State Dessert Challenge 4 (Alabama, Lane Cake)

Lane Cake, State Dessert From Alabama

The official description of the cake says: bourbon-laden baked cake traditional in the American South.

After good research time, I learn many things about this dessert, my favorite one is the English Teacher that as part of her class project made the cake, Now I am sure they replace the bourbon, because now that I had it, I can tell you, CHEERS. They make reference that in the Novel "To Kill A Mocking Bird", they avoid the youngsters when it came to this cake. I also learn the meaning of the Southern Slang, Shinny and Laden, cool love learning new words.

Ok, to the important part of this post. I read all about the cake in different pages, some people call it "Alabama Lane Cake", or, "Lane Cake", or, how the creator, Emma Rylander Lane, called it on her published book from 1898, "Some Good Things To Eat", "Prize Cake". Because she won First Place in a County Competition in Columbus, Georgia. Even so I only knock into a part of the original recipe, there was plenty where to read from, many different people have done their own versions of Lane Cake. Though I don't feel that they all reveal the secrets, but I understand; that been said, I have to tell you that I used a lot of personal knowledge to get it right, specially after the first attempt of the cake were it did not work, my gut told me: "the recipe is not perfect", but I went against myself and did it anyway. Big Fiasco. I quickly transform those into Cake Balls.

The Cake part needs to be a heavy sponge, and I say heavy because spongecake thou it can absorb the moisture, it cannot stand the weight of the fillings and the several layers.

The "Lane Cake"


3 cake pans, 9 inch round and 2 inch tall
parchment paper, as needed it
8 oz Margarine, softened
2 Cups Granulated White Sugar
3 & 1/2 cups of All Purpose Flour 
1 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/2 tsp baking Soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 Cup milk, at room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla
8 large Eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp Cream of Tartar
Simple Syrup from 1 Cup of Sugar and 1 Cup of Water, some drops of lime and 4 Tablespoons of Bourbon. Boil together for at least 3 minutes, add the bourbon after turning off.
2 beating bowl for your mixer or be fast


  • Line your cake-pans with the parchment paper, then grease and flour. Reserve.
  • Turn the oven on to 350*F   (Home Convection Oven), 375*F (Home Convectional Oven)
  • Beat the Margarine on medium high speed, until it changes its color to a pale yellow. 
  • Incorporate the sugar to the butter, without stopping, just add it like making it rain on the margarine while beating. Mix until light and fluffy.
  • Mean while, sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl, measure the milk into a bowl, and separate the egg whites from the egg yolk.
  • When the Margarine-Sugar mixture looks done, bring the speed down and incorporate the dry and the liquid ingredients, make sure to do this alternating from dry to liquid in a total of 7 stages, starting with flour and finishing with flour. Scrape the sides , to make sure that all is been mix together properly.
  •  In a different bowl, beat the egg whites with the Cream of Tartar until they reach a hard pick.
  • Change the Fitting of the Batter to the one you used for the egg whites, add 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter and beat at medium speed. Then, add another 1/4 of the egg white and beat at medium-low. After add another 1/4 of the egg white and use the stir motion to mix it in. And the last 1/4 of the egg whites, fold it in with the help of a spatula. Mix uniformly. 
  • Pour the batter immediately into the prepared cake pans and smooth the tops. Weight the cake pans, so that all the molds have the same amount of batter, and smooth the best possible to make sure the bake even.
  • 30 minutes to the oven or until the little stick comes out clean. rest for ten minutes while hot in the pan, and then invert in wire racks. Cool before using in recipe. Split each round into two. you need at least 5 layers. the extra one  give it to the little ones.

The Filling is the part I like the best, but in all the recipes I was able to read, that was what differed the most. The description of the cake uses the word laden, the book that mentions the cake says " Miss Maudie baked a Lane Cake so loaded with shinny it made me tight" Shinny is a slang term for liquor". Also no one says to you that prior using pecans in a recipe, one have to lightly toasted them.
For the coconut I used the shredded coconut from the health store, no sugar added. Also The Lane Cake is a cake of at least four layers, mine had 5 of cake and 4 of filling. And it does not stretch  for any more.

The Filling


8 Egg Yolks
1 1/2 Cups of Granulated White Sugar
4 oz Coconut Butter.
1 Cup Chopped Pecans, make sure you toasted the pecans.
1 Cup Shredded Coconut
1 Cup of Raisins
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tsp vanilla
1 Cup Bourbon


In a heavy bottom pot, beat the egg yolks with a whisk, incorporate the sugar and mix. Add the butter.
Take the pot to the stove, and stir continuously until it gets thicker, do not allow the egg mixture to boil, keep the fire controlled and stir in fast movements. 
Take of the fire, add the pecans, raisins and coconut. Back in to the fire and cook u little more to let the mixture thicken up a bit.
Add the rest of ingredients. mix thoroughly and cool a little bit, Use to fill the cake while still a bit warn, it helps spread the filling.


Assembling the Cake

  • Get Ready your cake platter, place one layer of the cake in the middle, and brush the sponge cake with the simple syrup.
  • Divide the filling into 4 equal parts.
  • Spread 1 part of the filling on the cake. Repeat until all the filling gets use. Make sure to brush both sides of the cake, except for the base cake layer that only gets brushed on the top. The Top layer (the last one to place over all) also gets brush.
  • Most recipes do not tell you to do the Simple Syrup, But I imagine that been an old tradition cake, this was done most likely. Plus it prevents drying.
  • Cover the cake, and allow the cake to sit for at least a 12 to 16 hours before frosting.

To frost the cake I looked at many pictures to get an idea of what I was going to do. Some people used The Italian Meringue, other ones a boiled frosting. Reading the partial ingredients from the original recipe, made me think that the lady probably use what was common in those days which is the "American Frosting". i am putting that on a different post, because is an exact copy of a book.

Frost your cake and either give it some picks for decor and sprinkle with Shredded Pecans, (toast them prior using them).

Before I go here are the links of the pages i used the most for investigation and into help me get a grasp of the recipes that I partly follow. All the cakes looked so yummy.

The Cake was as describe in the book. Very Shinny !!! The Sweet notes from the Bourbon came right to me, and the nuttiness from the cocnut and pecans gave it the perfect bite, those raisins infuse with the alcohol were the perfect splash of sweet and bourbon. And the little bit of Nutmeg just wrap all the flavor up.

Hope someone makes this cake, I am sure I will be doing it again.

Have Fun Cooking and Enjoy !!! 

I made this cake in Utah, at 4600 feet sea level, adjust the flour. Other wise if you are around here and follow the steps, you will achieve a great cake. Good Luck !!!,+Emma+Rylander.+Some+Good+Things+to+Eat&hl=en&sa=X&ei=9Fj-VPywJtLhoASciYGoAQ&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Lane%2C%20Emma%20Rylander.%20Some%20Good%20Things%20to%20Eat&f=false


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