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Jam Cake – A True Southern Tradition

I don’t remember jam cake being prepared by my mother or grandmother.  However, I do remember references to it from my past and I think it was created by grass roots cooks that used the items they had on hand.  The cooks of the past probably made blackberry jam during the summer months and incorporated that into cakes for their families.  I found to versions of the cake in my cookbooks that looked appealing.  One of them is Tennessee jam ake that is prepared with a cake mix and the other one is Kentucky jam cake and is a more involved cooking “from scratch” recipe.  As I selected the recipes, I sort of chuckled to myself in wondering whether Tennessee and Kentucky compete with each other.  I do know the Carolinians of North and South Carolina compete with each other for sure.

The first recipe is incorporating a cake mix and was in my best kept Secrets of the South’s Best Cooks cookbook:

Kentucky Stack Cake 2

The next recipe is a “from scratch” recipe from my Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery cookbooks:

Kentucky Stack Cake 1

When I read the recipes and saw the caramel icing was used, I realized that type of icing was used in many early recipes just because of the availability of the ingredients.  My mind is drifting toward Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday.  I do think we can be caught up in tradition so much for the holiday that we prepare the same old thing every year and don’t look forward to the food preparation.  I plan this year to do a few favorites but to step up to the challenge of making something just a little different.  I think this cake would be a good option and could become a great tradition for the special day.

Happy Friday Everyone

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