Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Lane Cake

This is the famous cake from the film To Kill A Mockingbird. Every baker in Georgia and Alabama says that this is the finest cake developed in Southern Kitchens.
The Frosting is a bit difficult for the beginning baker. Read the directions several times prior to making it. Follow the instructions perfectly.
The first recipe does not include Bourbon or Coconut. This recipe is from the Farm Journal Country Cookbook.
I've included a second version of the cake with Bourbon and Coconut.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3 - 9" round cake pans generously brushed with my Pan Release Mix (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil, Flour) I start with 1 C of each and store it in a jar in the refrigerator. I always keep some available for all of my baking needs.

Version #1.

1C Butter
2 C Sugar
3 1/4 C sifted Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 C Whole Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
8 Egg Whites, stiffly beaten

1/2 C Butter
1 C Sugar
8 Egg Yolks, beaten
1 C Raisins, chopped
1 C chopped Pecans
1 tsp Vanilla

2 1/2 C Sugar
1/8 tsp Salt
1/3 C Dark Corn Syrup
2/3 C Water
2 Egg Whites, beaten until foamy.
1 tsp Vanilla

Cake instructions:
In a large mixing bowl:
Cream together with a hand mixer.

In a bowl, sift together:
Baking Powder.
Whisk well.
Add alternately, with Milk and Vanilla, to the Creamed Mixture.
Fold in, by hand, the Egg Whites.
Pour evenly into the cake pans.
Bake until Golden Brown. (there is no time indicated in this vintage recipe)
Remove pans to a rack and cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer cakes to the rack and cool completely.
Make the filling.

Filling instructions:
In a mixing bowl:
Cream together the Butter with an electric hand mixer.
Egg Yolks and cook in a double boiler until thick, stirring often.

Fold in:

Spread the filling between the cake layers.

Frosting instructions:
In a mixing bowl:
Corn Syrup
Dissolve the Sugar and Salt in the Water.
Transfer to a saucepan on medium heat.
Cook until it reaches the boiling point on a candy thermometer.
Set aside.
Pour 3 TBS of the mixture into a large Mixing Bowl containing the Egg Whites.
Beat with a hand mixer until stiff, but not dry.
Add Vanilla.
Beat until incorporated.
Return the saucepan to medium heat.
Boil the Syrup mixture to 240 degrees, or until it spins a thread at least 10" long when dropped from the edge of a spoon.
Gently pour the Syrup over the Egg Whites while beating continuously until thick, cooled and spreadable.
Spread over the cake.
If the frosting becomes too hard, add a drop or two of hot water.
This frosting does not form a crust that cracks when the cake is cut.
This makes enough for a 3 layer (9") cake.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Version #2.
Lane Cake:


  1. 3 1/2 C cake flour
  2. 2 tsp cream of tartar
  3. 2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 1 C whole milk, room temperature
  6. 1 tsp vanilla 
  7. 16 TBS ( 2 sticks) ( 1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
  8. 2 C  granulated sugar
  9. 8 large egg whites, room temperature.


  1. 12 large egg yolks
  2. 1 1/2 C sugar
  3. 12 TBS (1 1/2 sticks) (6 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  4. 1 1/2 C  finely chopped pecans
  5. 1 1/2 C finely chopped raisins
  6. 1 1/2 C freshly grated coconut
  7. 1/2 C bourbon
  8. 1 1/2 tsp vanilla 
  9. 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Brush the pans well with Pan Release Mix. Equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil, Flour. I start with 1 C of each, mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.
  2. Sift the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. In a small pitcher, combine the milk and vanilla. In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Slowly add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk in 3 batches. Beat the batter until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Stir one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain.
  4. Pour the batter into the cake pans and smooth the tops. Tap the pans lightly on a work surface to release any air bubbles. Bake the cakes on the middle and lower racks of the oven for about 30 minutes, shifting the pans halfway through, until the tops spring back when pressed lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely. Peel off the paper.
  5. In a large saucepan, combine the egg yolks and sugar and stir until smooth. Add the melted butter and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 6 minutes; do not let it boil. Stir in the pecans, raisins and coconut and cook for about 1 minute. Add the bourbon, vanilla and salt and let cool to lukewarm.
  6. Place a cake layer on a serving plate, right side up, and spread with 1 1/4 C of the filling. Repeat with a second cake layer and another 1 1/4 C of filling. Top with the last cake layer and frost the cake with the remaining filling. Let the cake cool completely before serving. 

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