Nanny's Jam Cake
One year ago, my Nanny kept talking about a jam cake that she enjoyed as a child but couldn't find a recipe or find anyone to make it as she remembered. I immediately took that as a challenge to find a recipe for her. I researched and discovered that a jam cake is an old-fashioned layer cake with blackberry jam, walnuts or pecans, and raisins covered in caramel icing. Some recipes even had ingredients such as dates, figs, and pineapple added. I'm pretty sure people back then just added anything they thought would taste good in a cake! Somehow they were usually right.
I ended up finding a recipe that I liked and decided to make it! I truly felt like this kind of cake belonged in a bundt shape rather than a layer or sheet cake. It was a success!! I made it for her birthday last January 17th. Let me tell you, she had two whole slices and even took some more home!! She said it wasn't the exact jam cake she remembered but pretty darn close.
Looking back, I'm so glad that I decided to attempt that jam cake. Sadly, my Nanny passed away suddenly just a couple of months later. If you look at the About Me page, you'll see that I was VERY close with my Nanny. She sparked my interest in baking when I was just a child, and it continues with me to this day.
When I decided to start this baking blog, I knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to create my very own jam cake that was dairy and egg-free in her honor and memory. I've had that recipe written in my notebook for months now but haven't dared to bake it. But, guys, grief can do some crazy things to you. It has kept me from doing what I love the most. The pain of losing someone close and dear to me comes to the surface with every memory of her.
As it nears what would have been her 75th birthday, I decided that this recipe was what I NEEDED to do for her. Happy Birthday, Nanny. We love you and miss you every single day!
HOW TO MAKE A JAM CAKE
1. Mix 3 tbsp of flaxseed and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. You'll want to do this first, so you can set it aside and allow time to thicken.
2. In another small bowl or measuring glass, mix 1 cup of almond milk or any other dairy-free milk and 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Set aside to allow the milk to change consistency to that of buttermilk.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk all your dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.
4. In a large mixing bowl, add your wet ingredients together: canola oil, blackberry jam, vanilla extract, egg replacement mixture, and almond milk mixture. Mix until well blended. You finely ground your pecans using a food processer, then fold those into the wet ingredients.
5. Add your raisins to your flour mixture and fold gently. This will help prevent your raisins from sinking during baking. Then while mixing on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Once combined, add to the greased bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 60 minutes or when a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before removing from bundt pan.
6. For the caramel icing, stir while heating the butter, vanilla extract, corn syrup, and milk on the stove until completely melted and well blended. Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar. Stir until well blended and cool until the icing has a glazed appearance.
7. Once the cake is completely cooled, spread or drizzle the caramel icing over the cake. You can double the recipe and save the leftover icing on the side to serve with each slice.
STANDARD RECIPE OR DAIRY AND EGG-FREE
- I prefer to use flaxseeds and water for this cake for egg replacement. In a small bowl, mix three tablespoons of flaxseeds and 1/4 cup of water and allow to sit for approximately 5 minutes to allow time to thicken. If doing a standard recipe, then use three eggs at room temperature.
- In a standard recipe, you would use one cup of buttermilk. But to make this recipe dairy-free, I like to use almond milk. You measure out one cup of almond milk and mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and allow to sit for a few minutes. This will create the consistency of buttermilk.
Now I know this recipe can sound strange, containing ingredients like blackberry jam, pecans, and raisins. But the taste and texture of this jam cake are UNBELIEVABLE and perfectly paired with the caramel icing! This cake will take you back in time and have you wishing you lived in the good old days. I know my Nanny would have LOVED it.
OTHER GREAT CAKES TO LOVE: