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SOUTHERN JAM CAKE

Southern Jam Cake2 - Copy (2)I make jam cakes for many holidays.  My mother made them before me.  They are truly a southern tradition in our family.
Old Fashioned Southern Jam Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup raisins
1 cup smuckers seedless blackberry jam
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp.baking powder
1 tsp.ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp.allspice
1/2 tsp.salt
1 tsp.vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
3 eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray or flour 2 (9 inch) round baking pans. Put all ingredients into a large bowl except pecans and mix well on low. Increase speed to high until sugar is completely dissolved. Fold in pecans and pour into pans. Bake 40 minutes or until cake pulls away from side of pans. Remove cake from pans and add caramel icing.
(This cake is a holiday tradition in our family. I have made it every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas for many years. It always turns out great)
Southern Jam Cake
Caramel Frosting
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine
2 tsps. vanilla
3 tbsps. white corn syrup
4 1/2 tbsps milk
2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
Melt all ingredients except confectioners sugar on top of stove. Remove from heat and add sugar. Stir or cool until it has a glazed look and is of spreading consistency. Spread on cake.
(This frosting will do the jam cake above. If you make it in a long pan, you can half the recipe for frosting but with the layered pans I use the amounts above. This frosting is great on any cake.)
If you like this recipe, you might also like my recipe for  Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting.
© The Southern Lady Cooks photos and text – All rights reserved. No copying, posting on other sites, or other uses allowed without written permission of the copyright holder.
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80 Responses

  1. My KY grandma and great aunt made what they called “blackberry cake” for special occasions, and it sounds much like yours. I know they picked their own blackberries to make it and they always used a large old cast iron skillet to make the icing. We loved to snitch a hardened spoonful of caramel icing as it tasted better than any candy!

  2. I’m making this cake for my Father-In Laws 76 th birthday!! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!!!

  3. Unfortunately I don’t have round cake pans, can you suggest a baking dish the right size for this?

  4. My mother always put in hers a cup of homemade pear preserves. plan to try to make it this year in 2014.

  5. I add raisins and a cup,of strong black coffee to give it a little extra zing. I also use Crisco instead of canola oil.

  6. I made this cake for the first time on Thanksgiving and now I have made two more for Christmas :-) hands down a new holiday tradition! Thank you for sharing!

  7. I would really like to thank you for all your recipes. I grew up in Iowa, but my family is from miss. My mother, grandmother, and great grandmother have all passed away, so that leaves me and my sisters and daughters for the baking and cooking. Whenever I can’t remember something of a recipe, I can always find it on your site. Thanks again for keeping their memory alive thru wonderful southern cooking.

  8. You can add dates chopped or diced apples Ive made this for 40 yrs

  9. Can you any other icing beside caramel?

    • You could but I always use the caramel. You might try cream cheese.

    • Thanks for the original, old Southern recipe. It shouldn’t be altered one bit and I love your blog more than any i’ve seen. Looking forward to more. From another KY gal

  10. Wow 1 cup of oi! Can the oil be replaced with low fat
    milk?

  11. My question: Do you put icing on before freezing them or after taking them out of freezing?

  12. I’m from TN and my grandmother used to make jam cake every year. I have her recipe and this is very much like it except we use black walnuts. I was able to buy some black walnuts while driving through Georgia last week. This is one cake that I think just needs to be two layers so one can really enjoy the decadence of the caramel frosting! I was just home visiting for Thanksgiving and brought back locally made blackberry jam so the jam cake is on my weekend baking list! I like this cake to ‘set’ for a few days before serving but I can taste it now!! Lovely cake darlin’ !!

  13. Sorry, I over looked the eggs.
    Barb

  14. I noticed this jam cake has no eggs. Is this correct or did make an oversight.
    Barb

  15. Will this cake be to moist to make it a three layer?

  16. I made it tonight and it is for tomorrow. Should I put in refrigerator?

  17. One jam cake just hot out of the oven ready for Thanksgiving, 2 loaves of banana bread in the oven, next is 3 loaves of zucchini bread to go in after the banana bread comes out. My whole house makes you want to grab a fork and a cup of coffee and go to it!!!! Made the jam cake in the bundt pan as I like them that way….not as much sweet icing for us diabetics (only make half the icing recipe). Planning on making 2 or 3 more jam cakes (maybe more) with the candied fruit to give as gifts. Everybody is happy. By the way, I will freeze this stuff until a couple of days before I gift them. It all freezes beautifully.

  18. How much do you charge and do you make and sell any. Thinking of Christmas.

  19. Hello and good day to you! Thank you so much for your awesome recipes :-) I am not southern, I don’t ink, but I can pick a good recipe and am making this for the first time today. My question for you is, it tells us to mix the ing on high til the sugar is dissolved am wondering about how long on average that is? Thank you again!

  20. Question?? Could I use self rising flour???

  21. Can u use another flavor jam..like strawberry or apricot preserve..my mother makes this cake every year for christmas but she now suffering with dementia and has not baked in a couple years so I might try some bakin this year…Lord help me lol

  22. I must have southern in me as I am throwing off my traditions to make this cake as well as the cranberry orange salad! They just seem to scrumptious to not try them!

