International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Torta Maria Luisa

Jars of orange marmalade

(Latin marmalade-filled layer cake)

Image by jules

Average: 4.3 (47 votes)

Torta Maria Luisa is a simple yet elegant cake that is popular Colombia and El Salvador. Moist layers of white cake are spread with fruit preserves, stacked and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

This recipes uses orange marmalade, but any jam or preserve will do. You can even use dulce de leche caramel spread.

6 to 8 servings


  • Cake or all-purpose flour -- 1 1/2 cups
  • Baking powder -- 1 teaspoon
  • Unsalted butter, room temperature -- 1 cup
  • Sugar -- 1 1/4 cups
  • Orange, zest only -- 1 tablespoon
  • Vanilla extract -- 1 teaspoon
  • Eggs, room temperature -- 6
  • Orange juice -- 1/4 cup
  • Orange marmalade -- 1 cup
  • Powdered sugar -- 1/3 cup


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans. Sift the flour and baking powder together in a large bowl.
  2. Place the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and light, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the orange zest and vanilla and beat for another 15 seconds or so.
  3. With mixer at medium speed, add one egg at a time, incorporating each egg before adding the next.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to medium-low. Add the flour in three parts, alternating with the orange juice and beating just until smooth. Don't overbeat.
  5. Spoon the batter in equal parts into the three cake pans. Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove cakes and cool completely.
  6. Mix the marmalade with a little water and stir until it is almost pourable. Spread half the marmalade over one of the layers. Place the next layer on top and spread with the other half of the marmalade. Top with the last layer. Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar by shaking it through a sieve.

Torta Maria Luisa Variations

  • You may omit the orange zest and substitute milk for the orange juice if you like.
  • Victoria sandwich (English tea cake): With a simple variation of this recipe, you can make the English tea cake called a Victoria sandwich. Omit the orange zest. Use only four eggs. Place in two cake pans, not three. Spread with strawberry jam. If you like, top the jam with a layer of whipped cream. Serve with tea or coffee.


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