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Friday, 28 February 2014

Interesting Southern Heirloom Cake Recipes IV: Lady Baltimore Cake

Lady Baltimore Cake
Lady Baltimore cake is a popular Southern cake believed to have originated in South Carolina. It is a white layer cake, made light with beaten egg whites, filled with raisins and nuts (and sometimes figs) and iced with a fluffy white frosting (typically a 7-minute frosting, or meringue frosting). A Lord Baltimore cake, similar to a Lady Baltimore cake, uses egg yolks in the cake rather than egg whites with added crumbled macaroons and almonds in the filling.

According to Cassie L. Damewood at the website Wisegeek.com: “The story of how the Lady Baltimore Cake got its name varies. Since there is no mention of it in literature or evidence of it being a recipe prior to 1906, it is unlikely it had anything to do with the real Lady Baltimore. Ann Arundel, who died in 1649, was called Lady Baltimore because she was married to an Irishman man who inherited the whole state of Maryland in the United States (U.S.), including its large city of Baltimore, from his father. Interestingly, she never visited the North American continent, just as Lord Baltimore never did.
The most likely origin of the Lady Baltimore Cake was a romance novel entitled Lady Baltimore, written by Owen Wister and published in 1906. Legend has it that prior to writing the book, Wister had been given a cake by a southern belle from Charleston, South Carolina, named Alicia Rhett Mayberry. The confection so impressed him that he included it in his novel…Wister’s description of the cake’s appearance and taste was so appealing that readers of the novel were desperate to get the recipe. Since it had not been created, bakers set out to create a cake that mimicked Wister’s excited yet vague description from the book.”
 In his novel, Wister wrote:

"I should like a slice, if you please, of Lady Baltimore," I said with extreme formality. I returned to the table and she brought me the cake, and I had my first felicitous meeting with Lady Baltimore. Oh, my goodness! Did you ever taste it? It's all soft, and it's in layers, and it has nuts - but I can't write any more about it; my mouth waters too much. Delighted surprise caused me once more to speak aloud, and with my mouth full, "But, dear me, this is delicious!"


The first printed recipe is said to have appeared on December 24th 1906 in the Daily Gazette And Bulletin newspaper of Williamsport, Pennsylvania (shocking!):

Lady Baltimore Cake (1906)
Beat the whites of six eggs. Take a cup and a half of granulated sugar, a cup of milk, nearly a cup of butter, three cups of flour and two teaspoonfuls of good baking powder. Sift the flour and baking powder together into the other ingredients, adding the eggs last of all. Bake in two buttered pans for fifteen or twenty minutes.

For the frosting: Two cups of granulated sugar and a cup and a half of water, boil until stringly, about five minutes usually does it. Beat the whites of two eggs very light, and pour the boiling sugar slowly into it, mixing well. Take out of this enough for the top and sides of the cake, and stir into the remainder for the filling between the two layers, one cup of finely chopped raisins and a cup of chopped nuts. This is delicious when properly baked.

Lady Baltimore Cake (1952)
Quick-Mix Method
Rich, fruit-nut Lady Baltimore filling and frosting decorate this queenly three-egg-white cake. Blend shreds of coconut right into the batter, for a change, to give you a rich, chewy treat.
BAKE at 350° F. for 25 to 30 minutes.
MAKES two 8-inch round layers.
All ingredients should be at room temperature.
Sift together . . . 2 cups sifted Pillsbury Sno Sheen Cake Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
Add . . . 1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
Beat . . . for 2 minutes, 300 strokes, until batter is well blended. (With electric mixer blend at low speed, then beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.)
Add . . . 1 teaspoon vanilla
3 egg whites, unbeaten
Beat . . . for 2 minutes.
Pour . . . into two well-greased and lightly floured 8-inch round layer pans, at least 1 1/4 inches deep.
Bake . . . in moderate oven (350° F.) 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and frost with Lady Baltimore frosting, page 51.
Prepare Lady Baltimore Cake, folding in 3/4 cup shredded coconut (chopped slightly if shreds are long) before pouring into pans. Frost with almond frosting, page 51.

