Holiday Lane Cake

Try this sweet holiday twist on a Southern classic.
Holiday Lane cake layers white cake with bourbon soaked fruit.

Holiday Lane Cake

Holiday Lane cake layers white cake with bourbon-soaked, dried fruit and nuts.

Holiday Lane cake layers white cake with bourbon-soaked, dried fruit and nuts.

“Miss Maudie Atkinson baked a Lane cake so loaded with shinny it made me tight.” - Scout Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

Lane cake is a Southern cake popular during the holiday season, steeped in tradition and a fair bit of bourbon. Named for its creator, Emma Rylander Lane of Clayton, Georgia, she called it “Prize Cake” in her 1898 cookbook after winning first prize with it at a county fair. The popularity of the booze-soaked cake grew steadily over the years, but got a boost in attention after Harper Lee referenced it in her 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, in which the young protagonist notes the particular potency of a Lane cake she samples. Given that the original recipe for Ms. Lane’s prize cake calls for up to three cups of bourbon, that must have been some cake.

Our take on the boozy dessert cuts back considerably on the bourbon, but there is still plenty in there, so this one is better served at grown-up gatherings this holiday season. A basic white cake is transformed by moist, rich layers of dried fruit and seasonal pecans spiked with holiday cheer in this most wonderful time of the year.

Holiday Lane Cake

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup golden raisins, chopped
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

To make cake:

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.

Cream 2 cups butter, 2 cups sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract together until fluffy.

Add dry mix and milk and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form.

Gently stir egg whites into batter until fully combined.

Pour batter into two greased and floured 9” cake pans.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven, let rest 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Using a long bread knife, cut each cake horizontally to create 4 layers.

To make filling:

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk egg yolks and sugar together, add to butter and continue to cook until mixture thickens to thick custard consistency.

Remove from heat and stir in bourbon, raisins, pecans and coconut.

Spread an even layer of filling over bottom layer of cake.

Place a second layer of cake on the first and top with filling then repeat with third layer. Place remaining cake layer on top.

To make frosting:

Beat 2 sticks of butter until fluffy.

Add confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract and cream and beat until smooth and creamy.

Using a spatula or cake tools, completely coat cake with frosting.

Next Up

Lemon Pots de Creme Dessert Recipe

The naturally sunny color and bright, citrusy flavor of these custards are reminiscent of spring. They're wonderful served with homemade creme-filled chocolates for Easter.

Pink Snowball Cake Recipe

This cake is sure to be the center of attention at any spring or Easter gathering. Bake a dome-shaped chocolate cake, fill with marshmallow creme, frost with pastel pink icing and top with toasted coconut.

4 Ways to Make a Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board

From savory meat and cheese boards, to vegetarian-friendly fruits and veggies, to a dessert tray full of sweet-tooth delights, we’ve got charcuterie smorgasbord ideas that will satisfy all your guests.

Chelsea and Cole DeBoer Shared Their Ultimate Holiday Traditions with HGTV, and We're Ready to Copy Them All

Treats, magical decor, family fun — the Down Home Fab hosts know how to celebrate the holidays. Take a look into their rituals, then try them for yourself.

Endlessly Customizable Layered Cheesecake Bars

Just one pan of these 3-in-1 cheesecake bars will fill your entire dessert tray or a Christmas tin for gifting. Get creative by swapping in your own fillings and toppings, or use our easy guide for the season’s most tempting flavors: Cookies ‘n Cream, Peppermint Patty and Pecan Pie. They all come from one pan and the variety is sure to please a crowd.

Gift or Enjoy: Endlessly Customizble Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Whether you're gifting them or serving them at a holiday party, we'll help you fill your Christmas cookie tray with ease. We’ve formulated one easy shortbread dough to be the base for three different cookie flavors. Cranberry-Orange and Toffee-Chocolate Chip are enticing and holiday appropriate, while Smoked Cheddar-Jalapeño offers an unexpected savory bite. Whatever their favorite flavor — this sweet or savory shortbread cookie recipe promises something for everyone.

Halloween Treat: Healthy Monster Apples

Turn tart apples, dried fruit and nuts or seeds into healthy treats for your favorite trick-or-treaters.

Halloween Treat Recipe: Lucky Black Cats

Made from salty pretzels and creamy chocolate, there's nothing to fear from these delicious Halloween black cats.

How to Make a Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board

Whether hosting a dinner party, game night or looking for a special treat for the kids, you can’t go wrong with a big pot of hot cocoa served up with all the fixings, including candy, cookies and mounds of marshmallows.

Make These Sangria Ice Pops and Win Summer

What's better than sangria on a hot summer day? Frozen sangria! Made with white wine, fruit juices and chopped fruit, these refreshing treats will be a big hit at your next warm-weather gathering.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.