Lane Cake

 Hi, dear friends! Hope you are doing well. 

I moved to Birmingham, Alabama on August and, since then, I've been trying different recipes of classic Southern layer cakes. Today, I would like to share with you the Lane Cake. This is a very famous and traditional one, especially in the Christmastime.

Emma Rylander Lane, of Clayton, Alabama, won first prize with Lane Cake in a baking contest at a county fair in Columbus, Georgia. After that, she decided to self-publish a cookbook named Some Good Things To Eat, in 1898. The recipe was originally called by her as the “Prize Cake”.

If you are a fan of the book To Kill a Mockingbird, you are probably familiar with this name. Harper Lee mentioned the Lane Cake in her novel several times and certainly you will remenber this phrase from Scout Finch: “Miss Maudie Atkinson baked a Lane cake so loaded with shinny it made me tight.”  The term “shinny" refers to the Bourbon, which is combined with raisins to make the filling, placed between four layers of white sponge cake, and topped with boiled frosting.

For decoration, I made sugar pink camellias, the state flower of Alabama. I love camellias and I think they are a perfect combination for this cake.



(Recipe adapted from here)



3 ¼ cups sifted cake flour

2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

1 – 16 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

8 egg whites

1 cup milk

On wax paper sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add egg whites, in four additions, beating thoroughly after each addition.

Fold in flour mixture alternately with milk; begin and end with dry ingredients. Batter should be smooth but look slightly granular.

Turn into 4 ungreased 9-inch round layer-cake pans lined on the bottom with wax paper.

Bake in a 375-degree oven until edges shrink slightly from sides of pans and tops spring back when gently pressed with finger, or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean — about 20 minutes. Place pans on wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes.

Turn out on wire racks; remove wax paper; turn right side up; cool completely.

Put layers together (on a cake plate) with Lane Cake Filling, stacking carefully; do not spread filling over top. Cover top and sides with swirls of Boiled White Frosting.

Cover with a tent of foil or a cake cover; or cover tightly in a large deep bowl in tin box. Store in a cool place; if refrigerated, allow to stand at room temperature for half a day before serving because cake texture is best when cake is not served chilled


8 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

½ cup butter, at room temperature

1 cup seedless raisins, finely chopped

1 – 3 cup bourbon or brandy

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup finely chopped raisins 

1 cup finely chopped pecans 

1 cup grated coconut

In a 2-quart saucepan, beat the egg yolks well; beat in sugar and butter. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until quite thick. Remove from heat; stir in raisins, pecan, coconut, bourbon and vanilla. Cool slightly; use as directed.


(Recipe from here)

    1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces/200 grams)

 1/3 cup water (2.75 ounces/80 grams)

2 large egg whites (¼ cup/2.125 ounces/60 grams)

Pinch salt, or ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, stir the sugar and water over low heat until dissolved. Stop stirring, increase the heat to medium-high, and boil until it reaches the soft-ball stage and registers 238°F on a candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the egg whites on low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Add the salt or cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium-high, and beat until soft peaks form, about 1 minute.

n a slow, steady stream, beat in the hot syrup. Be careful the syrup does not touch the beaters or it will spin into threads. Add the vanilla and beat until cool.