Old-Time Favorites: Lady Baltimore Wedding Cake

The Lady Baltimore cake (left) became popular when Owen Wister described the cake in his 1906 novel, Lady Baltimore. Typically, the layer cake has a white frosting and a filling that contains chopped nuts and dried fruits. The Lady Baltimore wedding cake is accented with almonds and Swiss meringue fleurs-de-lis; the top tier rests on a milk-glass compote.

  • Servings: 240

Photography: Dana Gallagher

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2004

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Prepare tiers: Trim layers. On corresponding-size boards, fill layers with Lady Baltimore filling to make 4-inch-high tiers. Coat tiers evenly with frosting; smooth with a bench scraper or offset spatula.

  2. Assemble tiers: Set 18-inch tier on cake board. Insert 16 dowels into it, arranging 12 in a circle about 3 inches from edge and 4 in a square in the center. Center and set 14-inch tier on top. Insert 10 dowels into this tier, 1 in the center and 9 in a circle about 3 inches from edge. Center and set 10-inch tier on top. If using a compote to hold top tier, add more dowels to center of 10-inch tier; their length will depend on whether compote base is hollow or solid, and the number needed will depend on its weight. If not using compote, insert 4 dowels into 10-inch tier in a square about 3 inches from edge. Center and place 6-inch tier on top.

  3. Decorate tiers: Fit a pastry bag with a coupler and an Ateco number 4 round tip; fill with remaining frosting. Pipe a pearl border around tiers' top edges. Carefully remove fleurs-de-lis from sheets using an artist's palette knife or offset spatula. Press into sides of tiers in a staggered pattern. Carefully coat tops of tiers with nuts.

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