Happy Southern Cooking Day!

I spent some of my youth in the South. Aside from the fried foods people think of, I mostly remember dessert foods and ice tea that were so sweet they curled your teeth. I also vividly remember making a Lane Cake for a project in 7th grade, after reading “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Scout has stayed with me all my life, as has Miss Maudie Atkinson’s Lane Cake made with “shinny.” My English project back in 7th grade left out the bourbon. The version my daughter made for our Christmas dinner doesn’t omit the alcohol. This cake does well a few days after it’s made. It gives the shinny time to soak in. Grab your whiskey, sugar and lots of eggs.

Lane Cake


  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon whiskey
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 egg whites

For the filling:

  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups pecans (chopped fine)
  • 1 cup raisins (chopped fine)
  • 1 ½ cups coconut flakes (sweetened or unsweetened. Either is fine.)
  • 1/2 cup whiskey

Seven Minute Frosting:

  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1 Sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions for the cake:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat butter until fluffy. Beat in sugar and whiskey into the butter. In a separate bowl combine, flour, baking powder salt. Add the flour mixture and milk alternatively to the butter mixture. If it seems wrong, you’ve done it right. This is a thick batter, more like a sticky bread dough.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter, 1/3 at a time. The batter will still be very sticky and thick.

Spoon and spread the batter into three 8-9” cake pans. I find that buttering and flouring the bottom and sides of the pans well, works fine. But if you want to be extra cautious, line the bottom of each pan with parchment.

The Filling: 

Take a large sauce pan (3 ½ qts), fill 2 inches deep with water and heat over high heat until boiling and reduce to a simmer. Beat egg yolks until thin and light yellow. Beat in sugar slowly until blended. Add melted butter, while continuing to mix. Pour mixture into a 3-qt heat safe bowl and set into the 3 ½ qt sauce pan with water. I use a Pyrex bowl in a larger pan, my wok. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking while the water simmers. Using a candy thermometer, slowly bring the temperature up to 170 degrees, about 30 minutes.

Stir in whiskey, vanilla, pecans, coconut and raisins. Let cool for one hour.

Spread the filling between the three layers. Leave more filling in the center of the cake, as the weight of the layers will make it spread out.

The Frosting:

Take a large sauce pan (3 ½ qts), fill 2 inches deep with water and heat over high heat until boiling and reduce to a simmer. Combine egg whites, sugar and water into a 3 qt. heat safe bowl. Again I use my Pyrex and wok for this makeshift double boiler. Place bowl in simmering water and beat mixture on high with a hand mixer for 7 minutes or until soft peaks form. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Continue beating until it is spreading consistency and really sticky! Immediately spread on your cake. It will seal and harden.  Which is good because the cake can “soak” for a few days and you don’t need to worry about it drying out.

Credit goes to my daughter who did all the leg work making this cake while I took pictures.


Recipe source: Slight variation on recipes from http://www.myrecipes.com

Leslie Gayle

Leslie is a one time CPA, wife and mom of twins. She’s an over thinker who loves karate, thunder, and travel. Her sweatpants are yoga pants and she takes her coffee with milk.

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