We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Lady Baltimore Cake?

By Cassie L. Damewood
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A Lady Baltimore Cake is a multi-layered white cake that has boiled white frosting in between its layers and coating its top and sides. What distinguishes it from a plain white layered cake is the addition of chopped nuts and minced candied or dried fruits mixed into the frosting. It was a popular wedding cake during the early 20th century and remains among the top choices of many brides today.

The story of how the Lady Baltimore Cake got its name varies. Since there is no mention of it in literature or evidence of it being a recipe prior to 1906, it is unlikely it had anything to do with the real Lady Baltimore. Ann Arundel, who died in 1649, was called Lady Baltimore because she was married to an Irishman man who inherited the whole state of Maryland in the United States (U.S.), including its large city of Baltimore, from his father. Interestingly, she never visited the North American continent, just as Lord Baltimore never did.

The most likely origin of the Lady Baltimore Cake was a romance novel entitled Lady Baltimore, written by Owen Wister and published in 1906. Legend has it that prior to writing the book, Wister had been given a cake by a southern belle from Charleston, South Carolina, named Alicia Rhett Mayberry. The confection so impressed him that he included it in his novel, claiming in the story that he purchased a cake for his own wedding in a tearoom from a lady named Lady Baltimore and then named the cake in her honor.

Wister’s description of the cake’s appearance and taste was so appealing that readers of the novel were desperate to get the recipe. Since it had not been created, bakers set out to create a cake that mimicked Wister’s excited yet vague description from the book. All they had to go on was the passage, “Oh, my goodness! Did you ever taste it? It's all soft, and it's in layers, and it has nuts — but I can't write any more about it; my mouth waters too much. Delighted surprise caused me once more to speak aloud, and with my mouth full, 'But, dear me, this is delicious!'"

The first recipe for Lady Baltimore Cake was published shortly thereafter. On December 24, 1906, the Daily Gazette and Bulletin newspaper based in the U.S. in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, published the version that is still in print today. The only variations over the years have been the frosting ingredients, which have frequently included chopped figs and raisins as well as crumbled macaroon cookies.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Scrbblchick — On Jan 22, 2014

A recipe for this cake appears in the 1961 "Progressive Farmer" cookbook. I don't remember the exact story of its origin, but it's similar, I'm sure.

I'm equally sure that the Lady Baltimore cake and the lane cake share a common heritage, both being white cakes and having a candied fruit and nut filling, along with a white divinity frosting. The main difference is that the lane cake calls for the layers to be soaked in bourbon, and bourbon is added to the cooked filling. Also, wedding cakes of the day were more apt to have fruit in them, so the recipe probably drew inspiration from there, also.

I'm not really crazy about white cake, so I use a yellow cake recipe for my lane cakes, which would make the Lady Baltimore a Lord Baltimore cake.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.