Miss Rubie-Lee’s Dangerous Red Velvet Cake Recipe with Baby Beets, Strawberries and Honey

Red Velvet Cake overhead recipe with beets BakeThisCake

Dangerously moist and decadent vintage-style red velvet cake baked up with a few old-fashioned twists like baby red beets, strawberries, ricotta cheese and honey. And did I mention the drizzle of heirloom custard meringue frosting and the plated cake with strawberries and cream? We’ve got a wow berry celebration going on and hoping you’ll join us to bake this cake! Continue reading

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Hipping up the Awesome 1930′s Helen of Troy Orange #Cake Recipe – The Cake That Launched a Thousand Ships

Orange Lemon Being Cut for Serving BakeThisCake

A classic 1930′s comeback cake called the Helen of Troy Orange Cake! It’s a nice historic cake recipe hipped up to way-cool! It’s lookin’ pretty, popping with bright citrus flavors and it’s unique (especially if you use the blood orange option). Oh — AND it has a delicate tangerine custard filling with a dreamy tangerine cream frosting. Yeah! Continue reading

Lady Baltimore Cake Recipe for a Special Celebration

Lady Baltimore Cake side overview by BakeThisCake Photo by LifeForcePhotosBack to the present…The grand lady of vintage cakes…drum roll pleeze for the Lady Baltimore Cake — an amazing celebration cake that tastes like the perfect 1920′s Regulation Butter Cake.  You can eat this cake plain, no kidding, and you’d be happy with it.  BUT it comes with a decadent filling that includes chopped nuts and exotic dried fruits.  AND THEN…the whole dang thing is frosted over with a remarkable old-fashioned Boiled Icing (from turn-of-the-century recipes) that spreads like a dream then hardens to look like a bank of frozen snow. A frosting that you can gently crack into, literally!  I’m thinking it’s going to knock your country socks off — or your urban city argyles, as the case may be.

Lady Baltimore Cake 4 slices by BakeThisCake Photo by LifeForcePhotos

Mystery Origins: Maybe you thought this cake was birthed in Baltimore, Maryland. Nay, tis said, even though some swear by a connection to King Charles I of England and his Lord Lady Baltimore 1906 Macmillan London Decorative cover boards bookand Lady Baltimore. Others say this cake stems from a real antique called the Queens Cake (though the differences make that seem unlikely). This version of the proud lady starts with a vintage “plain white cake” aka “silver cake”, that is really a “butter cake” but using only egg whites :), and possible wife to the Lord Baltimore Cake (that is made with the leftover egg yolks and filled with chopped cherries, nuts and macarons). The most likely nationally published origin of the Lady Baltimore Cake was a romance novel entitled Lady Baltimore, written by Owen Wister in 1906 (with a story that literally revolves around this cake).  Folks say that, prior to writing the book, Mister Wister had been given this Charleston cake by Alicia Rhett Mayberry and the cake so impressed the author of The Virginian that he included it in his novel in a big way. And so a Southern classic was born that may now be considered a bookish sort of literary cake. Ha!

Over the decades: Here’s a look at a snippet of the 1920′s version of this cake made in 2 layers in a brownie-sized pan, a later version in 2 round layers dotted with cherries…and our version….

Evolving History of the Lady Baltimore Cake by Bake This Cake

We kicked-it-up in the elegance category a notch, making it a tad more fanciful with 4 large round layers, but keeping close to the original “receipt” (the old-fashioned word for “recipe”) in most other ways. We did not splash it with sherry or brandy, but that’s always an option. :)

Our Special Occasion — My mum’s book:  Whoo hoo! The Lady Baltimore Cake is really something special and is destined for a special celebration. Could be a sophisticated vintage wedding cake or a cold weather cake, a birthday cake or the best Viola Odell signing While Wandering book at book signing event Photo by John Albrittoncake for New Year’s.  But the special occasion for THIS particular cake — my 90-year-old mum’s first book signing event for her amazing new book (I’m partial, of course :) ), “While Wandering: A Photo-Poetic Journey Through California Landscapes“.  As a fan of naturalist, John Muir, and the Sierra Club all her life, my mom wrote a fascinating poem for each of her (other) daughter’s dramatic photographs of the California wilderness and country landscapes.  Christine Murphy took the incredible photographs that accompany each poem While Wandering a Photo Poetic Journey Through California Landscapes by Viola Geary Odellof madré’s book. The photographs showcase incredible scenes of wanderings over the years throughout majestic California sites like: Yosemite, the short grass prairies of the Central Valley, the Big Sur coastline and the Monterey Bay area. Check out their Facebook While Wandering page with even more cool photos and poetry. (You go, Mom!  We’re so very proud of you!) :)

Slow Cooking Warning: This is a cake project, in my opinion. It is a “gift of time” cake that will make your party howl when your friends and family first land sight of it. This cake is notRegulation Butter Cake from p 3 of 1921 Igleheart's Cake Secrets hard to make but it takes some set-aside time for chopping nuts and dried fruits (although a food processor might fill that bill if you can get the chops small and evenly diced with the machine). The nuts should be oven roasted a tad just to bring out their highest flavors and the raisins need to soak a while. Oh, and you’ll also need some extra time for the interesting science experiment with the Boiled Icing (here’s where you’ll want to haul your dorm-mates, your kids or your best friends into the kitchen to watch — cause it’s cool).  So be warned, this is not your grocery store cake-mix cake. It’s the real deal! :)

