This delicious Southern Jam Cake is a classic and one of our most popular recipes. If you have never tried this one, what are you waiting for?!?! Its the perfect Christmas Cake and we make it every year.

Southern Jam Cake - The Southern Lady Cooks

If you love old fashioned cakes, you will definitely want to try this Vanilla Wafer Cake or this Old Fashioned Pound Cake


This cake is very unique in the most amazing way. We often talk about “how did this cake come about” because it has so many wonderful spices, plus blackberry jam. It is topped with a delicious caramel frosting and made in layers or a 9X13. 

This cake can be made in advance since it gets better with time. We make this cake a few days before Christmas and still enjoy it way after the New Year. We only have this cake at Christmas, and it’s a real treat and something our entire family looks forward to. It’s one of our many traditions. 


All-Purpose Flour – This is the flour we use and have never made it with cake flour. 

White Sugar – Can’t make a sweet cake without sugar!

Oil – We use vegetable oil for this cake or canola.

Buttermilk – the fat content in the buttermilk is one of the things that makes this cake wonderful. We have never substituted and used any other milk.

Raisins – They are a great addition to this cake (but if you hate them you can leave them out)

Seedless Blackberry Jam – We have always used Smucker’s brand, it really does seem to mix in well and is very moist.

Spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ground cloves are a great combination in this cake. 

Vanilla Extract – this adds a wonderful flavor and we have never used any other kind.

Pecans or Walnuts – we love it with pecans but have made it with both.

Eggs – this cake uses 3 eggs.

View the recipe card for Caramel Frosting Ingredients. 


You can use strawberry jam in the place of the blackberry jam. My Aunt used to make it that way and liked it better. We are partial to the blackberry so we never make it that way. You can use any nuts you like in this cake, walnuts, pecans, black walnuts or leave them out altogether. 

Southern Jam Cake - The Southern Lady Cooks


Even though this cake has a lot of ingredients, it’s not hard to make, which is one of the many reasons why we love it. The caramel frosting can be a little finicky at times but once you get it the correct consistency it’s easy too!


One thing I always do when making this cake is get all the ingredients out and lined up on the counter. There are quite a few spices, vanilla extra, baking powder and baking soda, etc. so make sure you have it all out and organized. It will save you time and help to make sure you include them all. 


Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray or flour 2 (9 inch) round baking pans. You can also make this in a 9X13. 

Step 2
Put all ingredients into a large bowl except pecans and mix well on low. 

Step 3
Increase speed to high until sugar is completely dissolved. Fold in pecans and pour into pans or 9X13 baking dish.

Step 4
Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans. Remove cake from pans and add caramel icing.

Step 5
Let the cake cool and then add frosting.  

Frosting Instructions:

Melt all ingredients except confectioner sugar on top of the stove. Remove from heat and add sugar. Stir or cool until it has a glazed look and is of spreading consistency. Spread on the cake.

Southern Jam Cake - The Southern Lady Cooks


The caramel frosting is a unique frosting, and it will take a bit to get the right consistency. If the frosting is grainy, reheat it until all the sugar fully melts.

If you remove it from the heat and it’s grainy simply put the pan back on the burner and let it get hot while you continue to stir it.  Make sure your powdered sugar is fresh and not old. 


This cake we make every Christmas and it has been a tradition in our family for many, many years. If you are planning to make this cake for Christmas and want to add some other great cakes to your dessert table, you may also love this Easy Five Minute Fudge


Can I make this in advance?

Yes, you absolutely can and I would actually recommend it. This cake keeps very well and is better with time. We make it a few days before Christmas. 

Do you refrigerate this cake?

No, I don’t refrigerate it. 

Do you let the cake cool before adding the frosting?

Yes, I let the cake completely cool. 


I keep this cake covered in a cake pan. This cake will keep for a while. This cake will become more moist with each day. Which is why we make it in advance. I have never tried freezing this cake, but see no reason why you couldn’t.

Easy Christmas Divinity

This Divinity is made in the microwave and has many ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐reviews!

Microwave Peanut Brittle

This peanut brittle is so easy to make and a wonderful holiday treat!

Five Minute Fudge

This fudge is an excellent recipe for the holidays! Makes a great gift too!


This cake makes 10-12 servings depending on how you cut the cake. All serving sizes range and you will get more servings from the 9X13.


You can easily double this recipe. We make 3 of these cakes at a time and you can also split the 9X13 into two 9X9’s. This cake is very versatile, always check so you don’t overcook it because all oven vary.


There are many comments on this recipe and if you have a question we haven’t answered please check the comments below. Many wonderful memories are included as well!

Southern Jam Cake

Judy Yeager
This Southern Jam Cake has been in our family for many generations and is the only way we make jam cake. It's a tradition and this cake has many wonderful reviews!
4.68 from 82 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, southern


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup oil (we use canola)
  • 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

Caramel Frosting

  • 2 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine
  • 2 tsps. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsps. white corn syrup
  • 4 1/2 tbsps milk
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar


  • 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.
  • Let cake fully cool before adding frosting.

Frosting Instructions

  • 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.
  • If your frosting is grainy, put back on heat and continue stiriing until all the sugar is dissolved. Make sure your powdered sugar is fresh too.



This frosting will do the jam cake above. If you make it in a long pan (9X13), you can half the recipe for frosting but with the layered pans I use the amounts above. This frosting is great on any cake.
You can make this in a bundt pan, which I let cook about 55 minutes. 
Keyword Southern Jam Cake
Love this recipe?Let us know by commenting below!
Follow us on Pinterest!

Are you reading our magazine?

Join 1000’s of others and start a subscription today. Full of new recipes, inspiring stories, country living, and much more.

© 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.