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Parks Canada Heritage Gourmet App

Lafayette Cake

A traditional cake that is sure to please!

Lafayette Cake

Origin: Sir Georges-Etienne Cartier National Historic Site
Region: Quebec
Period: 19th Century
Course: Desserts and Baked Goods

Iamge of the dining room of Sir George-Étienne Cartier Dining room of Sir George-Étienne Cartier
© Parks Canada

Lafayette cake is a well-known traditional dessert in Quebec, and could well have been served in the dining room of Sir George-Étienne Cartier (pictured above). Marius Barbeau, while collecting popular traditional recipes in 1935-36, came upon this recipe several times. It is also mentioned in the manuscripts of recipes from the 19th and 20th centuries in religious communities in Quebec. The version from La Nouvelle Cuisinière canadienne was the first to be published in Quebec. However, the original recipe comes from the United States of America. This dessert was named in honour of the Marquis de Lafayette, a hero of the American Revolution.

This story is adapted from the book A Taste of History: The Origins of Quebec's Gastronomy. Yvon Desloges and Marc Lafrance. Éditions de la Chenelière, Montréal 1989. English-French book. ISBN : 2-89310-028-7.

Lafayette Cake

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 ¾ cups | 430 ml sugar
  • 2 oz | 60 g butter
  • 2 cups | 500 ml sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp | 10 ml chemical leavening (baking powder)
  • A favourite jam

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat the yolks, gradually adding the sugar. Cream the butter and add the yolk/sugar mixture to it. Gently add the egg whites, one spoonful at a time, carefully stirring after each addition. Gradually add the flour and baking powder.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter two 10-inch round (24 cm) cake pans and pour the batter into them. Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then unmould. Spread the top of one of the cakes with jam and cover with the other cake.

Credits:

Recipe tested by Chef Sean Edwards, Algonquin College School of Hospitality and Tourism

This recipe comes from the book A Taste of History: The Origins of Quebec's Gastronomy. Yvon Desloges and Marc Lafrance. Éditions de la Chenelière, 1989. Montréal 1989. English-French book. ISBN : 2-89310-028-7. The authors found the original recipe in La Nouvelle Cuisinière canadienne (circa 1855).