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
- 3 each, 6-, 10-, 14-, and 18-inch round layers Lady Baltimore Cake
- 4 pieces corresponding-size 3/16-inch-thick foam board
- 4 recipes Lady Baltimore Filling
- 3 recipes Seven-Minute Frosting
- 1 painted cake board (22-inch diameter, 1 inch thick), trimmed with ribbon, if desired
- 30 wooden dowels (1/4 inch diameter, 4 1/8 inches long), plus more for compote support (optional)
- Swiss Meringue Fleurs-de-Lis
- 4 cups sliced, blanched almonds
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.
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.
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.