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Torta Maria Luisa

Torta Maria Luisa

There is no denying this cake!  It won't let you!  It's just that good!  My husband calls this cake, "the 80's cake", because apparently it was eaten a lot in El Salvador in the 80's.  Regardless, its one of the only tortas that he will devour!
Torta Maria Luisa is actually a variation of the Victorian Sandwich cake, also known as Victorian Sponge cake.  Victorian Sandwich cake is like a vanilla sponge cake except that it has more fat that your average sponge.  The Victorian Sandwich cake is thought to have gotten its name from Britain's Queen Victoria, who was in the habit of eating a large slice of sponge cake with her afternoon tea.

Nobody knows for sure why Latin America began to call this cake Maria Luisa cake.  It is rumored to have been named after Marie Antoinette, who is known for saying, rather callously, "let them eat cake (brioche)" after being told that the poor had no bread to eat.  However this cake got its name, its simply too delicious not to add to your repertoire!  

Naturally, being a Latin cake that it is, and being very popular in El Salvador and also Colombia, its layers are infused with a zesty orange marmalade, as opposed to the boring raspberry jam used for Victorian Sandwich cakes.  The orange marmalade makes this cake fancy and elegant and a perfect treat to be served at get-togethers and other special social functions. 

Here's my recipe for a simple torta Maria Luisa.  Note that it is important to let the eggs and orange juice come to room temperature before using them.  I have made two layers here but typically its composed of three.

Torta Maria Luisa:


4 eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup of orange juice, room temperature
1/4 cup of tap water (agua tibia)
8 Tbsp. of salted butter, softened (you can use vegetable oil if you do not have butter)
1.5 cups all purpose white flour, sifted
1/4 tsp. of salt
1 tsp.of baking powder
1 cup of granulated, white sugar
2 tsp. of vanilla extract (I use Mexican vanilla)

Orange Marmalade Filling:

1 Tbsp. of lime juice
1/3 cup of confectionery sugar + few Tbsp. extra to dust on top
3/4 cup of orange marmalade
  • Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder, set aside.
  • In new bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and light.
  • Add in vanilla and mix well.
  • Add in eggs, one at a time and reduce mixer speed to medium low.
  • Fold in water using a spatula and stir until combined.
  • Sift in flour mixture, alternately with orange juice, and use spatula to fold together until everything is mixed completely.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Grease two, or three, round cake pans, I use nonstick spray, and pour batter into them.
  • Place cakes in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes.***See my note at bottom
  • Once cakes have cooked completely through, remove and take out of pans immediately and place on wire wracks to cool.
  • Prepare filling by combining all ingredients and mixing well until combined and liquid.
  • Spread cooled cake top (or tops if you baked three cakes) with marmalade mixture and dust the top cake layer with confectionery sugar.

Buen Provecho!

Torta Maria Luisa

***Notes on Baking Maria Luisa:
  • It's best to bake these cakes one at a time, but if you do not have the time, put each cake on a different wrack.  
  • Because temperature is so important to this cake, make sure you have not used your oven at a higher temperature previous to sticking this cake in, or it will burn and overcook. It is best to turn on a oven that has not been used yet all day and set it to 350.
  • Stay close to the oven so you can continue to check on this cake as it can burn very easily and cooks quickly.



Torviewtoronto said...

orange gives a nice flavour in this dessert looks wonderful following you as well lovely site

Ann said...

This cake looks delicious! I love the addition of orange to it. I'm happy to follow you on google have a lovely blog!

Linda said...

From the ingredients and presentation I can see why it was eaten so much! I love the orange in this cake too. Delicious!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Thanks for fixing the comment section - I wasn't sure why only I couldn't leave a comment... I'm glad it's working again. You have so many nice desserts on your blog - the only thing missing in my blog is dessert! I'm sure I learn a lot from you! Nice to meet you. :-)

Juanita said...

A lovely sponge cake. Like Queen Victoria, I wish I could have a slice of cake every day at tea time too :-)

Lola Lobato said...

I haven't tried Maria Luisa's cake yet, but I'm sure It will be a great addition to a High Tea a la Latina!

Anna said...

Luuuuuuuv cakes with orange or any citrus. It's the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. Yours looks divine. I'm craving this cake now. Have a great weekend. :-)

Jill@MadAboutMacarons said...

That Marie-Antoinette had a lot to answer for! Looks a delicious cake and wonderful name, too. It looks so light and that marmalade filling sounds sublime.

Chef Dennis said...

What a delicious cake! I love all the flavors, I can see why your husband loves it!
I;m your newest follower!

Amy@ahealthyandhappyheart said...

I just came across your blog..thanks to foodbuzz! I love it. Can not wait to try your recipes!

anthonyshelley2014 said...

Looking good! :)

Anonymous said...

My mom loved it!! Thanks!!

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