In 1967, the original recipe — first published in Mrs Lane’s cookbook back in 1898 — was brought up-to-date by her granddaughter (and namesake) Emma Rylander Law, and that’s the one featured here.
Here’s the truth about the famous Lane Cake (1967)
By Cecily Brownstone, AP Food Editor in The Sheboygan Press (Wisconsin) December 20, 1967
Here’s where we set the record straight about one of the most famous cakes in American culinary history. We’re talking about Lane Cake, that glorious invention, four layers deep, stacked with spirited filling, and covered with soft white frosting.
This cake has been attributed to others than its rightful creator, and its formula has often been desecrated.
Who invented Lane Cake, and what is the original recipe?
The cake was invented by Emma Rylander Lane, who lived in Clayton, Alabama, and who wrote a cookbook called “A Few Good Things to Eat,” published in 1898.
The recipe for Lane Cake, which Mrs. Lane called her “prize recipe,” was first published in her book. We can attest to this — and to the correctness of the following recipe — because we have a copy of “A Few Good Things To Eat” in front of us, loaned to us by Mrs Lane’s granddaughter — our friend, Emma Rylander Law.
Emma Law has made her grandmother’s cake at our house and, take it from us, it’s worth eating. Not one iota has Granddaughter departed from Grandmother Lane’s ingredients, but she has modernized the method of making.
Emma Law tells us that when she was growing up in the South, Lane Cake was served at holiday teatimes when guests came visiting. Still a fine custom!
But make the tea worthy of the cake: Rinse the empty teapot with boiling water; use 1 teaspoon of loose tea or one tea bag for each serving, and pour the boiling water over the tea; brew 3 to 5 minutes — 5 minutes if you want the fullest body.
Another version of Lane Cake from 1976, with extra filling on top