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Jam Cake

September 10, 2011

I have never had this cake anywhere other than Kentucky, but it is one of the family favorites. My dad says Minnie Chilton’s is the best, so that’s the recipe I am sharing. In full disclosure, I am not actually a huge fan of this cake which is why I like to make it as I am able to avoid it. I think it is just because I am not a pecan fan, but I did make a smaller cake for Kris without the nuts.

Warning…this cake may have the ability to induce labor! My mom binged on it when she was pregnant with Eric and thought she just had a stomach ache, but turns out it was actually labor pains.

Jam Cake


  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 2 c sugar
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 t soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 t cloves
  • 1 c raisins
  • 1 c chopped pecans
  • 1 c blackberry jam (seeded if you can find it or use homemade preserves; you can use other flavors but everyone says blackberry is the best)


  • Preheat oven to 325. Grease and line with parchment two 9″ cake pans (I actually made mine into 2 8″ and 2 6″ cakes).
  • Cream butter and gradually add the sugar. Cream together until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs.
  • Sift flour before measuring and add to it the spices and salt. Dissolve soda into buttermilk.
  • Alternately mix in the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter/sugar mixture. I think I’ve always heard to start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix well after each addition.
  • Lightly dredge the raising and nuts with extra flour and mix into batter. This helps keep them from sinking to the bottom.
  • Mix in jam last, stirring well to get an even distribution.
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
  • Cool and frost with caramel frosting

Caramel Frosting


  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 c brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla


  • Melt butter in saucepan. Add in brown sugar. Boil over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add milk and continue stirring until mixture boils again. Remove from heat and cool.
  • Mix in powdered sugar and vanilla and mix well so it is a spreading consistency – add more sugar if needed.
  • Frost cake and lick the bowl…you certainly don’t want to waste any of this!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Marcy Holladay permalink
    October 16, 2011 10:21 am

    Emily, this is your cousin, Marcy.
    We have all been studying your blog and having a good time studying your recipes. By the way, I was the one who made the jam cake your mother ate when she went into labor. I lived in Owensboro then also. Now…Sally and I have discussed this wonderful recipe (I can actually taste the batter when I read the recipe) and you need to know that you need to make at least a recipe and a half of this-Minnie told Sally she makes a recipe and a half of the icing–but Sally and I double the recipe. Sally thinks double and a half is best. Wayne said your icing was twice as good as Minnie’s. What an endorsement!

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