Lane Cake- A Cake of America

Vietnamese food

Lane Cake/Prize Cake-One of famous cakes of Alabama state.  This cake was invented by Emma Rylander Lane of Clay ton, Alabama, won first prize at a county fair in Columbus, Georgia in the late 1800s.

In the novel “To Kill a a Mockingbird”, by Alabama native Harper Lee, Maudie Atkinson bakes a Lane cake for Aunt Alexandra when she arrives to live with the Finch Family.  The optional cup of whiskey must have been added to the custard because Scout says ,”Miss Maudie Atkinson bed a Lane cake so loaded with shinny it made me tight.”  Shinny is a slang term for liquor.  To my opinion, the cake is very close to Lady Baltimore Cake.

Just in case if you do not know about that novel, it was published in 1960 and won a Pulitzer prize.

This recipe was adapted to the Lane Cake of Warren Brown in United cakes of America.  It is a white cake with the custard filling made with egg yolks and a copious amount of whiskey (tipsy pudding filling).  You can use your favorite white cake recipe or white cake mix.  Some recipes use twice amount of sugar in the cake and filling.  I think if you use the seven minutes frosting which is really sweet then no need more sugar unless you do not want frosting or use fresh, unsweetened coconut flakes.

Cake
2 sticks/1 cup/ 8 ounces of butter, softened
1 cup/8 ounces sugar
3 cups/15 ounces all-purpose flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 eggs white
Two 9 in round cake pan

Filling
1 stick/ 4 ounces butter
8 egg yolk
1/2 cup/4 ounces sugar
1 cup pecans, toast, finely chopped
1 cup/3½ ounces sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup chopped raisin
1/4 cup to 1 cup Whisky or Brandy
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

7 minutes Frosting
3 egg white
1¼ cups/ 10 ounces superfine granulate sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Whiskey

Cake:
Preheat oven to 325 oF.  Buttered and floured two 9-in round cake pans.

In a small container, mix milk and vanilla.
Combine dry ingredients-flour, baking powder, and salt.  Sift them three times.

In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attached, beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Slowly add sugar beat until light and fluffy about  4-5 minutes, scrapping down the side of the bowl.

With the mixer running at low speed alternately add dry and wet ingredient in three batches start and end with dry.  Scrap the side if needed.

Whisk the egg white with clean bowl and beaters until soft peaks formed.  Gently fold 1/3 of egg white into the batter, then fold in the rest.  Divide the batter into two prepared pans.  Bake about 25-30 minutes until the edge just browned and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center come out with a few moist crumbs.  Let they cool in the pan about 5 minutes.  Then invert into the wire rack to let they cool down.  You may bake at 350 oF with a shorter baking time/check the cake 5-7 minutes earlier.

Frosting:
Bring water to a simmer in a pot or pan that can accommodate a mixing bowl set over it.  Mix egg white, cream of tartar, sugar and salt.  Beat with a hand held mixer on low speed and increase to high speed gradually.  The meringue should form a stiff peak in about 7 minutes, stir in flavor and  use immediately.

Filling:  
Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.  In a small bowl, beat egg yolks, sugar and salt until pale yellow about 2 minutes.  Blend a small about of melted butter into egg yolks.  Return egg yolks to the saucepan, whisk constantly over medium or medium low heat until coat the back of a spoon about 5-6 minutes.  Do not let it boil, stir in coconut flakes, raisins, pecans vanilla, and Whisky or Brandy.  Remove from heat, covered. Let it cool to lukewarm.

To assemble the cake:
Slice each cake into two layers.  Spread an even filling between layers.  Put frosting over the top and sides and use a folk or spoon to make the pattern.  Let the cake cool completely before serving.  Cake can be made and put in an air tight container in the fridge  a week.  Take it out about 1-2 hours before serving.

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