(SOURCE: pg. 20, “Kate Smith chooses her 55 Favorite Ann Pillsbury CAKE RECIPES” published in 1952 by Pillsbury Mills, Inc.)

Lady Baltimore Cake (pre-1980)

For cake
8 oz. butter, softened to room temperature
14 oz. sugar
¼ oz. vanilla extract
¼ oz. almond extract
13 oz. cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
8 oz. milk
7 oz. egg whites
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and almond extract, scraping down the bowl often.
Sift together dry ingredients.
Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix to smooth consistency.
In clean bowl, whip eggs whites and cream of tartar. Slowly add sugar. Whip to soft peaks. Fold whipped whites into reserved batter.
Divide mixture into three 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cakes cool on wire rack.
For icing
16 oz. sugar
6 oz. water
pinch of cream of tartar
6 oz. egg whites
¼ oz. vanilla extract
Combine sugar, water, and cream of tartar in saucepan. Use a candy thermometer to cook the sugar to 265 degrees F.
Whip egg whites on high speed to medium peaks.
Very slowly pour cooked sugar into whipped egg white. Whip to slightly cool. Add vanilla.
For filling
3 oz. pecans, lightly toasted
5 oz. dried fruit, chopped
(raisins, figs, currants, candied cherry)
Combine ingredients. Reserve for cake assembly.
Assembling Lady Baltimore cake:
Transfer one-third of the frosting to a medium bowl. Stir fruit-and-nut filling into the frosting.
Place one cake layer on a serving plate, and add half the frosting-and-filling mixture. Add a second cake layer on top. Spread second layer with remaining frosting-and-filling. Place third layer on top. Frost top and sides of cake with plain frosting.
Garnish with dried fruit and nuts.

(SOURCE: Recipe by Chef Jan Bandula, Stratford University's Baltimore campus; via http://chesapeaketaste.com/index.php/recipes/665-recipe-lady-baltimore-cake )

Seven Minute Frosting (1949)

2 unbeaten egg whites
1 ½ cup sugar
dash of salt
5 TB water
1 ½ tsp light Karo corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in top of double boiler.  Mix well.  Place over rapidly boiling water; beat constantly with rotary egg beater and cook 7 minutes or until stands in peaks.  Re move from the water. Add 1 tsp vanilla and beat until thick.  Makes enough to cover tops and sides of two nine inch layer cakes or one loaf cake.  Orange juice can be used instead of water and add grated orange rind and yellow coloring.  This makes a good orange frosting.  Coconut can be added in plain white.

(SOURCE: Recipe by Maebelle F. Stokes, from Favorite Recipes Tried and True, compiled by Wesleyan Service Guild, Methodist Church, Reform, AL, 1949)

Monday, 24 February 2014

The Complete Banana Pudding; or, as we say, the Whole Nanner Puddin'

There is one dessert in the South that reigns as the quintessential Southern dessert, even surpassing the venerable Red Velvet Cake –it is the Banana Pudding, or as it is pronounced here in the South, Nanner Puddin’.   There was a time when this wasn’t the iconic Southern dessert, but then there was also a time when biscuits were limited to only the rich folk’s kitchens.  However, as bananas became more available, like wheat flour, recipes trickled down from society kitchens to our grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s kitchens creating things that define us in terms of our food.
       Banana pudding has been in the South for over a hundred years, but it wasn’t as popular as when Nabisco printed that iconic recipe on its box of Nilla Wafers.  The Southern Living Dessert Cookbook from 1967 listed only one recipe for banana pudding, while listing twelve recipes for rice pudding.  That’s changed a whole lot since then:

home made banana pudding. Photo courtesy of Stu Spivack

Banana Pudding (1967)

2 ¼ cups milk
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup sugar
3 or 4 bananas, mashed
1/8 tsp salt
Vanilla wafers

