Old Fashioned Jam Cake {Spice Cake}

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I love this old fashioned jam cake recipe. It's the same that my mom would make, and her mother and so on. So rich and such a delicious dessert for Christmas.

The recipe for this cake was passed down from my Great Grandmother, to my Grandmother, to my Mother, and to me. It is a moist, delicious, spice cake. Very rich. It’s a pretty strict family tradition to always have Old Fashioned Jam Cake during the Holidays. I make it every year in the couple of days leading-up and we have it for dessert instead of pecan or pumpkin pie (because, you know, we did just have those at Thanksgiving!).

Old Fashioned Jam Cake feature

Now, a lot of time, since our family gatherings are a little smaller than they were in the past, I make two single-layer cakes and put one layer in the freezer to save for a few days. Then we have a second cake waiting for us when we demolish the first. LOL! I recommend doing that, too, if you’re not having a large gathering. It’s just a really rich cake, so you want to do small slices (unless you listen to my daughter, then you just need to set the whole cake in front of her and let her alone–she loves it). So, it can serve a lot of people with just one layer. However, if you’ve got a lot of people coming…well, you can make thinner slices from two layers. You get it, right?

easy jam cake for christmas sq

And, if you don’t have a Christmas Tree cutout handy (because who does?!), I’ve got you covered. You can download the JPG here or the PDF here. You’ll notice that I added a stump (was kind of unintentional–but I liked it) and I cut off the star (I accidentally snipped one too many times…big mess). So, you can do whatever, you just need something to lay over the cake while you dust with powdered sugar. You can use this one or just cut one out of wax paper. Your choice. I even did a snowflake one year from wax paper that was really cool. But, I’ve never been able to replicate the look, so a tree it is!

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Old Fashioned Jam Cake

Old Fashioned Jam Cake {Spice Cake}

Old Fashioned Jam Cake {Spice Cake}

It's a pretty strict family tradition to always have Old Fashioned Jam Cake during the Holidays. I make it every year in the couple of days leading-up and we have it for Christmas dessert.


  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 cups sticks Butter (room temperature)
  • 5 large Eggs, beaten
  • 1-1/2 cup Seedless Blackberry Jam
  • 1 Apple, grated
  • 1 cup Pecan, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 2-1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2-1/2 tsp Allspice
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 6 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 cup Raisins
  • 1/2 cup Cocoa
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar, and sifter


  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Grease 2 9-inch cake pans, line the bottoms of the pans with wax paper, and grease the paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the raisins and pecans, sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of the flour, and stir until the raisins and pecans are coated. Set aside.
  4. In another medium mixing bowl, combine the remaining flour, cocoa, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and salt--set aside.
  5. In yet another medium mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk and baking soda--set aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and add the sugars. Blend with hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  7. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating well.
  8. Add 1/3 of the flour and spice mixture, blend well. Then add 1/3 of the buttermilk mixture and blend well.
  9. Repeat step 8 until all the flour and buttermilk mixtures have been incorporated.
  10. Add the Jam and mix well.
  11. Stir in raisin and pecan mixture.
  12. Pour into prepared cake pans, and bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
  13. Cool on wire rack until completely cool.
  14. Place cut-out of Christmas Tree on top of one cake layer.
  15. Sprinkle powdered sugar around the edges of the pattern. Carefully lift the pattern from the cake. Decorate the second layer, or save for later (this cake freezes well).
  16. Serve and enjoy!

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christmas cake recipe ra

This Jam Cake is Amazing…and You Need to Try These Holiday Ideas:

Traditional Pecan Pie

Snowflake Macaron Cookies

Snowflakes Macaron

Red Velvet Snow Globe Cupcakes


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