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Jam Cake with Caramel Glaze

From cooking homemade meals for her loved ones to racking up ribbons at county fairs, Linda Skeens has perfected a variety of delicious dishes in her Blue Ribbon Kitchen. Here is a recipe from her forthcoming cookbook, Blue Ribbon Kitchen: Recipes and Tips from America’s Favorite County Fair Champion, that is sure to win you some praise in your own kitchen. Skeens’ cookbook doesn’t release until July, but you can pre-order a copy here and also get her recipe for Peanut Butter Fudge here.

1 stick salted butter, softened 
1 cup white sugar 
3 large eggs 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 
1/4 teaspoon table salt 
1 cup blackberry jam 
1/2 cup whole buttermilk 
1/2 cup strawberry preserves 
1/2 cup raisins 
1/2 cup chopped black walnuts 

Caramel Glaze:

1/2 stick salted butter 
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 
1/4 cup whole milk 
2 cups powdered sugar 
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease bottom of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour paper and sides of pan.

In a larger bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Add flour mixture, jam, buttermilk and preserves to butter mixture. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Stir in raisin and walnuts. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks. Remove paper and let cool completely.

Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with 1/3 cup warm Caramel Glaze. Top with second cake layer, and drizzle with remaining Caramel Glaze.

This cake is best made 2 days in advance. Store tightly covered. Don’t refrigerate. You can bake in a greased and floured 13×9-inch pan, too. Makes 1 (8-inch) cake.

To make the Caramel Glaze, melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in brown sugar; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add milk, and continue cooking until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, gradually stir in powdered sugar. Add vanilla; blend well. Use immediately. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Recipe reprinted with permission from BLUE RIBBON KITCHEN By Linda Skeens (‎83 Press, 2023);
photography credit 83 Press

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