Thursday, December 19, 2013

Jam Cake with Caramel Icing

by Cindy
 It's the most wonderful time of the year.....I think so anyway.  I am loving being busy and preparing for gatherings and potlucks.  My girl friends came over last night for a dinner party and cookie exchange.  It was great fun and the cookies were fantastic.  Everyone put a special effort into their cookies, and we now have cookies to share with family and friends. 
 I'll be getting ready next Monday for a potluck at my office and having the United Methodist Women from Clay over to my house for dinner and Christmas devotional time.  I have a wonderful group of new friends here and also special old friends from Kentucky.  It reminds me of the Girl Scout song, "Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold."  I love my new friends and the old ones as well.  They have helped me through some difficult times and enriched my life.  Thanks to all of you. 
I was getting ready to make this next recipe for Sarah and Christy's Kentucky grandparents, but  Mimi fell yesterday and had to have surgery for a broken hip.  I'm kind of in limbo about when to make this for them, because I don't know what or where they will be for the next few weeks.  It's one of their favorite cakes, and I've been making it for them for Christmas many years.  It's a little time consuming but not really that difficult.  There are short cut cake recipes that use cake mixes with special additions, but this is the from scratch recipe that I've used.  I'm still a strong believer that it's all about the icing, so if your short of time, take the cake short cut. 
 This cake is super moist because of the blackberry jam, and the caramel icing is just the right flavor to complement the cake.  I think the trickiest part is the icing, because it takes patience to wait until it is firm enough to spread on the cake. This is where pecans can be added to hide any imperfections. Perfect in no time. 

Jam Cake

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
4 cups flour
1 t allspice
1 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
1 t cocoa
2 cups buttermilk
2 t baking soda
2 cups blackberry jam
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins

Cream sugar and butter, add eggs and mix well.  Mix together buttermilk and baking soda.  Add flour, which has been sifted with the spices, alternately with the buttermilk mixture, ending with the buttermilk.  Add jam, nuts and raisins.  Pour into 3 - 9 inch cakes pans, which have been either greased and floured or sprayed with Baker's Secret (flour/oil spray).  I have also added wax paper to the bottoms of the cake pans and sprayed that also.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or more.  It never really looks quite done all the way in the center of the cake, because if you cook it too long, the outside gets too done.  Remove the cakes after 5 - 7 minutes and let cool on racks.  I used to make two of this recipe to make 3 - 2 layer cakes.  I only make a 2 layer cake and use the excess cake mix for cupcakes.  These will have a shorter cooking time but will have to be watched closely. 


Caramel Icing

1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter; add brown sugar.  Cook over low heat for 2 minutes; add milk.  Continue to stir.  Let mixture come to a boil.  Remove from the heat and add the powdered sugar.  Ice the cake when consistency is thickened from cooling.  Garnish with pecans. 

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