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.
- Category: Dessert
- 2 cups blackberry jam, room temperature
- 1 cup butter, salted, softened
- 1 cup black walnuts, chopped
- 2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg, ground
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
- 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 1/2 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
- 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 1/2 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.