  23. What is white corn syrup and is there an equivalent? I am English but live in Spain.

  24. Love this recipe for KY jam cake, been using this same recipe for years and always turns out good. My Mom made it and my Grandma used the same recipe, they always called it the KY jam cake, too. Mom also used this recipe and added the candied fruit to make really moist fruit cake..don’t forget to soak it in rum. LOL

  25. I am 74 yrs old and my Great grandmother used to make this every Christmas. She was of German descent, so I thought it was a German recipe since we were all from Ohio. No matter where it came from, it is a wonderful tradition for the family. It is a hit.

  26. Can this cake be baked in a 9×13 pan?

    • Yes, you can bake it in a 9 x 13 pan. I make several that way every year. Bake at the same temperature and the same amount of time just check for doneness as ovens vary.

  27. My grandmother made it right after thanksgiving and we ate it at Christmas. She said it taste better,when you make it early. Have you heard doing it that way. It does taste wonderful.

    • I have kept this cake in a cool spot for about a week or a little longer. My experience is that it starts to dry out after that amount of time.

  28. I am from Ky. and surprised at some of these comments. i have made and eaten Jam Cake all my life and always on Holidays and just like this one. I can’t even imagine a Jam cake fixed any other way but with Blackberry Jam (seedless) and Caramel Icing. I do make mine in a Bundt pan though and always make the icing this way except I don’t use the syrup as I find the Brown sugar is enough. You have not lived till you have eaten Jam Cake! Delicious and a big Kentucky tradition!

  29. Can you please tell me if you use the caramel frosting between the layers? I assumed you might but it didn’t look like it in the pic. I didn’t want to make the cake and run out of frosting if I’m not suppose to use between the layers. Thanks much! I’m excited to try this recipe.
    Debbie
    Orange, TX

    • Yes, I do put between the layers but not too thick, just a thin layer because the frosting is very rich.

  30. I made this cake it s delicious. Took it to the school I work at and everyone loved it!!

  31. My Alabama mother’s “Tennessee Jam Cake” was also made with homemade wild blackberry jam…yummmmm…so glad to run across this since we have lost her recipe…She made it every Christmas and it was wonderful. Smuckers is best next to homemade…I agree..

  32. Could this jam cake be cooked in a bundt pan, and if so, how long
    would it need to be cooked, and what oven temperature? Thanks!

    • I never cook it in a bundt pan but some of the others on here say they have so I would say you can. Bake at the same temperature for the same amount of time. Just check for doneness as ovens vary.

  33. Do you frost this cake while it is still hot just curious?

  34. I am a little confused ! In the picture of the slice of cake it looks like there’s a pockets of jam! But the recipe says to mix everything together except for the nuts, then fold them in after all is mixed ! So you don’t drop spoonfuls of jam into the batter after you pour into the pans ?

  35. My maternal grandmother made this cake every Christmas while she was alive. After she died my Mother took over the job. Now my sister makes it. As my Mother says it is not Christmas without it.

  36. I’ve never ever heard of a jam cake, but I’m not from the south. This looks like something my husband would like as he loves raisins (and carrot cake). Think I will make it for Thanksgiving along with my pies. Thank you!

  37. Oh My I bet that is good and so very moist! Got to try it! If it is like the Hummingbird Cake..you have ANOTHER WINNER!

  38. My very special Aunt Rosie has made the kentucky jam cakr for years and usually brings one to our family reunion. It is to die for. I did not know any one else even had a recipe for it. I think I’ll try it. Thank you .

  39. Homemade jams are so very good, however…so are the store bought in this cake. I do not feel that could be counted as a right or wrong. Just saying….

    Also, I need to know if this batter is moist? Since I have not tried this recipe before, would you be so knid as to tell me. I am a HUGE fan of jam cake but only if it is moist….

    I am also a HIGE fan of yours! You post so many things from my childhood that remind me of home. “Thank You So Much”….

  40. My grandmother made them all the time, We live in ky but she would add 2 tablespoons of cocoa to hers it makes them a dark ,She would sell a lot of them also,As a kid I use to love the smell of them baking ,Now everytime I bake them I think of her ,She has been gone for 36 years now, But we still have her recipes,

  41. I can’t wait to make your Jam Cake for my husband and family, I’m sure it will become a favorite holiday desert. It looks absolutely delicious!!

  42. This looks like and sounds exactly like the jam cake my grandmother made every Christmas! I lost her recipe and can’t find a good southern style I like. I will definitely try this one out for Christmas this year! Fingers crossed!

  43. I made a jam cake similar to this at Christmas…used Strawberry jam and used a cream cheese icing…I made it into cupcakes and 4 mini loaf pans ….gave them for gifts..turned out great…

  44. I make this in a tube pan lined with wax paper. I place cake on the middle rack in oven but place 9×13 pan full of water under it and then tent the cake so it steams…I have made this cake every Christmas for 25 yrs

  45. The recipe makes one round or one 9 x 13 cake.

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