Blackberry Jam Cake

Blackberry Jam Cake

This cake is included in my book, Seasonal Recipes from the Garden. It's a modified version of my grandmother Margie Hanes Smith's recipe. I believe this recipe came to her from her mother, my great-grandmother Hanes, who used blackberry jam as a way to sweeten the cake. Back then sugar was scarce, so jam and sorghum molasses were often used as sweeteners.

The cake is great with or without the old-fashioned caramel icing. I've included that recipe too just in case you want to try it both ways.


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flower a large tube pan, or use a flour-based baking spray such as Baker's Joy. Set the pan aside.

Separate the eggs, putting the yolks and whites in different mixing bowls. I another large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a small bowl, mix ½ cup of the flour mixture with the black walnuts and raisins.

Add the brown sugar, butter, and blackberry jam to the egg yolks, and stir together thoroughly. Stir in the buttermilk. Add the flour mixture.

Beat the egg whites until they turn white but are loose and runny, not too "airy." Fold the egg whites into the batter. Then mix the nuts and raisins, blending only enough so that they are equally distributed in the batter.

Pour the batter into the tube pan and bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours. When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, it's done.

Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Then loosen the cake from the sides of the pan by running a knife around the edge. Invert a cake plate over the pan, and invert the tow together. Lift off the tube pan.

Slice and serve.


If desired, spread Ma Smith's Caramel Icing smoothly and evenly over the slightly cooled cake.


  • cacollie says:

    Will it hurt the texture to omit the raisins? It does call for 1 cup of raisins. That is a lot of volume not taken up in the batter. Thank you.

    August 18, 2015 11:08am

  • angelfun3 says:

    When I made this and took the first bite I heard the angels sing! This is SO good! Everyone loved it.

    September 18, 2011 02:25pm

  • jogrowsit says:

    Made this yesterday for a church dinner. Absolutely DE-licious. Will make it again. NOTE: very heavy cake andcouldhave put less in bundt pan and made 3-5 cupcakes.

    August 31, 2011 04:47pm

  • harrispk says:

    Old family recipes are the best. Great jam cake!

    August 23, 2011 07:47am

  • Oksanna says:

    My sister-in-law always puts strawberry jam in her Christmas fruit cake.

    August 22, 2011 04:24pm

  • starbelle55 says:

    I always bake a special Christmas cake. Thank you for this year's recipe!

    August 22, 2011 03:23pm

  • SusanMaxwell says:

    That looks fabulous. Going to make it soon. Thanks for sharing an old family recipe.

    August 22, 2011 02:23pm

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