A Sweet Memory

“A party without cake is just a meeting.” – Julia Child

We all have those summertime memories of visiting family and enjoying wonderful times with them.  Of course, food is always part of those memories.  Aunt Jane’s potato salad, cousin Martha’s lemon pie, grandmother’s homemade pickles – special people and fabulous recipes.  

I have treasured memories of spending summers with my grandmother in Mississippi. One especially sweet memory is her Blackberry Jam Cake with Caramel Frosting. To say I was thrilled each time she made this cake is clearly an understatement.This heavenly creation was always made with the blackberry jam she preserved.  She said, “The jam was a reward for her hours spent blackberry picking.”

Just in case you would like to create this sweet memory maker, I am sending along the recipe.  Do put this cake on your list of “things to bake this summer.” I promise your gathering will be a “party, not a meeting.”

Blackberry Jam Cake

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

5 eggs

3 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. ground allspice

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup seedless blackberry jam

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup chopped raisins or dates (my grandmother used dates) 

Preheat oven to 325.  Grease and flour 3 round 8 or 9 inch cake pans. (I use Bakers Joy with flour spray).  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Combine flour, soda, salt, and spices in a separate bowl;  add to the butter mixture alternately with buttermilk; beating well after each addition.  Blend in jam, chopped pecans, and raisins or dates.  Pour into prepared cake pans.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick comes out clean when inserted in the center.  Cool cake in pans on racks for 15 minutes. Carefully invert onto racks to cool completely.

Cooked Caramel Frosting

3 cups packed light brown sugar

2 Tbls. corn syrup

3 Tbls. butter

dash of salt

3/4 cup of heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla

In a large saucepan, combine ingredients and mix well to blend.  Bring to a boil; cover and cook 3 minutes at medium heat.  Uncover and cook until a soft ball forms when dropped in cold water.  I use a candy thermometer and soft ball is about 238 degrees on the thermometer.  Cool for 3 minutes.  Beat until thick and spreadable. The mixture should begin to lose its glossiness.  Spread on layers and sides of cake.  If the frosting becomes too stiff as you are working, add just a little hot water. Also, dip spatula in hot water to smooth frosting as needed.

Listed below you will find a second frosting recipe.  This one is delicious, wonderful on the cake – but is easier to prepare.

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

4 Tbls, butter, softened

1/2 cup purchased caramel sauce – such as Smuckers

1 tsp. vanilla

3 1/2 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.  Add the caramel sauce and vanilla; beat until well blended.  Add 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed of mixer until blended.  Add more confectioners’ sugar, if needed.  Increase mixer speed and beat on high for about 2 minutes.

Thanks for visiting.  Enjoy the recipes!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

Photo:  Pinterest

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