María Luisa Cake


I have learned so many things since I started this blog almost five years ago and most of them are Colombian recipes that I had never heard of or even seen. That was the case with this María Luisa cake. People kept requesting the recipe for it and I couldn’t publish it because I had never had it.


I asked my family and friends about it and they also had no idea what it was, so it makes me wonder if it’s only known in specific parts of the country. In any case, it really doesn’t matter because it turns out that it’s not really a true Colombian recipe since it’s also made in other Latin American countries.

The first four or five times that I made this cake were a disaster and it was mainly because I was making recipes that I had found in other blogs or cooking sites. That is always a problem because either the recipes are not written right, or whoever published the recipe didn’t really make it at home and didn’t even know that the end result is completely inedible.

After figuring out that this is basically an orange flavored cake filled with a berry jam and sprinkled powdered sugar on top, I decided to make just that. I tried making it with just butter and orange juice but it came out too dry. So, I reduced the amount of eggs but also increased the amount of orange juice, added orange zest for a stronger flavor, added milk to make it tender and replaced the butter with oil to have a really moist cake. The end result was amazing! So, if you wanted to make a fantastic María Luisa cake, look no further. I can assure you that you will be falling in love with this recipe.

¡Buen provecho!





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María Luisa Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 3.8 from 18 reviews
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 1 - 8 inch cake 1x
  • Category: Cakes, Sweet
  • Cuisine: Latin America


  • 2 cups (280 g) all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1¼ cup (250 g) white granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • ½ cup (120 ml) orange juice
  • ½ cup (120 ml) whole milk
  • ½ cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • Berry or strawberry jelly to taste (I use between 3/4 – 1 cup (6-8 oz))
  • Powdered sugar to taste to decorate


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the granulated sugar and mix to incorporate.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl beat the eggs, orange juice, milk, oil and orange zest.
  4. Add ½ the amount of orange juice mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to incorporate. Scrape the inside of the bowl with a spatula to make sure you are mixing everything well. Add the rest of the orange juice mixture, mix to incorporate and scrape the bowl one last time.
  5. Pour the batter into two 8 inch (20 cm) round baking pans that have been greased and floured. Tap a few times to get rid off the air bubbles trapped inside the batter and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Let the cakes cool on top of a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Then, take the cakes out of the baking pans and let them cool completely on the cooling rack.
  6. 6. Once the cakes are cool, spread as much berry jam on top of the bottom cake as you want. Then place the second cake on top of the jam and sprinkle with powdered sugar.




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  1. This cake looks beautiful. And it looks like the Victoria Jam Cake that the British serve with tea. Definitely going to try this. I save and make many of your recipes. Thank you for your blog and I hope you continue to publish for years to come.

  2. I read your article. I appreciate the fact you want to make something different. As a real colombia who was brought up eating this type of cake my question is: why should I make it with your recipe when you have never tried the real one? I find it misleading to advertise it as a Maria Luisa when you can not compare to the real recipe.

    1. That would go for any recipe, don’t you think? I think it’s perfectly fine to share great recipes even if you haven’t had them in a certain parts of the world or if you have never had it before you made it. I know many people who make delicious paellas without having had one in Madrid or even Spain. I know others who make killer spaghetti carbonara without ever being in Italy. Same goes for Chinese dumplings, Japanese ramen or New York bagels. Which reminds me, the worst croissants I have ever had were at the Eiffel tower in… you guessed it… Paris. So no, I don’t think it’s misleading to share a fantastic Maria Luisa cake recipe even if I had not had it before I made it. And trust me, it’s delicious.

      1. Sweetysalado I agree 100% with you. Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes
        The explanations and instructions you give are very clear. I find your comments relevant

  3. I completely love this cake, is my go to for any occasion. I simply play around with the fillings and icing.

    I am Colombian and I appreciate it this recipe, keep posting.

  4. I am in Alaska and have some neighbors from Columbia next door. I had some oranges I needed to use and some half used bottles of strawberry and blackberry jam that needed to go before they went bad. So I decided to make a María Louisa Cake for them. You should have heard the two little kids shout for joy! It has been a constant blowing blizzard for two days. I needed to do something to make me happy. And baking then giving does that for me. Call it therapeutic baking.

    1. That is so wonderful to hear, Frank! I am so glad they liked the cake. It is definitely one of my family’s favorites!

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