Lady Baltimore Cake

More Coconut! This recipe was my father’s favorite birthday cake. He particularly loved fresh coconut. Fill this with either the Lemon Filling or some of the frosting—the choice is yours.  You can if you like bake the cake up to a month ahead of time and freeze the layers on a cookie sheet.  When solidly frozen, wrap with multiple layers of cellophane wrap.  Thaw just when you are ready to prepare the frosting.  This way the crumbs from the cake will not be pulled off into the frosting.  I most often bake the cake ahead of time.

White Layer Cake (See below)
Lemon Cream Filling (See below)
1 cup or more shredded fresh coconut, toasted until lightly browned or angel flake coconut

Yield:  2, 9 inch layers
Temperature:  375 F
Baking Time: 30 minutes

White Layer Cake:
½ cup unsalted butter or solid vegetable shortening
1 ½ cups sugar
3 cups sifted flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder (2 teaspoons at altitudes over 5000 feet)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup liquid from fresh coconut or milk
½ cup shredded fresh coconut or angel flake coconut
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon pure Mexican Vanilla extract
3 egg whites

Lemon Cream Filling:
¾ cup sugar
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
Grated peel of 1 lemon

Lady Baltimore Fluffy Frosting: 
1 ½ cups sugar
2/3 cup boiling water
½ teaspoon light corn syrup
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon Mexican Vanilla extract
1 cup or more shredded fresh coconut, toasted until lightly browned or angel flake coconut

1.  Prepare cake, up to a month ahead and freeze (see head note). Prepare filling, if using  (1/2 package of lemon pie filling mix can also be substituted. Prepare frosting. Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate. Spread with filling. Top with remaining layer. Spread frosting over the top and sides.  Sprinkle with toasted fresh coconut or angel flake coconut.


White Layer Cake:

1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans and line with waxed paper. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy, using low speed at first, switching to high to get fluffiness.

2.  Add sugar gradually, and beat until light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a small bowl. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture, alternately with coconut liquid, using low mixer speed. Beat after each addition until smooth.

3.  Then add coconut and extracts, mixing well.  Meanwhile, beat egg whites in a large bowl until stiff, but not dry. Fold egg whites into batter, using lowest mixer speed.

4.  Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed in center and cakes have pulled away from the sides of the pans. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then turn out cakes on wire racks to cool completely.

Lemon Cream Filling:

1.Combine ingredients in the top of a double boiler. Cook over hot water, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Set aside to cool.

Lady Baltimore Fluffy Frosting:

1.  Combine sugar, boiling water, and corn syrup in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Bring quickly to a boil, stirring only until sugar is dissolved. Boil rapidly without stirring until a small amount of syrup forms a soft ball in cold water, or spins a long thread when dropped from the tip of a spoon. (240F, 115C).
2.  Meanwhile, beat egg whites in a medium-size bowl until stiff but not dry. Pour hot syrup in a fine stream over egg whites, beating constantly with an electric mixer. Add vanilla. Beat 10 to 15 minutes, using highest speed of mixer or until the frosting is thick and fluffy.

3.  Frost the cake immediately, frosting between the layers if not using the filling.  Then frost the sides and top, making whirls with the back of a spoon.  Generusly sprinkle coconut over the entire cake.

Note: When frosting a cake, place 3 inch wide pieces of waxed paper under all sides of the cake layer, using 3 different pieces of paper. After frosting cake, remove the pieces of waxed paper and toss, leaving a pretty and clean plate.

For a large party, double the recipe to make 3 (10-inch) layers.

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