Combine all ingredients except the vanilla wafers and cook in double boiler until thick.  In deep casserole, alternate vanilla wafers and bananas until you have 3 layers of each.  Pour cooked mixture on top.  When cooled, put whipped cream or dessert topping mix on top and serve.
 (SOURCE: Southern Living Dessert Cookbook, Southern Living Magazine, 1967; recipe by Nancy Stillwell, High Point, NC)

You can find what most food historians agree is the first recipe for a “banana pudding” in Mrs. Rorer’s New Cook Book by Sarah Tyson Rorer from 1902.  The following year, Mary Harris Frazier published The Kentucky Receipt Book, which contained the following recipe:

Banana Pudding (1903)

Take a half dozen bananas, peel and cut in pieces an inch thick, put in baking dish and pour over custard made in the following manner:  Custard-one pint of milk, 3 eggs, beat the yolks light, add milk, also two tablespoons of granulated sugar. Have the milk boiling, add the eggs and let it cook until it thickens; when cool pour over the bananas. Make a meringue with the whites and granulated sugar, put on top of custard, set in oven a few minutes to brown.  Serve at once.     

The following is another recipe I have found for  the banana pudding we Southerners would recognize as banana pudding like our grandmothers made.  Instead of vanilla wafers, it uses cake, but it does use meringue as a topping as many will remember on top of Granny’s “nanner puddin’”

Banana Pudding (1913)

Slice very thin, crosswise, three medium size bananas, sprinkle thickly with sugar, then add to a batter made by beating up four egg-yolks and two whites, with one cup crumbled rich stale cake, half-cup sugar, cup very rich milk, and the juice of a large lemon.  Mix smooth, pour into a deep pudding dish, and bake in a quick oven, then cover with meringue made from the egg-whites left out, beaten up with a pinch of salt, two teaspoons cold water, and six tablespoons of sugar.  Return to the oven and let barely color.  Serve hot or cold.
 (SOURCE: Dishes and Beverages of the Old South by Martha McCulloch-Williams, McBride Nast & Company, New York, NY, 1913}

Momma’s mother, Nanny, had a recipe for banana pudding that most closely represents what I myself consider to be a proper banana pudding; however the base pudding is a recipe that has come down from those before her.  It is basically a soft custard and can be adapted to any flavour, not just banana.  My mother adds natural banana extract  to it and pours it over vanilla wafers to make a banana-less banana pudding – our family doesn’t like real bananas in our banana pudding (weird, huh?) Note: I don’t have a date for Nanny’s recip eand since it is still used, I just date it as ”heirloom”.

Nanny’s Pudding (heirloom)

Put two cups milk on to boil.
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 T butter or margarine
1 T flour

Mix sugar, eggs, vanilla, oleo or butter, flour well and pour into hot milk. Stir until thickened.  For banana pudding, pour over wafers and bananas.

At the turn of the century the National Biscuit Company (or Nabisco) began to market vanilla wafers.  In 1968, the name of the wafers became Nabisco Nilla Wafers.  However, the most important part of all of this is that a recipe on the side of the box became the standard by which all banana pudding would be judged forevermore.

Original Nilla Banana Pudding (from the back of the box) (1968)

3/4 cup sugar, divided 
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
Dash salt 
3 eggs, separated
2 cups milk 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
45 NILLA Wafers, divided 
5 ripe bananas, sliced (about 3 1/2 cups), divided
Additional NILLA Wafers and banana slices, for garnish

1. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt in top of double boiler. Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk. Cook, uncovered, over boiling water, stirring constantly for 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. 

2. Reserve 10 wafers for garnish. Spread small amount of custard on bottom of 1 1/2-quart casserole; cover with a layer of wafers and a layer of sliced bananas. Pour about 1/3 of custard over bananas. Continue to layer wafers, bananas and custard to make a total of 3 layers of each, ending with custard. 