Another Warning – Oh My!: The only special tool you’ll need, besides a mixer, is a thermometer (a simple candy thermometer on up to something fancy — and they’re not Types of cake baking thermometers BakeThisCakeexpensive nowadays, like $15+) to read the heat of the boiling sugar-water at 240-degrees (unless you want to try your eye at catching it at the right “threading” moment. Not!). Another good reason to use a thermometer: Since the egg whites are basically cooked with the molten drizzle of boiled sugar-water, it is safer in my estimation to use a thermometer for this purpose. So just lay out the cash, pick one up and call it a day. Be VERY careful with the molten liquid and don’t let your fingers stray near it for a second — and be sure to drizzle it slowly into the whipped egg whites lest it splash.  Doesn’t this sound like a dangerous cake?  Ha! You can do this — with a little caution and careful attention.

Enough of the warnings already!  I say let’s get to it…so….Let the cake project commence! And I’m gonna show you each step along the way with a photograph. :)

Lady Baltimore Cake overhead by BakeThisCake Photo by LifeForcePhotos

BIG CAKE! The recipe given here is for a BIG CROWD CAKE…4 BIG layers — enough to feed a couple dozen party-goers or more at a fine celebration. To make a standard sized cake, just divide the quantities given by 4. For example, instead of the 4 cups of roasted almonds, use only 1 cup, etc.

This cake starts with lots of gorgeous dried fruits and nuts.  We used almonds but walnuts and pecans are awesome in this cake too.

Mixed nuts and fruit for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

Like I said, this is pure vintage cake, listed here in a 1920′s recipe book by Iglehart…

Lady Baltimore Cake from Igleharts 1929

Tools Needed for Lady Baltimore Cake:
2 large round cake pans (22″x2″)
Cooking spray
Wax paper
Very small bowl or cup (for a little lemon juice)
Electric mixer
3 Medium bowls (for softening butter and separating eggs)
3 Large bowls (for creamed butter-sugar, egg whites and flour mixture)
Spatula
Whisk
Measuring cups and spoons
Scissors (for trimming wax paper)
2 pancake flippers (or one large cake slider, or any large flat metal object like a wire cooling rack, a flat-sheet cookie pan)

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
4 cubes (2 cups) unsalted butter
4 cups granulated sugar
7 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups of low-fat (2%) milk
6 egg whites
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, fine quality

Directions for Lady Baltimore Cake:

Prepare two large round cake pans that are  22″ round by 2″ high by spraying each with cooking spray and lining them with a large piece of wax paper (with enough wax paper to hang well over the edges.  Spray the wax paper with another coat of cooking spray. (We’ll trim away the extra wax paper later after the pans are filled with batter.)

Preparing cake pan with wax paper lining for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

Prepare and set aside: 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice

Squeezing lemon juice for Lady Baltimore Cake BakeThisCake

Microwave for a few seconds to soften to room temp:
4 cubes (2 cups) unsalted butter

Preparing room temperature butter for Lady Baltimore Cake Bake This Cake dot com

Stir the room temperature butter with a fork before use. Preparing butter for the Lady Baltimore Cake BakeThisCakecom

Cream the butter by beating it on high-speed for a about 3 to 5 minutes until fluffy.
Butter whipped with butter for Lady Baltimore Cake BakeThisCakecom

Add to the butter:
4 cups granulated sugar

Let the creamed butter and sugar mixture rest in the bowl for about 5 minutes to be sure all granulated sugar is dissolved then beat on high-speed for an additional 1 minute.

Sugar beat with butter for Lady Baltimore Cake BakeThisCake

In a large bowl, whisk together:
7 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder

Whisk dry ingredients for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCakecom

Beat into the butter-sugar mixture on medium speed:
2 cups of low-fat (2%) milk

Milk added to creamed butter and sugar for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

Fold the dry ingredients into the batter with a spatula, a few portions at a time (and take your time to be sure the dry ingredients are well incorporated).

Folding flour into batter for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

Separate into 2 medium bowls 6 large eggs and beat on high-speed until fluffy about (3 minutes):
6 egg whites

Note: We won’t be using the egg yolks for this cake — but they’ll be good for morning eggs.

Whipped egg whites for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCakecom

Fold into the batter:
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, fine quality

Vanilla into batter for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

Fold the egg whites into the batter:

Folding egg whites into batter for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

This is a large recipe, so continue with your patient and gentle folding of the dry ingredients to incorporate the egg whites into the batter…

Continue folding drying ingredients into Lady Baltimore batter by BakeThisCake

Fold into the batter, making sure the batter is nice and smooth:
the prepared fresh lemon juice .

Lemon juice folded into batter for Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

Spread the thick dough in the pans, almost to the top of each pan then cut away the excess wax paper (leaving some overhang to easily lift the cakes from the pans).

