Lady Baltimore cake – This cake is spoken of in Owen Wister’s book “Lady Baltimore” and inspired his readers to search for the Lady Baltimore cake recipe. According to legend, Wister had once tried a piece of this cake thought it so delicious that he decided to incorporate it into his novel. Lady Baltimore is traditionally a white cake with a white meringue frosting, and a filling of meringue, dried figs, raisins, and nuts. See recipe for Lady Baltimore Cake.
ladyfinger – Ladyfingers are a cake-like cookie made with a sponge cake batter. The batter is piped with a pastry bag onto a baking sheet into finger shapes about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. After baking the cookies are dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Lady fingers are used when making charlottes, trifles and tiramisu. See recipe for Ladyfingers.
laminated dough – Pastry dough that is prepared by layering dough and fat along with a long process of rolling and folding. This process, along with baking the dough at a high temperature, produces flaky layers. Common pastries using laminated dough are Croissants, Danish, and puff pastry.
Lamington – An Australian pastry that is rolled in shredded coconut.
Lane cake – Lane cake is a white cake make with whipped egg whites, layered and filled with a cooked egg yolk custard containing dried fruits, normally raisins, along with nuts, coconut, and bourbon, and frosted with a boiled icing such as Seven Minute Frosting. Lane cake is a southern tradition that originated in Alabama, created by Emma Rylander Lane in the 1800’s. See recipe for Lane Cake.
lame - A Lame is a French tool with a curved razor blade set into a handle. A lame is used to slash the top of bread, such as baguettes, just before it goes into the oven. The slash allows the bread to expand fully to its proper shape as it bakes. A small, very sharp kitchen knife can also be used to slash the bread dough.
lardy cake – An English cake made with a sweet dough and filled with dried fruit, lard, and sugar. Modern versions usually replace the lard with butter.
lattice – A decorative topping for pies; strips of pastry dough are overlapped or woven to form a crisscross pattern. Lattice toppings are popular with fruit pies. See recipe for Apple Cranberry Lattice Pie.
layer cake – A cake made with two or more layers sandwiched between frosting or filling. See recipe for Yellow Cake.
layer cake pans - Many basic cake recipes use traditional round layer cake pans that are either 8 or 9 inches in diameter. The pans should be at least 2 or 2½ inches deep so that the batter doesn’t overflow. You’ll want to have a set of at least two round layer cake pans; however a set of three pans is best as many cake recipes are made with 3 layers. Choose pans with no seams on the inside and a good, heavy feel to them.
lazy-daisy cake – A cake made with a single layer of yellow butter cake, and topped with a mixture of coconut, butter, and brown sugar, and then browned under the oven broiler.
lb – the abbreviation for pound.
lean dough – bread dough made with flour, water, salt, and yeast and little or no fat or sugar, giving the dough had a crisp crust when baked. French bread is a common lean dough.
leaven – Leavening lightens the texture of a dough or batter, helping the baked item to rise while baking. Common leavening agents are baking powder, baking soda, yeast, and air beaten into egg whites or butter.
lebkuchen – A German cakelike cookie made with honey, spices, candied peels, and nuts. Lebkuchen dough may be rolled and cut with cookie cutters, or pressed into carved molds, however many versions are baked in a pan, glazed with a thin sugar icing, and cut into squares. Lebkuchen, or “lifecake,” is a dense chewy cookie that can be made up to one month before serving as the cookie improves with age. See recipe for Lebkuchen Bars.
lemon – A citrus fruit from lemon trees. Lemons are oval shaped with a bright yellow peel and pale-yellow flesh with a tart taste. Lemon and lemon flavorings are commonly used in baking. The peel can be removed and discarded, but it is also edible. The peel of citrus fruits is often candied. See recipe for Candied Lemon Peel.
lemon curd – A creamy thick spreadable cooked cream made with egg yolks, butter, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Lemon curd is traditionally served with scones, and is also used as a filling in cakes, tarts, and pastries. See recipe for Lemon Curd.
lemon meringue pie – A classic American pie made with a lemon curd filling in a pre-baked pie crust, and topped with a thick layer of meringue that is browned in the oven before serving. See recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie.
level – When measuring dry ingredients, spoon the ingredient into a cup until overfull, then level the top with a straight edge such as a knife or spatula.
line– Covering a baking sheet or the inside of a baking dish with parchment paper, waxed paper, or foil to prevent food from sticking.
linzertorte – A Viennese tart made with an almond or hazelnut pastry and filled with raspberry preserves. The top is covered with a pastry, woven into a lattice shape.
liquid measuring cup - All liquid ingredients, such as water, milk, or juice are measured in a liquid measuring cup. Liquid measuring cups should be made of clear glass or plastic, have a pouring spout, and have clear measurement markings on the side. It is handy to have a 1 cup measure, along with a 2 cup and 4 cup measure for most baking projects. Liquid measuring cups are also handy for warming milk or melting butter in the microwave. To accurately measure, place the measuring cup on a flat surface and pour the liquid in up to the marking for the amount you need. Let the liquid stop swishing around to determine the level it is at. Shop for liquid measuring cups.
loaf pan - Loaf pans are used for most quick bread recipes, such as banana bread and zucchini bread. Metal, stone, glass, and ceramic loaf pans all work well for quick breads. Loaf pans can also be used for yeast breads. The most useful sizes are a 9¼ x 5¼ x 2½ inch loaf pans for larger loaves and 8½ x 4½ x 2½ inch loaf pans for smaller loaves. Darker loaf pans are good for crusty yeast breads; however light aluminum is best for sweet and quick breads so they don’t over-darken. Shop for loaf pans.
Lord Baltimore cake – It is believed that this cake was created to use up the leftover egg yolks from making Lady Baltimore Cake. Lord Baltimore cake is a layer cake made with whole eggs or egg yolks and filled with a mixture of crushed macaroons, pecans or almonds, and candied cherries, and frosted with white meringue frosting.
luster dust – another name for pearl dust. Pearl dust is a colored, edible dusting powder that gives a pearlescent sheen, and is often used in cake decorating. The dust may be sprinkled on dry, or mixed with a clear alcohol, such as gin or vodka to create a liquid decoration that can be painted, using a small artist paintbrush. Shop for luster dust.