3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Spoon on top of pudding, spreading evenly to cover entire surface and sealing well to edges. 

4. Bake at 350°F in top half of oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned. Cool slightly or refrigerate. Garnish with additional wafers and banana slices just before serving. 

Makes 8 servings


Just in case you want to do it all from scratch…

Vanilla Wafers (1886)

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter
4 tbsp milk
1 egg
1 tsp  cream of tartar
1/2 tsp  baking soda
1 pinch salt
1 tbsp  pure vanilla extract
5 cups  flour (or as needed)

Preheat the oven at 350°F (180°C).
Cream the butter, then add the sugar and mix well. Add the egg and beat until well incorporated, then add the milk and vanilla and mix well. Sift 4 cups of flour with the
salt, the cream of tartar and the baking soda, and add these to the butter mixture. Mix well and then add enough extra flour until the dough holds together and is firm and supple, easy to roll.
On a very lightly floured surface roll the dough very thin (1/8 inch–3 mm), and cut with a cookie cutter. Using a thin metal spatula transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for about 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden. Transfer the cookies on a rack to cool–they will be soft just out of the oven but will become crisp as they cool. Keep in an airtight container.
NOTE: The original instructions do not specify the exact amount of flour, they just say to add enough flour to roll the dough very thin. Begin with 4 cups of flour and then add as much as needed to make a dough that is easy to roll. Adding too little flour will make the dough too soft and sticky, adding too much will make it dry and brittle–in both cases it will be very difficult to roll. If you realize you added too much flour, add some more milk (1 tbsp at a time), until the dough is again supple and easy to handle.
 (SOURCE: The Woman Suffrage Cook Book, edited by Mrs. Hattie A. Burr, c. 1886, recipe by Mrs. B. M. Frazier; via http://www.wythenotes.com/2010/11/19/a-puddin-fit-for-a-king)

Homemade Vanilla Wafers

7 ounces all-purpose flour (almost a cup)
3/4 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
1 Tablespoon ground golden flax 
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 ounces vanilla sugar (regular will work too)
1 large egg
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whole milk

Position 1 oven rack in the top third of the oven and another in the bottom third. Heat the oven to 350 F.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and vanilla sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl after 1 minute. Add the egg and incorporate on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl. Add the vanilla extract and milk and blend on low speed for 15 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just to incorporate. Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before scooping.
Scoop the batter in teaspoon-sized balls and arrange them on 2 parchment paper-lined half sheet pans, approximately 35 cookies per pan. Use the heel of your hand to slightly flatten each ball. Bake, 2 pans at a time, rotating the pans halfway through the baking, until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans to a cooling rack to cool completely before removing the cookies from the pan.
 (SOURCE: http://amomknowsbest.com/2011/05/homemade-vanilla-wafers-easy-

The easiest way to make banana pudding (the po’folks version) is the mix up a box of Jello Banana Cream Instant Pudding and throw in some Nilla Wafers; however, if you had a few more minutes and a bit more money, you could try this (I myself would rather do without than do this, but to each his own):

Easy Banana Pudding

3 small boxes instant vanilla pudding mix
5 cups cold milk
12 ozs. whipped topping (Cool Whip)
1 cup sour cream
1 large box vanilla wafers
5 to 6 large bananas

Follow package directions for pudding, using the 5 cups of milk. Fold in half of the whipped topping and all of the sour cream. In large bowl, layer wafers, bananas, pudding mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate. 
 (SOURCE: http://southernfood.about.com/od/bananarecipes/r/blbb693.htm)

FYI: The National Banana Pudding Festival is held at the Hickman County Ag Pavilion and Fairgrounds at Grinder's Switch just outside of Centerville, Tennessee.  For more info, go to http://bananapuddingfest.org

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Interesting Southern Heirloom Cake Recipes III: Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake from Waldorf Astoria
Red Velvet Cake, the royal cake of the South, is a cake with either a dark red, bright red or red-brown color. It is traditionally prepared as a layer cake topped with cream cheese or a cooked frosting. Common ingredients include buttermilk, butter, cocoa, and flour for the cake, beetroot or red food coloring for the color.

