Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tennessee Jam Cake

This was my Mama's "fancy" cake that she made when she wanted to have something a little extra special for guests. Truth be told, it's the simplest cake ever and you can change it up with different jams and fruit to keep it seasonal!

Mama worked full time and also ran a very busy household and kept Daddy's farm records so she didn't spend a lot of time trying to "re-invent the wheel". For all of you traditional bakers about to grab your flour sifters....brace yourselves!

2 boxes of white cake mix
8 eggs
1 cup oil
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup jam
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Bakers Joy cooking spray
Fresh Fruit

I always buy the best cake mix I can get my hands on. Cheap cake mix tastes like ... cheap cake! Add 8 whole eggs, oil and 2 cups of water. Mix well with blender starting on slow and then graduating to a medium high speed while scraping the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the mix. If your batter is too thick, add a bit more oil and a little more of the water. Be careful not to over thin your batter - you want it to be on the thick side. Spray cake pans (I always use 3) liberally with baking spray and bake in a pre-heated 350* oven for 25-30 minutes until cooked thru the center completely.

Let cake cool completely....and I do mean completely! It usually takes a couple of hours on a cooling rack so plan ahead and use this time to get other things done!

Flip first layer onto serving dish. Use a metal skewer, a knife point or even the end of a fork to poke small random holes in the cake. Open sweetened condensed milk and sparingly drizzle 1-2 tsp over the first layer. Brush this around the layer and allow it a few minutes to soak in. Add 2 TBLSP jam (I like Strawberry the best) and spread it to the edge of the layer but not over the edge. Slice fruit (again, I like to use Strawberries) and place thin slices on top the jam.

Add the second layer and repeat the skewer and glazing with the sweetened condensed milk process. Repeat the jam spread and sliced fruit layering.

Top with third layer. Press layers firmly together. Pierce this layer with tiny pricks as you don't want holes to be visible (I like to use a corn on the cob holder as it makes the tiniest holes) then drizzle with remaining sweetened condensed milk. Cook cake in fridge to set (see below).

This cake may tend to shift so you might want to chill it in the fridge to help set your layers as you build it. About 20 minutes per layer should set it nicely.

Garnish with fruit and let sit out of the fridge for a couple of hours to come up to room temperature prior to serving. Left over cake (RIGHT, like there is any of this ever left over!) should be refrigerated.

As with any recipe, this is just a guide. You can take your own liberties with it and change it up. Use two complimentary jams....change up the fruits to keep it seasonal. Today I frosted it instead of topping with sweetened condensed milk. I have a Bride and I needed something more formal! Get Fancy and Enjoy!


  1. paris tn moody foodyDecember 4, 2011 at 4:32 AM

    I love this cake and plan to make one soon. Thank you Patty for sharing your mama's recipe with us.

  2. Omygoodness but this sounds wonderful! My husband will think he died and went to Heaven! Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe.

  3. My Grandmother made this cake when we were children and it was so moist and delicious!!! Can't wait to make it!!