Old Fashioned Jam Cake (for Mother's Day)

Jam Cake with Fresh Berries

BB Jam cake for blog.jpg

Old-Fashioned Jam Cake

(From my upcoming Blueberry Cookbook, coming to a bookstore near you in August!)

Mother’s Day is almost here! Nothing says celebration like a pretty cake, so put this on the table for Mom or make it for any given Sunday lunch this spring and summer.

This old-fashioned Victoria sponge cake (so named for its popularity with Queen Victoria), has an airy texture that’s nice and plain (but good!) to show off the jam in the center. I’ve amped up the jam filling with some fresh berries and added a little sour cream to the whipped cream for both stability and a little extra zest. Since the cake contains butter, cream, and leavening, it is not technically a sponge cake, but a rose by any other name….

You can bake the cake a day ahead and wrap it foil. Store it in the refrigerator and then proceed with the recipe.

And here’s a sweet little cake trick: To slice a cake layer in half, freeze it for 15 to 20 minutes, or until firm. With a sharp paring knife, score all around the cake at the midpoint for a guide. Using a serrated knife and a sawing motion, cut about 1/3 through the cake. Turn the cake as you continue to cut it, following the guide you have scored.

Old-Fashioned Jam Cake Recipe

For the cake

Butter and flour (for the cake pan)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

3 large eggs, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup heavy cream

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter an 8-inch round cake pan, sprinkle it with flour, and tap out the excess. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment.

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt until blended

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed, beat the eggs for 1 minute. With the mixer running, gradually stream in the sugar, and beat for 4 minutes longer, or until it is thick and light in color. Beat in the vanilla.

4. Remove the bowl from the stand. Use a strainer to sift half the flour mixture over the batter. With a spatula, fold it gently into the batter. Repeat with the second half of the flour mixture until it is incorporated. Fold in the melted butter and cream.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Rap it once or twice on the countertop to level it and release any large air bubbles.

6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Set the cake on a rack to cool for 10 minutes.

7. Slide a thin knife around the edge of the pan and invert the cake onto the rack. Peel off the paper, turn the cake right side up, and cool completely.

For the filling

1/2 cup blueberry, raspberry, or strawberry jam (store-bought or homemade)

3/4 cup fresh cultivated blueberries

3/4 cup fresh raspberries

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons sour cream or crème fraiche

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar (for sprinkling)

1. In a bowl, stir the jam, blueberries and raspberries together.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, sour cream or crème fraiche, sugar and vanilla together until it forms soft peaks.

3. With a serrated knife, slice the cake in half horizontally. Set the bottom cake layer, cut side up, on a cake plate.

4. Spread the jam and berries over the bottom cake layer.  Spread the cream over the berries, and set the top cake layer over it with the top side up. Sift confectioner’s sugar over the top of the cake. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The filled cake is best eaten on the day it is made, but no one will turn down leftovers.


©2009-2019 Sally Pasley Vargas. Writing and photography, all rights reserved.