James Beard referenced red velvet cakes in his 1972 book American Cookery.  The three cakes he mentioned varied in the amounts of butter, shortening, and oil but all used red food coloring. Throughout its history, red velvet cakes have used beetroot or red food coloring to achieve its signature red hue; however, even without the coloring, the cocoa used in the cakes reacts with acidic ingredients, such as vinegar or buttermilk, revealing the naturally present red anthocyanin in cocoa. (Anthocyanins are naturally occurring pigments in all tissues of plants, including leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits.) Before more alkaline “Dutch" cocoa was widely available, the red color would have been more pronounced. This natural tinting may have been the source for the name "red velvet".

When foods were rationed during World War II, bakers used boiled beet juices to enhance the color of their cakes. Beets are found in some red velvet cake recipes, where they also serve to retain moisture. Adams Extract, a Texas company, is credited for bringing the red velvet cake to kitchens across America during the time of the Great Depression by being one of the first to sell red food coloring and other flavor extracts with the use of point-of-sale posters and tear-off recipe cards.

Original tear-away recipe from Adams Extracts (front)

Original tear-away recipe from Adams Extracts (back)
The popularity of the cake increased after the release of the 1989 film Steel Magnolias that included a scene with a red velvet groom's cake made in the shape of an armadillo.

Red Velvet Cake 

1 ¾ cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 ½ cup plain flour
2 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
2 tsp cocoa
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp soda
1 or 2 oz red cake coloring
Cream oil and sugar, add eggs and beat well.  Add flour and buttermilk alternating.  Make paste of cocoa and coloring and add to mixture. Add salt and vanilla and soda; mix together and bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.


1 box confectioners sugar
 ¼ lb or 1 stick oleo or butter
8 oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

(SOURCE: Homemakers Cook Book by Pickens County Homemakers Club, Pickens County, Alabama, 1977, recipe by Mrs. Orman Storey)

Most people nowadays use a modern cream cheese-based frosting because of its simplicity and ease; however, Ermine Frosting, also known as boiled milk frosting or butter roux frosting, is the original icing on Red Velvet Cake.  The combination of the names - Red Velvet Cake with Ermine Frosting – conjures images of royalty and this cake is indeed the queen of Southern cakes.

Ermine Icing (for Red Velvet)

 1 cup whole milk
3 TB all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk flour into milk and place over medium heat in a small saucepan.
Cook mixture until thickened, whisking constantly.
Remove from heat and whisk in the salt.
Pout into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap on the surface. (This will stop the cooking and the plastic will prevent crusting)
Set aside to cool slightly.
In a stand mixer, begin creaming the butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add vanilla extract and mix to combine.
When milk mixture is slightly cooled, add 1 TB at a time to the creamed butter mixture while the mixer is running on medium speed.
Slowly the mix will combine into an extremely fluffy, light and buttery frosting.
This icing needs to be refrigerated though as it does not stand up well to temps above 70 degrees

(SOURCE: http://www.bakespace.com)

Monday, 3 February 2014

Interesting Southern Heirloom Cake Recipes II: Lane Cake

Thick slice of Lane Cake (photo: Eunice)
A Lane Cake, also known as a 'Prize Cake' or an 'Alabama Lane Cake' is a traditional cake from the Southern United States. Emma Rylander Lane from Clayton, Alabama is credited as the creator of this cake.  She won first prize with this cake at the county fair in Columbus, Georgia. She called it Prize Cake when she self-published a cookbook, Some Good Things To Eat, in 1898.

