Lady Baltimore Cakes

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Prep 1hr (+30min cooling and 30min standing time)Bake 20minMakes 12

Hailing from the deep south of North America, Lady Baltimore cake is a classic wedding cake choice. With its simple buttercake layers, fruit and nut filling and dreamy meringue frosting, the resulting flavour combination is delightfully complex. These individual cakes are made just for one.


Melted butter, to grease
185g butter, softened
145g (⅔ cup) caster sugar, plus 75g (⅓ cup) extra
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
1 orange, zest finely grated
225g (1½ cups) plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
165ml (⅔ cup) milk
3 egg whites


    45g (¼ cup) raisins, chopped
    45g (¼ cup) chopped dried figs
    2 tablespoons brandy
    40g (⅓ cup) chopped toasted walnuts

      Meringue Frosting

      • 3 egg whites
      • 150g (⅔ cup) caster sugar
      • 1 teaspoons natural vanilla essence or extract


      1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush a 12-hole 125ml (½ cup) friand pan with melted butter to grease.
      2. To make the filling, combine the raisins, figs and brandy in a small saucepan and heat over low heat for 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
      3. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, 145g (⅔ cup) caster sugar, vanilla and orange zest, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary, until pale and creamy.
      4. Sift together the flour and baking powder. With the motor running on the lowest possible speed, beat in the flour alternately with the milk, in 2 separate batches each, until just combined.
      5. In a separate clean dry medium mixing bowl, use a whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the extra caster sugar, a spoonful at a time, and whisk on medium-high speed until thick and glossy. Use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold a large spoonful of the egg white mixture through the butter mixture until well combined. Add the remaining egg white mixture and fold until just combined. Divide the mixture evenly among the friand holes and smooth the surfaces. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Stand the cakes in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
      6. Meanwhile, make the meringue frosting. Choose a medium heatproof mixing bowl that sits snugly on top of a medium saucepan. Quarter-fill the saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Put the eggwhites and sugar in the heatproof bowl and place over the simmering water. Use a spatula to stir until the sugar dissolves. (You can tell if the mixture is ready by rubbing a little between your fingers – if it still feels grainy, then continue to stir for another minute or until it no longer feels grainy.) Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and use a whisk attachment to whisk on high speed for 5-8 minutes or until the meringue has cooled to room temperature and is very thick and glossy. Whisk in the vanilla. Transfer two-thirds of the frosting to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
      7. To finish the filling, transfer the remaining third of the frosting to a medium bowl and fold in the chopped walnuts and the fruit mixture.
      8. Use a small sharp serrated knife to cut the cakes in half horizontally and trim the tops to level, if necessary. Spread a little of the filling over the bottom halves of the cakes and sandwich with the top halves, pressing down.
      9. Spread the reserved meringue frosting over the sides and tops of the cakes to cover, swirling as desired. Set aside for 30 minutes for the frosting to firm slightly before serving.

      Baker's Tips

      • These cakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
      This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Little CakesCLICK HERE for more Bakeproof recipes.

      Photography by Alan Benson.