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Saints of the Eucharist: St Maria Josefa

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Kiddie Carolina Cakes

Servings: 12 | Prep Time: 5 min | Cook Time: 15 min | Total Time: 20 min

St. Maria Josefa was born in Bilbao, Spain, where an iconic dessert known as a Carolina Cake first appeared about the time of St. Maria’s death. Featuring a puff pastry custard tartlet covered with a tall cone of meringue that is topped by alternating stripes of a sugary egg yolk sauce and melted dark chocolate. While the full recipe is DELICIOUS (see page 2) and highly recommended for older children in the home, here is a much simpler version below is probably liked just as well by your home’s little people. Whichever version you choose, have fun #makingcatholicmemories!


  • 1 sheet ready-made puff pastry, rolled out thin with dusting flour
  • 1 small box of vanilla pudding mix 
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 8 oz tub of whipped topping, thawed
  •    Chocolate syrup


  • Muffin tray
  • Cupcake liners 
  • Dried beans


  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F and lightly grease a muffin tray. 
  2. Cut the puff pastry sheets into circles and place them in the muffin tray.
  3. Insert the cupcake liner filled with dry beans inside the pastry dough shells to help hold their shape.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes or until the puff pastry is browned and puffy, then remove cupcake liners with beans from pastry shells and cool the shells on a wire rack.
  5. While the pastry bakes, in a shaker cup or medium bowl whisk the cold milk with the pudding mix for 2 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 5 minutes.
  6. Once shells are cool and pudding refrigerated, fill each shell with pudding.
  7. Place whipped topping into a piping bag that has a straight round nozzle, and pipe a conical shape on top of the pudding, ending in a point.
  8. Drizzle chocolate sauce across the top of the whipped topping cone in one straight line, rotate the pastry, and repeat to create a cross.
  9. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Traditional Carolina Cakes

Servings: 12 | Prep Time: 30 min | Cook Time: 45 min | Total Time: 75 min


For the egg custard tartlets:

  • 1     sheet ready-made puff pastry, rolled out thinly with dusting flour
  • 2     eggs
  • 2/3 cups flour
  • 6     tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6     tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1     lemon’s peel, no white rind (use vegetable peeler)
  • 1     stick of cinnamon
  •     Cinnamon powder for dusting

For the Carolinas:

  • 12  custard tartlets
  • 4    eggs, separated
  • ½   cup granulated sugar
  • 3    tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ½   cup dark chocolate melting wafers


For the Custards

  1. Warm the milk with the lemon peel and cinnamon, then remove from heat and cover with cling film for 10 minutes to infuse flavor. 
  2. Remove the lemon peel and cinnamon and allow the milk to cool to about 105-115° F (warm to touch, but not hot).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and lightly grease a muffin tray with butter. 
  4. Cut the puff pastry sheets into circles and fit one within each muffin tray hole, making sure they fit tightly.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar, add the flour slowly to make a smooth paste, then add the milk until you obtain a smooth batter. 
  6. Add the melted butter in a slow stream until the batter absorbs the butter fully.
  7. Pour the batter on each puff pastry tartlet, leaving ¼” to ⅛” at the top. 
  8. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until pastry just starts to brown and is puffed up. 
  9. Cool on a wire tray and dust with cinnamon.

For the Carolinas

  1. Mix the egg yolks and 4 tablespoons of the sugar in a saucepan on low heat, stirring continuously until all the sugar is dissolved, then set aside and cool down.
  2. Preheat the oven to 225˚F.
  3. Whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until soft peaks form. 
  4. Add remaining sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking until the egg white has formed a silky and stiff meringue. 
  5. Sift the powdered sugar onto the meringue and fold in gently with a rubber spatula until all powdered sugar is dissolved. 
  6. Place the meringue in a piping bag that has a straight round nozzle, and pipe a conical shape on top of the custard tartlets, ending on a point.
  7. Bake the Carolinas for 10 minutes until the meringue is slightly dryer and set. 
  8. Remove from the oven
  9. Starting from the top of the meringue, use a teaspoon to pour the egg yolk mix on two opposite sides of the meringue cone, then bake 10 minutes more.
  10. Meanwhile, using a microwave, melt the chocolate in no more than 30-second increments, stirring between each increment, until it is smooth and runs easily in a ribbon.
  11. Remove the cakes from the oven and again pour the chocolate over the top of the Carolina, but on the other two opposite sides of the meringue cone.
  12. Cool then serve.


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