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+ servings

Granny Kellett’s Jam Cake

Anne Byrn
This fragrant and festive cake is the perfect holiday treat.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 42 mins
Total Time 1 hr 27 mins
Course cake
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 12 servings



  • Flour and butter for greasing the pans
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans walnuts, or black walnuts
  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup blackberry jam
  • 2 1 ⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup raisins

Caramel Frosting:

  • 1 ⁄2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1 ⁄2 cups light brown sugar firmly packed
  • 1 ⁄3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1 ⁄2 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted


  • For the cake, place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9" round cake pans with vegetable shortening or soft butter and dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour, and set the pans aside.
  • While the oven preheats, place the nuts on a baking sheet in the oven, and let the nuts toast until just beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and let the nuts cool.
  • Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until creamy, 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer, and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well on medium speed until each egg is combined. Add the jam, and blend on low until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Remove 1 tablespoon of the flour and set aside. In a separate medium-sized bowl, sift together the remaining flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into the buttermilk until dissolved. Add a third of the flour mixture to the egg batter, and blend on low until just incorporated. Pour in half of the buttermilk, and blend until incorporated. Repeat with the second third of the flour, the rest of the buttermilk, and the last of the flour mixture. Place the toasted nuts, raisins, and the remaining 1 tablespoon flour in a large bowl and toss to coat the nuts and raisins with flour. Fold these into the batter with the rubber spatula. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Place the pans in the oven.
  • Bake the cakes until they just begin to pull back from the edges of the pan and the top springs back when lightly pressed, 38 to 42 minutes. Remove the pans to wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges, give the pans a gentle shake, and invert the layers once and then again so they cool right side up on the racks. Let cool completely, 30 to 40 minutes, before frosting.
  • For the frosting, place the butter, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until the mixture boils, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Use at once.
  • To assemble the cake, place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Spoon about a third of the warm caramel frosting over the top, and spread to smooth out. Place the second layer on top, and spoon the remaining frosting over the top and let it trickle down the sides of the cake. Let the cake rest for at least 20 minutes, then slice and serve.


Use what blackberry jam you have on hand. If you are buying the jam, look for a 10-ounce jar. If you don’t like blackberry seeds, buy seedless jam. You can substitute black raspberry, strawberry, or plum jam in this cake. Instead of toasted pecans, you can use raw black walnuts.
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