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glass cake sand holding Jam Cake with Caramel Frosting

Old Fashioned Jam Cake and Caramel Frosting Recipe

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Get ready to treat your taste buds to an amazing experience with our family recipe for Blackberry Jam Cake. This cake is pure magic, combining the richness of moist, flavorful spiced cake with the tantalizing sweetness of blackberry jam. And let’s not forget the dreamy Caramel Frosting that takes this cake to the next level of decadence. Smooth, buttery, and richly caramel-flavored, it’s the perfect finishing touch.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cake Cooling time: 120 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings 1x



Jam Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, preferably unbleached
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup blackberry jam – see Note
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans (optional)

Caramel Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar


Jam Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, cream the sugar, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition. Blend in jam.
  4. Add half of the dry ingredient mixture, then half the buttermilk. Repeat and mix just until blended.
  5. Stop the mixer and fold in raisins and pecans.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes in pans placed on a wire rack to cool.
  7. Run a knife around the edge of the pan; place wire rack over the top and invert to remove cake from pan. Repeat with second cake layer. Leave on wire rack to cool completely.

Caramel Frosting:

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the brown sugar and cook, slowly stirring, for 2 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Whisk in the milk and bring to a slow boil, slowly stirring constantly.
  3. Take off heat and stir in vanilla.
  4. Stir or whisk in powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until the right consistency is reached – thick enough to frost the cake but not lumpy.
  5. Let cool to room temperature before frosting the cake.


  1. If the cakes have domed on the top, cut the top of the dome off so each section of the cake is fairly flat.
  2. Place one cake layer on the serving platter you plan to use. (Note: If you place pieces of wax paper around the edge of the serving platter and then put the cake on top, the paper will catch any frosting that drips when you frost the cake. You can then gently pull them out after you are done. This way, the serving platter stays clean.)
  3. Spread some of the frosting on the top of the base layer, about 1/4-inch thick.
  4. Take the second cake layer and place it upside down on top of the frosting (this way the smoothest side, which is the bottom during baking, is the top of your cake).
  5. Frost the top and sides with remaining frosting.


Note on jam: you can use any flavor jam, but blackberry is the traditional Kentucky ingredient.

Doubling the recipe: use three 9-inch cake pans.

High altitude: no adjustments are needed up to 7500 feet. Over 7500 feet, reduce baking soda to 1/4 teaspoon.

Make ahead: Cake layers can be prepared up to 2 days ahead, cooled, well wrapped and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before frosting. Can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Frost the day of serving.

  • Author: From "A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®" by Sally Clayton and Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: desserts, cakes
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Southern