Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Alabama Lane Cake

Servings: 8-10
Particularly popular throughout the South, this white or yellow cake is layered with a mixture of coconut, nuts and dried fruits and often covered with a fluffy white frosting (this version does not use the cooked frosting, but uses the cake filling for the top and sides). Lane cake is said to have originated in Clayton, Alabama, when its creator, Emma Rylander Lane, won a prize for it in the state fair.

For the Cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups cake flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
8 egg whites

For the Filling and Topping:
8 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
Grated rind of 1 orange
1/3 cup bourbon (apple, grape or cherry juice may be substituted for the bourbon)
1/2 teaspoon mace
1 1/4 cups pecans, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
1 cup glace cherries, quartered

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees f (190 C). Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.

2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Beat in vanilla.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt twice. Stir flour mixture into batter alternately with milk.

4. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Stir 1/4 of whites into batter. Fold in remaining whites until just mixed.

5. Spoon batter into the 3 prepared cake pans and bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; turn onto cake racks.

6. To prepare filling, mix together yolks, sugar and orange rind in a heavy pan or in top of a double boiler.

7. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens enough to coat back of spoon. Do not allow to boil or eggs will scramble.

8. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Let filling cool. Fill the cake layers and spread on top and sides of cake.

Lane cake improves in flavor as it ages and mellows. Covered and uncut, this cake can be made 1 week before serving. It's not necessary to refrigerate.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Date: April 25, 2003