Lane cake’s a ‘Lame’ cake for our state dessert

May 18, 2016

23  comments

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In my never ending quest to sprinkle a touch of class on our dinner table conversation, I approached the topic of current events and informed my son and husband that the Lane cake had recently been named the official State Dessert of Alabama, to which my son replied, “Lame cake?” and my husband said, “Is that all the legislature has to do?” Sigh . . . here we go again.

 

But after I pondered my son’s misinterpretation I had to agree this cake is kind of “lame” when it comes to representing the spirit of sweetness found in Alabama. I’m sure some consider Lane cake to be a marvelous concoction, but there have to be others like me, who view it more as a “no thank you” kind of treat.

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Yes, the recipe, which originated in Clayton, Alabama and was created by Emma Lane, who I’m sure was a darling, charming and caring lady — not to mention a marvelous cook, uses native Alabama pecans, but the version I’m familiar with also includes coconut, which when shredded, always makes me think I’m eating Easter basket grass, and anyway, it screams “Hawaii” or “South Florida,” not Alabama.

 

The other ingredient I take great issue with, is the addition of raisins, from California no doubt. Only shifty people think it’s okay to sneak raisins into any sort of dessert. How many innocent people have mistaken raisins for chocolate chips in cookies, only to gag on the rotten, shriveled up little grape? Who as a child didn’t suck the chocolate off and spit the raisin out?

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My mother tried to get me to eat raisins by telling me they would give me, “thick blood.” Mmm. Nothing like freaking out your little girl to trick her into eating rubbery beads of goo.  And even though I can’t imagine eating a raisin on purpose, I too fell into the Mom trap of trying to convince my own children to eat raisins. I put the tiny little red boxes in their lunches every day, and when they came home unopened, I just left them in there for the next day. My sons now claim they had the same two boxes of raisins for eight years in a row.

 

Another great concern and reason to question the Lane cake as our state dessert is that it also contains enough hooch that if it were used as a birthday cake, the candles would spark a small explosion, which could prove to be risky in a state full of (public) teetotalers. When Alabama’s largest religious denomination can’t openly carry this cake to the . . .  click HERE to finish the story at al.com.

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  1. Yes, I agree Lane Cake would not have been my choice for the state cake. There are far too many others that I have enjoyed over the years in my home state. A good old pound cake with peaches or strawberries is pretty hard to beat.

    1. I’ve heard “pound cake” from most of those who have responded to the story. Nothing beats basic goodness!

  2. The hooch needs to stay in the mimosas.

    Also, I happen to love raisins, but I am pretty sure not in this cake. When I was about two, my Daddy had dozed off on the sofa while mom was finishing supper. She told me to go wake up Daddy, so I toddled into the living room carrying my ever-present small box of raisins, and asked him if he was hungry. He nodded “yes” and I told him to open his mouth. When he did, I poured the entire box of raisins in his mouth. That woke him up because he hated raisins…sat straight up on the sofa, wide awake. He would have spit them out, but mama made him eat every single one of them because she did not want me learning that particular bad behavior. Daddy came to the table when called from then on.

    1. That’s so funny! What a good guy your Dad was to choke them down. I don’t know if I could have done it!

  3. Thank you so very much for understanding the atrocity of raisins in cookies!!! Totally agree that this is the worst possible choice to represent all of the wonderful cakes of Alabama!

  4. Still chuckling, Leslie Anne! I guess you can count out the National Raisin Board ever approaching you for their spokeswoman!

    I always thought Lane Cake had to be from Georgia, for some reason. I’ve had it in my file of cakes to be made for years but like you, chocolate always seems to be everyone’s choice. Maybe I won’t ever make Lane Cake now even though I love raisins, golden ones that is. You mean you don’t put raisins in oatmeal cookies??

    I wonder too if state representatives might not have a little too much time on their hands. I’ve also wondered why we just can’t declare a moratorium on new laws? Don’t we have enough? Maybe give lawmakers a leave of absence for a couple of years?

    Terrific article, and now I’m hungry for one of the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I made the other day, 1 1/4 cups of raisins hidden in them,
    Dewena

    1. All good points. For some reason, I think golden raisins aren’t as offensive as the dark. Maybe it’s because the regular ones look like bugs. Happy oatmeal cookie eating to you!

  5. I am on the yuck raisin team! I won’t eat carrot cake if they are used in the recipe. (of course you may find the carrot cake on my plate gone, but little raisins left by themselves) Yes, little devils trying to disguise themselves as a chocolate chip. I did however like those dancing raisin commercials. Kudos to the marketing team on that one.

    1. Isn’t that the truth? I thought the dancing raisins were a genius idea. You are quite the skilled eater to be able to sort raisins out with only a fork and no dramatic choking and spitting! A true lady, indeed!

  6. Not keen on the little buggers either! I first heard of Lane Cake as a child, but it never made an appearance on our table. I don’t know if it was just the bourbon (we were C of C) because my mother liked raisins and anything else sweet. She made the world’s most fabulous coconut cake, and maybe she just thought she couldn’t improve on perfection. I remember one of my little friends who was in heaven over my mother’s pecan pies and chocolate cakes, and she said, “We never get anything but Lane Cake, and I hate it!” When I asked what it was, I was told in no uncertain terms, “It’s not fit to eat!” So although I made a few when I used to make cakes as my moonlighting job, I wasn’t fond of it either. I usually substitute chopped sugared dates for the raisins in recipes that call for them. Works for me!

    1. I know it’s strange, but I don’t mind dried dates. It’s something about those raisins. (I just noticed the word “sin” is in “raisin.” Wished I’d noticed that while I was writing this story!

      Great take on Lane Cake. Thanks for chiming in!

  7. Ha ha, I agree, Lame cake! Not a fan of a bunch of mystery items in my dessert, and Lane cake has always sounded like fruitcake to me, and we all know how popular that is. My theory is that booze got put in both these cakes just to make them worth eating and a sneaky way to get the frowned upon alcohol…Mississippi has the fabulous Mississippi Mud Pie, and Florida has Key Lime, I vote for Chocolate Pecan Pie, or Butter Pecan Cupcakes, and if a boozy cake is needed how about my Sweet Tea Vodka Poke Cake! I think we can do better…

    1. I like the way you think Jenna. We may have to elect you to a state office just to get this all figured out!

  8. I’m not sure about the booze, but I love raisins and coconut, not necessarily together though. 🙂 And I’m from Mississippi!! Go figure.

    1. I’ll gladly pack up all the Lane Cakes and send them across the state line to you. Unless that’s some sort of federal offense or something!

  9. This is very misleading. The photograph makes the cake look very inviting but the combination of ingredients is a bit off putting. It reminds me of my first bite of a King Cake. I was expecting something more like a cinnamon roll and was deeply disappointed. I wonder if there was a runner up?

    1. True. It’s hard to find a good King Cake. Most are just coffee cakes with purple and green icing. Have to go to Louisiana for the real thing.

  10. Well, I must say that my grandmother made the most wonderful Lane cakes. And I have had the Coconut Pecan cake that won the James Beard Award. But being from Chilton County, who doesn’t prefer a bowl of peach cobbler or a peach fried pie with ice cream?

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