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Kentucky Jam Cake with Buttermilk Frosting


This version of the Kentucky Jam cake is frosted with a cooked buttermilk pecan frosting. 

This cake is baked in 2 layers. It's a regional specialty, a delicious spice cake. The cake can also be made with a strawberry jam or try seedless raspberry.


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup blackberry jam, seedless
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • Buttermilk Pecan Frosting
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9-inch square baking pans.

In a large mixing bowl, measure flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, oil, 1 cup buttermilk, the blackberry jam (or use another jam), 1 teaspoon baking soda, the baking powder, spices, vanilla, salt, and eggs. Beat ingredients on low speed of electric mixer just until ingredients are blended. Increase speed to high and beat for about 7 to 8 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl occasionally. Fold 1 cup chopped pecans into the batter; pour into prepared pans. Bake in preheated 350° oven for about 40 minutes, or until cakes pull away from sides of pan.

Cool cakes in pans on racks for 20 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely on racks.

Meanwhile, make buttermilk frosting.

In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the 3 cups sugar, the butter, 1 cup buttermilk, corn syrup, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Put a candy thermometer in place and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until thermometer reads 238°. A small amount of the mixture dropped into cold water should form a soft ball. Pour mixture into a large bowl and beat at high speed of electric mixer for about 7 minutes, or until spreading consistency is reached. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl occasionally. Fold in  the1 cup chopped pecans.

Frost bottom layer of cake, top with the top layer then frost sides and top of the cake.


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