Lady Baltimore Cake

10 servings
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours

Lady Baltimore Cake is a beautiful classic cake recipe with light white cake layers, chewy nutty fruit filling, and fluffy vanilla frosting.

This showstopping Southern Cake Recipe takes light and airy White Cake to the next level by adding a rich, chewy fruit and nut filling. It gets a generous coat of fluffy sweet Vanilla Buttercream for a delicious, beautiful Dessert perfect for special occasions.

Sabrina’s Lady Baltimore Cake Recipe

The cake starts out with a light and airy white cake batter made with whipped egg whites. It’s similar to an Angel Food Cake, but has butter and milk added so you get the airy texture but also a super rich, moist cake. It is flavored with both almond and vanilla, for a delicious sweet delicate taste. The key is to use clear vanilla extract for that beautiful pure white color.

What really sets this cake apart though is the decadent filling of fruit and nuts. Dates and raisins are simmered in rum and honey until they get a thick jammy texture. Instead of jam fillings, like Strawberry Jam, this nutty fruit filling is chewy, chunky and slightly crunchy. All together with the airy cake and fluffy frosting, every bite is a medley of textures.

What is Lady Baltimore Cake?

A Lady Baltimore Cake is a classic Southern layer cake with white cake layers, vanilla frosting, and a fruit and nut filling. It can be traced back to Charleston, South Carolina in the late 19th century to Lady Baltimore’s Tea Room. It is a popular old-fashioned cake you’ll find at special occasions like weddings and bridal showers.

Lady Baltimore Cake ingredients laid out in separate prep bowls
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  • White Cake: A white cake is a super light cake that doesn’t have any egg yolks, instead it just uses whipped egg whites. It has both butter and milk so it’s super moist and rich while still having that beautiful airy texture. The cake flour helps with the lightness and there is a hit of almond to compliment the nutty flavor in filling.
  • Egg Whites: Room temperature eggs are easier to separate the whites and the yolks, plus the egg whites will whip quickly. Be careful not to over-whip your eggs or they will break and separate.
  • Vanilla: Clear vanilla extract gives your cake and frosting its delicious vanilla flavor without adding any color to the batter. Vanilla is naturally a brown color so it can make your cake and frosting an off-white or even lightly yellow coloring.
  • Fruit and Nuts: One of the things that makes a Lady Baltimore Cake so special and unique is the sweet, chewy fruit and nut filling. The combination of dates and raisins is perfectly fruity and tart, while the pecans get slightly soft but still have plenty of crunch. Try other dried fruit like golden raisins, sultanas, apricots, figs, or sour cherries too.
  • Honey: The honey adds some sweetness and forms a jammy paste to hold the filling in place.
  • Rum: The addition of rum gives the filling a lovely warm, spiced flavor with a hint of boozy goodness. It’s best to use a dark rum to get that deep, smoky spiced taste.
  • Vanilla Frosting: Our classic Vanilla Buttercream is light, fluffy and perfect for this cake. It is made with clear vanilla so it’s perfectly white. Feel free to try it with Cream Cheese Frosting too!
  • Pecans: There are pecans in the filling and also on the outside of the cake. While you could pick any nut, pecans really stand out because this is a classic Southern cake and pecans are popular in Southern cooking.
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Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Cake Pan: You’ll need 2 9-inch round cake pans to make this layer cake. Spray them generously with baking spray or line them with parchment paper circles for easy removal.
  • Sauce Pan: To cook the fruit and nut filling, you’ll need a medium sauce pan.
  • Stand Mixer: A stand mixer makes mixing up the batter and the egg whites very easy. Note, it’s best to whip the egg whites first since they need to be done in a clean bowl.
  • Mixing Bowl: Have a medium or large clean bowl ready to transfer your whipped egg whites into while you make the batter.
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How to Make

Time needed: 3 hours.

  1. Prep for Baking

    Preheat the oven. Coat two 9-inch cake pans with baking spray.

  2. Whip the Egg Whites

    Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer until soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. While the mixer is still going, add ¼ cup sugar a tablespoon at a time until stiff peaks form. Transfer the egg whites to a separate bowl.Lady Baltimore Cake whisk sitting with tip upright with whipped egg whites on tip

  3. Prepare the Cake Batter

    In the stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract until fluffy. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk a little at a time while the mixer is on low speed until just combined.Lady Baltimore Cake collage of making cake batter

  4. Combine the Batter and Egg Whites

    Fold ⅓ of the egg whites into the batter gently until combined. Add another half of the egg whites, then fold in the remaining egg whites as gently as possible. Be careful not to over-mix or handle too much.Lady Baltimore Cake collage of adding egg whites to cake batter

  5. Bake the Cake Layers

    Divide the batter between the two prepared pans evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack completely.Lady Baltimore Cake collage of cakes in pans before and after baking

  6. Cook the Filling

    Add the dates, raisins, water and honey to a medium pan. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook until the liquid is absorbed then remove from the heat. Stir in the rum and pecans until combined. Set aside and allow to cool completely.Lady Baltimore Cake collage of filling ingredients and cooked filling

  7. Make the Frosting

    Cream the butter on low speed in your stand mixer. Add the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until combined then raise to medium-high speed for a minute. Add the vanilla extract and heavy cream then beat on medium high speed until fluffy.Lady Baltimore Cake collage of preparing frosting

  8. Prep for Assembly

    Remove the cakes from their pans and level as needed. Brush away any excess crumbs. Add a spoonful of frosting to the center of your cake plate.

