Lane cake

    45 min

    A luscious 4-layer cake with a rich, brandy flavoured filling of pecans, raisins, glacé cherries and coconut. Traditional to the American south, Lane cake is also known as Prize cake or Alabama Lane cake and is so named as it was invented by a Mrs. Emma Rylander Lane of Clayton, Alabama, USA in 1898.

    14 people made this

    Serves: 10 

    • Cake
    • 225g butter, softened
    • 400g caster sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 400g plain flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 235ml milk
    • 8 egg whites
    • Filling
    • 115g butter
    • 250g caster sugar
    • 8 egg yolks
    • 120ml water
    • 1 teaspoon brandy
    • 110g chopped pecans
    • 145g raisins
    • 85g glacé cherries, chopped
    • 35g desiccated coconut

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:45min 

      To make Lane Cake:

    1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease and flour four 20cm round cake tins.
    2. Cream 225g butter, 440g sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy.
    3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture in three parts alternately with the milk in two parts, beginning and ending with flour.
    4. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake mixture. Spread the mixture evenly into the four prepared tins.
    5. Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool. Once cool spread Lane cake filling (see below) between layers and ice with white-coloured buttercream cake icing.
    6. To make Lane cake filling:

    7. Put 115g butter and 250g sugar into the top of a double boiler away from the heat. Beat together, add egg yolks and beat well. Stir in water and brandy. Place over boiling water. Cook and stir until thickened. Add pecans, raisins, cherries and coconut. Stir filling until all ingredients are well combined. Remove from heat and allow filling to cool before spreading between cooled cake layers.

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    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (11)


    My grandmother used to make this cake at Christmas. I looked everywhere for this recipe, but could only find modernized versions. This is a very good recipe. It does take an eternity to make properly, but it's worth it. I froze my cake layers for about two hours and then removed them and filled them AND frosted them with the same filling, instead of cream frosting. I believe the original recipe used the filling to frost and fill the cake. It makes an amazing Christmas presentation. It's very difficult to make the frosting stay on the cake, but freezing the cakes and chilling the frosting for an hour or so makes it easier. I used my hands to pat the frosting on and then placed the cake in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, I removed the cake and patted more frosting on the "bald spots." I also use a half cup of brandy, instead of brandy extract. Thank you so much for the recipe! I work with a lot of southerners and they were all so excited when I brought the cake in for Christmas. Everyone loved it!  -  28 Dec 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I would have given this recipe 5 stars. However, to have a superb Lane Cake you're going to need a LOT more liquor! In her original recipe, Emma Rylander Lane calls for a full wine glass of whiskey or brandy - the REAL THING. My mother and I have always included at least a half-cup of liquor to the filling. In our opinion, if you're not going to add the liquor (unless for a child's birthday, of course), you shouldn't even bother.  -  25 Dec 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This recipe is time consuming but well worth it. I first tried it in 9th grade when a fellow student prepared it while we were reading "To Kill a Mockingbird".  -  30 Nov 2001  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)