Baked Goods

Celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright's Birthday by Baking His Favorite Cake

Frank Lloyd Wright's favorite birthday cake.
Frank Lloyd Wright's favorite birthday cake. Mark Hertzberg/Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright is, in many ways, synonymous with the Valley. A major road in Scottsdale bears his name. His designs fill Arizona landmarks including the Arizona Biltmore Resort and his winter home Taliesin West. His geometric patterns, blocks, and prints have inspired much of the architecture throughout metro Phoenix.

Taliesin West, located in Scottsdale, was Wright's winter home and laboratory, according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. It is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers tours to the community.

click to enlarge Taliesin West in Scottsdale. - ANDREW PIELAGE/FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT FOUNDATION
Taliesin West in Scottsdale.
Andrew Pielage/Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Many in metro Phoenix cherish the connection the Valley maintains with Frank Lloyd Wright and his legacy. And today is his birthday. The famous architect was born on June 8, 1867.

During his life, Wright was partial to one particular cake. To celebrate, Taliesin West creates this cake in honor of his birthday.

Now you can too. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, an organization that works to preserve and teach the architect's legacy, shared the recipe for his favorite birthday cake.

Recipe

Serving size: Makes 16 servings

Butter and flour 2 bread loaf pans and line the bottoms with waxed paper.
  • 9 eggs (separated)
  • 1 1/3 C sugar
  • 1 1/3 C cake flour (sift four times)
  • 1/4 t cream of tartar
  • Pinch salt
Have eggs at room temperature. Separate eggs. Beat the egg yolks well. Add sugar gradually and beat until light and foamy. Add cake flour. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt until stiff, but do not over beat. Fold egg whites into the batter by hand. Pour the batter into pans and bake at 300 degrees for 40-60 minutes. When cakes are done, remove from pans and cool completely on racks.

Filling:
  • 20 oz. strawberry jam
  • 8 oz. walnuts (finely ground)
  • 8 walnut halves for garnish
Topping:
  • 1 qt. whipping cream
  • 1/4 C confectioner’s sugar
Beat whipping cream until thick, add sugar and continue to beat until stiff.

Chocolate sauce:
  • 1 t butter
  • 2 oz. baker’s chocolate
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
Mix ingredients and cook until well blended and slightly thickened. Cool.

To assemble cake: Cut the cooled loaves in half lengthwise. On lower layers spread generously with filling: layer of strawberry jam, layer of ground walnuts, and a layer of whipping cream. Cover with the remaining loaf halves. Frost the top and sides of the cakes with whipping cream.

Pour the cooled chocolate sauce over the cake in an open, lacelike pattern, not solidly covering whipped cream. More chocolate than white should be showing, with some dribbling over the sides of the cake. Garnish with edible flowers if desired.

This recipe was originally printed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and reprinted with explicit permission.
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