Edna Lewis’s famous coconut lane cake

Name of Dish: Coconut lane cake by Edna Lewis

Edna Lewis's Coconut Lane Cake

Lane Cake is named after its first baker Mrs. Emma R. Lane. She called it ‘Prize Cake’ as it won her the first prize at county fair in Columbus, Georgia. As Lane belonged to the city of Clayton, Alabama, this cake is also known as ‘Alabama Lane Cake’.

Complexity level: Moderate

Time taken: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Ingredients for cake

  1. Three and half cups cake flour
  2. Two teaspoons cream of tartar
  3. Two teaspoons baking soda
  4. One-fourth teaspoon salt
  5. One cup milk, at room temperature
  6. One teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  7. Two sticks ( half pound) unsalted butter, softened
  8. Two cups sugar
  9. Eight large egg whites, at room temperature

Ingredients for filling in the cake

  1. Twelve large egg yolks
  2. One and half cup sugar
  3. One and half sticks (Six ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  4. One and half cup (Six ounces) finely chopped pecans
  5. One and half cup (Ten and half ounces) finely chopped raisins
  6. One and half cup freshly grated coconut
  7. Half cup bourbon
  8. One and half teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  9. One- Fourth teaspoon salt


1. Preheat the oven to 325°.

2. Apply butter and flour to three 9-inch round cake pans that have their bottoms lined with parchment paper.

3. Sort the flour with a sieve and mix it with cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a mid sized bowl. In a small bowl, mix milk and vanilla. Beat the butter first without, then with sugar until fluffy. Start adding dry ingredients and the milk slowly in batches, around 2-3.

4. Now use different beaters or clean the current ones to beat the egg whites till they form soft peaks. Pour and mix one-third of the egg white into the beaten cake to soften it. Next fold in the remaining egg white, using a rubber spatula so that no white streaks remain.

5. Pour the batter into the cake pans. Cover the pans lightly. Bake the cakes for approximately 30 minutes on the middle and lower racks of the oven. After 30 minutes, remove it from oven and leave it to cool on wire racks for 5-10 minutes. Empty the cakes onto the racks. Ensure to remove parchment paper and cool completely before frosting.

6. Take a large saucepan and stir the combination of egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Now, add melted butter to it and cook at moderate heat, continue to stir till it becomes a thick paste. Pour in the pecans, raisins and coconut and cook for about a minute. Now, add bourbon, vanilla and salt and leave it till lukewarm.

7. Place first layer (keeping right side up) of cake on a serving plate, and spread it with one and quarter cups of the filling. Now place the second cake layer and another one and quarter cups of filling. Carefully apply the last cake layer and frost the cake with remaining filling.


Refrigerate the cake in a tightly covered container for up to one week.

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