Trimming wax paper around cake pan Lady Baltimore Cake by BakeThisCake

Bake at 325 for 35 to 45 minutes until the toothpick test shows completely clean. I highly recommend using your cake thermometer for this purpose. The internal temperature of this cake should be 210 degrees.
Tip: These are large cakes so a toothpick test does not necessarily give you a proper reading and you want to be certain this cake is properly and thoroughly cooked in the top and lower center to achieve perfect results.

Hailing hot from the oven in the wax paper wrapping…

Lady Baltimore Cake hot from the oven by BakeThisCake

Remove the wax paper while the cakes are still warm and let them cool on racks thoroughly.  Using a large, sharp serrated knife, trim the top mound of each cake to be level and then create layers by slicing each cake in half horizontally.

Tip: How to cut a large cake in half by hand: One way to cut a big cake in half is to place the cake on wax paper on the counter for easy rotation. Using a large and very sharp serrated knife, cut into the side of the cake a couple of inches deep at the half way point between the leveled top and bottom of the cake using little in-and-out strokes while rotating the cake with your other hand.  Make only a shallow cut for the first rotation of the cake. After one complete rotation, continue cutting a little bit deeper into the cake while continuing to rotate the cake with your left hand. It may take 3 or 4 rotations until you hit the center of the cake with your knife to complete the slice.

Hand slicing Lady Baltimore Cake in half for frosting by BakeThisCake

For large cakes like this, it is best to use 2 large “pancake flippers”  to remove the top layer onto a piece of foil or plastic wrap for storage.

Wrap the cake slices in aluminum foil to keep them fresh while you prepare the filling and frosting.

Lady Baltimore Cakes sliced and cooling by BakeThisCake

Next up in this 3-part series…the amazing nutty and fruity Lady Baltimore Filling

Filling for Lady Baltimore Cake mixed in a bowl by BakeThisCake

…and the more amazing Boiling Icing that is poured over the cake to dry to a smooth finish…

Lady Baltimore Cake frosted with Boiled Icing by BakeThisCake

Let the festivities commence!

Happy new year to you all and thank you ever so much for joining us in the celebration of old-fashioned vintage cake baking. I’m so glad to meet you all and receive your comments.

Lady Baltimore Cake tall overview with buffet foods by BakeThisCake  Photo by Lifeforcephotos

If you haven’t already, be sure to join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or share our pins on Pinterest. :)

Leslie

Leslie Macchiarella author of Bake This Cake Photo by LifeForcePhotos

Christine Murphy discusses her photographs at book signing for While Wandering Photo by John Albritton

Christine Murphy discusses her photographs at book signing event.

Carmel Helene singing at Viola Odell's book signing for While Wandering Photo by John Albritton

My niece, Carmel Helene, singing at my mom's book signing event.

Old-fashioned Holiday Cake Frosting Recipe and a Berry-Berry Filling

Direct overhead Whipped Cream 2 Cake BakeThisCakecom LifeForcePhotoscom

Looking for the best classic old-fashioned cream frosting for your holiday cake? We’ve got you covered in vintage cake style. And how about a holiday cake filling made with cranberries, strawberries and buttercream, oh yeah! Pure white cake and frosting elegance with a sweet double berry filling — that’s what special old-fashioned holiday celebrations are all about. Continue reading

Italian Sour Cream Cheesecake for the Italian Lovesong Cake

Pouring the cheesecake batter into the prepared cookie crumb crust

Old school fancy elegant Italian Sour Cream Cheesecake recipe wrapped in a homemade cookie crust for the double-decker Italian Lovesong Cake! Continue reading

Ladyfinger Cookie Crumb Crust for the Italian Lovesong Cake

Cropped slice of Italian Lovesong Cheesecake for featured image

This Homemade Ladyfinger Cookie Crumb recipe uses fresh-baked Ladyfinger cookies, roasted almonds and brown sugar for a sweet crumb base and wrap-around for the top cheesecake layer of the Italian Lovesong Cake. The elegant Italian Cheesecake rests gently upon a vintage Boiled Milk Cake that is frosted with a silky White Chocolate and Cream Cheese Frosting! Oh, and the top of the cake is topped with a uniquely delicate Hibiscus Custard! Continue reading

Boiled Milk Cake for The Italian Lovesong Cake

Italian Lovesong Cake side view

The Italian Lovesong Cake — a cake-upon-cake cake with an old-fashioned Boiled Milk Cake (Torta di Latte Caldo) on the bottom, double-decked with an elegant cheesecake (Torta di Latte Formaggio) that is wrapped in a Ladyfinger Cookie Crumb Crust, and dolloped center stage with a wildly unique Hibiscus Custard. Continue reading

Serving The Casanova Charlotte Russe

Wild Blackberry Bavarian Cream Charlotte Russe by BakeThisCake dot com

The Casanova Charlotte…an elegant Genoese Sponge Cake filled with Heirloom Frosting, topped with Wild Blackberry Baviaran Cream and wrapped in a double fence of homemade Ladyfingers! Recipe and step-by-step photos in a 4-part series. Continue reading