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Lane Cake

Page history last edited by Lisa Nocita 9 years ago

For generations of Southerners, a Lane cake on a table has signaled a major celebration.  The tall, fluffy, snow-white cake is filed with a rich sweet mixture of egg yolks, butter, and raisins.  The billowy white icing shines like satin.  Harper Lee refers to Lane cake in To Kill a Mockingbird.  Maudie Atkinson is determined to keep the recipe a secret from Stephanie Crawford:  "That Stephanie's been after my recipe for 30 years," Atkinson says, "And if she thinks I'll give it to her...she's got another think coming."



1 cup whole milk, room temperature

6 large egg whites, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups cake flour

1 3/4 cups sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened



5 tablespoons bourbon (optional)

1 tablespoon heavy cream

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Pinch salt

1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

3/4 cup pecans

3/4 cup golden raisins

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract



2 large white eggs, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 cup sugar

2/3 cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Mix Batter

adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.  Whisk milk, egg whites, and vanilla in large liquid measuring cup.  With electric mixer on low speed, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined.  Add butter, one piece at a time, and beat until only pea-size pieces remain.  Pour in half of milk mixture and increase speed to medium-high.  Beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.  Slowly add remaining milk mixture and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds.


Bake cakes

Scarpe equal amounts of batter into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.  Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack.  Cool completely, at least 1 hour.  (Cooled cakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for 2 days.)


Make filling

Whisk bourbon, cream, cornstarch, and salt in bowl until smooth.  Process coconut in food processor until finely ground.  Add pecans and raisins and pulse until coarsely ground.  Melt butter in large skilllet over medium-low heat.  Add processed coconut mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Stir in bourbon mixture and bring to boil.  Off heat, add condensed milk and vanilla.  Transfer to medium bowl and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.  (Filling can be refrigerated in airtight container for 2 days.  Bring filling to room temperature before using.)


Whip Frosting

With electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip eggs and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until frothy, about 30 seconds.  With mixer running, slowly add sugar and whip until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes; set aside.  Bring corn syrup to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until large bubbles appear arund perimeter of pan, about 1 minute.  With mixer running, slowly pour hot syrup into whites (avoid pouring syrup on beaters or it will splash).  Add vanilla and beat until mixture has cooled and is very thick and glossy, 3 to 5 minutes.


Assemble Cake

Place 1 cake round on serving platter.  Spread filling over cake, then top with second round.  Spread frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake.  (Cake can be refrigerated, covered, for 2 days.  Bring to room temperature before serving.)


Here's a variation!

Lane Cake from the Southern Living Cookbook


1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking  powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Cup Milk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Lane cake filling ( to follow this recipe)

Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Fold in egg whites.

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick  inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.

Icing  of filling.. (Depending on which neck of the woods you are from.)


8 egg yolks ( if you did the egg whites correctly you will have the yellow part left over)

2 cups of sugar

1 cup butter

1 cup raisins

1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

1 cup pecans

1 cup walnuts   ( put them in my mini chopper and chop them up slightly)

1 cup coconut

1/2 to 1 cup of those candied cherries you get during the holidays chopped up.  I used my food processor after I chopped the nuts.

1/2 cup wine if desired. I used Jack Daniels Bourbon and it is wonderful in this cake.

Cook eggs, butter and sugar until thick. Cook on medium to low and this will take about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir constantly‚Ķ  Cool then add the raisins, nuts, coconut, cherries, vanilla flavoring and bourbon.  Then get with it icing the cake.  You put also inbetween the layers. It is so good..  you will want to make another one next year!


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