  9. Assemble the Cake

    Add a cake layer on top of the frosting dollop. Pipe a thick circle of frosting around the edge of the top of the cake. Fill the circle with the fruit and nut mixture. Top with the remaining cake layer.

  10. Frost the Cake

    Carefully spread the remaining frosting over the top and around the sides of the entire cake. Gently smooth frosting with an offset spatula. Sprinkle chopped pecans around the top of the cake and press some nuts halfway up the sides.Lady Baltimore Cake collage of frosting and decorating cake

Can this be made ahead of time?

This Lady Baltimore Cake can absolutely be made ahead of time. The naked cake layers can be wrapped in plastic wrap after they have cooled and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 4 months. The frosting can be made and refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to 6 months. The entire frosted cake will last about 5 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.

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Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Lady Baltimore Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 869 Calories from Fat 387
% Daily Value*
Fat 43g66%
Saturated Fat 21g131%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 14g
Cholesterol 86mg29%
Sodium 261mg11%
Potassium 274mg8%
Carbohydrates 117g39%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 87g97%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 1034IU21%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 109mg11%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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How to Store

Store: Store the cake in an airtight container, cover it with plastic wrap, or store under a cake dome. You can keep it for about 5 days in the fridge, just set it out for a little to soften it before serving. Lady Baltimore Cake will also keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Freeze: Freeze the slices first until the frosting is hard then wrap the cake slices tightly in plastic wrap, and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

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Frequent Questions

How do you separate egg whites from egg yolks?

Start with room temperature eggs to make separating them easier. You can use the egg shell to separate the egg yolks by cracking it in the middle. Without fully pulling the shell halves apart, slowly tilt the yolk back and forth, letting the whites drip from the center. You can also use your hand as a strainer, letting the whites slip between your fingers, but that way is quite messy!

What is the filling of Lady Baltimore Cake?

The delicious filling for Lady Baltimore Cake is a combination of dried fruit and nuts in a thick syrup, often flavored with alcohol like rum or brandy. The original recipe was just raisins and chopped nuts, but modern recipes also include dried fruit like figs, cherries, dates, currants, and sultanas.

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Recipe Card

Lady Baltimore Cake

Lady Baltimore Cake is a beautiful classic cake recipe with light white cake layers, chewy nutty fruit filling, and fluffy vanilla frosting.
Yield 10 servings
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


White Cake:

  • 6 large egg whites , room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar , divided
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk

Fruit and Nut Filling:

  • 1/2 cup dates , chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1/2 cup pecans , chopped

Vanilla Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup pecans , chopped (for garnish after frosting)


White Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray two 9″ cake pans with baking spray.
  • To a stand mixer add the egg whites, beating on medium speed until soft peaks form (the tip of the peak will fall down when in soft peak stage), this should take 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in ¼ cup sugar one tablespoon at a time while it is beating, until the mixture reaches hard peaks (the tip of the peak will stay standing up), this should take another 1 minute.
  • Remove the beaten egg whites from the stand mixer to a large bowl.
  • Add the remaining ¾ cup sugar, 2/3 cup butter, vanilla extract and almond extract to the stand mixer on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt (this is important for soft and tender cupcakes) then add in the flour and milk alternating about ¼ of each at a time on low speed until just combined.
  • Fold in ⅓ of the egg whites gently until combined (start with this amount first to lighten the mixture so the rest of the egg whites will fold in easier), then add in the remaining egg whites gently as well.
  • Spread the batter into the cake pans evenly (be gentle with the mixture or it can make a dense cake).
  • Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely.

Fruit and Nut Filling:

  • To a medium saucepan add the dates, raisins, water and honey on medium heat.
  • Bring to a simmer, stir.
  • Let cook until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat, add in rum and pecans, stirring well.

Vanilla Frosting:

  • To your stand mixer on low speed cream the butter then start adding in the powdered sugar in ½ cup increments until fully combined then raise the speed to medium-high for 1 additional minute.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy for 1 minute.

To Finish:

  • Add a bit of frosting to you cake stand in the center.
  • Place the first layer of cake gently onto the frosting.
  • Pipe a circle of frosting around the top edge of the first layer.
  • Fill with the fruit and nut filling.
  • Top with the second layer of cake.
  • Carefully frost the top and sides of the cake.
  • Sprinkle chopped pecans around the top and sides of the cake.


Calories: 869kcal | Carbohydrates: 117g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 87g | Vitamin A: 1034IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1mg

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Lady Baltimore Cake decorated cake on stand with slice on cake server pulling away from cake, recipe name across bottom

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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