batter for an airy texture. While the earliest recipe features raisins in the filling, dried figs, dates, and more are also popular.
The egg whites are beaten and combined with sugar, milk, butter, flour, and baking soda, then baked into two cake layers. Some family recipes add almond or vanilla extract.
The cloud-like frosting uses a syrup of sugar and water, plus beaten egg whites. Some modern recipes use corn syrup for more smoothness, while others call for a bit of sherry.
The nuts in the filling range from pecans to walnuts and more, and the fruits and nuts may be soaked in brandy or rum. Some families decorate the cake with cherries or coconut.
You can find Lady Baltimore cake at bakeries in the Southern US. People outside of that region are better off making their own cake for a (customizable!) taste of this regal icon.