Lisa Fritz–Food Files

Lisa Fritz

February 4, 2004

A cake fit for a princess

Dear Lisa: I have lost my recipe for Lady Di’s Birthday Cake and wondered if you possibly have this recipe. I appreciate your assistance. I wanted to make this for my mom’s upcoming wedding on February 14. — Linda

Dear Linda: This recipe appeared in the February 1988 issue of Woman's Day magazine and, according to the article, “Diana had a special fondness for this cake because it was served at her childhood birthday parties.”

The baked layers can be wrapped and refrigerated up to three days or frozen up to three months. Unwrap and bring to room temperature before assembling. Completed cake can be refrigerated up to four hours before serving.

While we're at it, how about President Roosevelt’s birthday cake, too?

Princess Diana’s Birthday Cake

Six large eggs

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup water

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour mixed with 1/2 tsp. baking powder

For the filling:

3 cups whipping cream

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Three pint baskets (about 12 ounces each) strawberries, rinsed (reserve some for garnish), hulled and sliced

To make cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of two 8- or 9-inch round layer-cake pans. Line bottoms with waxed paper; grease paper. Add granulated sugar to each pan, tilt to coat bottom and sides; shake out excess. Beat eggs in a large bowl with electric mixer on high speed until pale, about 1 minute. Gradually add the 1 1/2 cups sugar, beating about 2 minutes until mixture is thick, has tripled in volume and forms a slowly dissolving ribbon when beaters are lifted.

Working quickly, stir in water and vanilla. Fold in flour mixture just until completely blended. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until tops are lightly browned and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack 10 minutes. Run thin-bladed knife between sides of pans and cakes to loosen. Invert pans on rack; peel off waxed paper and cool completely.

To make filling: Beat cream and vanilla in a large bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. Gradually beat in sugar until cream is of spreading consistency.

To assemble: Slice each layer in half horizontally, using a long serrated knife. Place one layer on serving plate, spread with 1 cup whipped cream, top with one-third of the sliced berries. Repeat with two more layers. Place remaining layer on top; spread remaining cream over sides and top. Garnish with reserved berries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

President Roosevelt’s Birthday Cake

1 cup butter or margarine

1 1/2 cups sugar

Three eggs, well beaten

1 cup cold black coffee

2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking soda

1 Tbsp. vinegar

Cream butter and add sugar, a little at a time. Cream well; add eggs. Sift flour, salt, soda and cocoa together 3 times. Add coffee with flour mixture to batter, alternating. Then add vinegar and vanilla. Bake at 350 degrees in 9-inch layer pan 20 to 35 minutes or in loaf pan about 30 to 40 minutes.

• Lisa Fritz is a food and nutrition educator at Bryan High School. She answers readers’ questions about food, cooking and recipes. Her e-mail address is

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