The cake has been forever enshrined in literature in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird - Miss Maudie Atkinson gives a Lane Cake as a welcome gift to Aunt Alexandra. The narrator in the story is the young daughter, Scout, of Atticus Finch. Scout reports, "Miss Maudie baked a Lane cake so loaded with shinny it made me tight." ("Shinny" is slang for liquor.) Also in the book, Miss Maudie bakes a Lane Cake for Mr. Avery, who was severely injured in an attempt to put out a fire in her home.

Emma Rylander Lane’s Prize Cake 

- CAKE – 
3 ¼ cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 – 16 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
8 egg whites
1 cup milk
*On wax paper sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add egg whites, in four additions, beating thoroughly after each addition.
Fold in flour mixture alternately with milk; begin and end with dry ingredients. Batter should be smooth but look slightly granular.
Turn into 4 ungreased 9-inch round layer-cake pans lined on the bottom with wax paper.
Bake in a 375-degree oven until edges shrink slightly from sides of pans and tops spring back when gently pressed with finger, or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean — about 20 minutes. Place pans on wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes.
Turn out on wire racks; remove wax paper; turn right side up; cool completely.
Put layers together (on a cake plate) with Lane Cake Filling, stacking carefully; do not spread filling over top. Cover top and sides with swirls of Boiled White Frosting.
Cover with a tent of foil or a cake cover; or cover tightly in a large deep bowl in tin box. Store in a cool place; if refrigerated, allow to stand at room temperature for half a day before serving because cake texture is best when cake is not served chilled

8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup seedless raisins, finely chopped
1 – 3 cup bourbon or brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla
*In a 2-quart saucepan, beat the egg yolks well; beat in sugar and butter. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until quite thick. Remove from heat; stir in raisins, bourbon and vanilla. Cool slightly; use as directed.

(from a standard recipe)

SOURCE: This recipe is by way of Emma Rylander Law, Mrs. Emma Rylander Lane’s granddaughter, and was published in an article by Cecily Brownstone, food editor for the Associated Press on Dec. 19, 1967. 

Another version:

Lane Cake

1 cup butter
1 cup milk
2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour (sifted 3 times)
1 teaspoon vanilla
7 egg whites

All ingredients shold be room temperature.  Cream butter and add sugar gradually and cream until fluffy.  Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk.  Add vanilla and fold in beaten egg whites.  Pour in two 9-inch pans and bake at 350-degrees F.

7 egg yolks
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup sugar
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup butter
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup wine

Cook egg yolks, sugar, and butter until thick.  Let mixture cool and add nuts, cocnut, raisins and wine.

SOURCE: Mildred Mason, Favorite Recipes of Alabama Vocational Home Economics Teachers, Second Edition 

Boiled White Frosting
1 ½ cup sugar
½ cup water
2 egg whites
Cook sugar, water and egg whites together, beating while cooking over low heat, until icing will hold peak.  Beat until thick enough to spread.  (This is a good icing for fresh coconut cakes, also.) 

SOURCE: Mrs. J.M. Cruse, from Watt’s Cooking by the Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (Georgia), 1977

Baptists in Alabama have traditionally looked down on the alcoholic Lane cake - it was generally the Methodists and Presbyterians who tended to make the alcoholic cake.  They were generally thought to have more money than us Baptists and we considered them also a bit worldlier.  However, the Baptists had their own non-alcoholic version, suitable for church socials.  (Although, some Baptists would sneak to the liquor store across the state line and risk their eternal souls for a 'real' bite of Lane cake.) 

An alternative filling recipe: 
Lane Cake Filling (1977)
½ lb butter
2 cups chopped pecans
2 cups sugar
2 cups raisins
6 egg yolks well beaten
2 cups coconut (fresh preferably)
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
Mix butter, sugar, egg yolks, and milk.  Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until it looks syrupy and glossy.  Then add nuts, raisins, coconut, and vanilla.  Spread between layers and on top.  Ice sides of cake with white frosting. 

SOURCE: Mrs. J.M. Cruse, from Watt’s Cooking by the Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (Georgia), 1977

FYI: A Lane Cake should never be confused with a Lord or Lady Baltimore Cake.