Georgia's Tennessee Jam Cake

Georgia's Tennessee Jam Cake

Amy 4

"This rich holiday dessert was invented by my grandmother and is a tradition in our house over Christmas. These ingredients were originally the authentic thing -- homemade jam, buttermilk out of the churn, and walnuts you gather and crack yourself. Now we use purchased items, but the cake is just as good. Frost with homemade caramel frosting, or your favorite cream cheese frosting."

Ingredients 1 h 5 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 685 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 12 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 685 kcal
  • 34%
  • Fat:
  • 25.6 g
  • 39%
  • Carbs:
  • 106.6g
  • 34%
  • Protein:
  • 11.6 g
  • 23%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 182 mg
  • 61%
  • Sodium:
  • 583 mg
  • 23%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

On Sale

What's on sale near you.


  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease three 8 or 9 inch round cake pans and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each one is blended in. Dissolve the baking soda in the water; stir into the batter along with the blackberry jam. Combine the flour, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; stir into the batter by hand, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the black walnuts and raisins if using. Divide the batter equally between the three pans, and spread in an even layer.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the top of the cakes spring back when lightly touched, about 35 minutes. Cool in the pans until cool enough to handle, then invert the cakes over a wire rack and remove pans to cool completely.
Tips & Tricks
Simple White Cake

See how to make a simple white cake that’s perfect for layer cakes and cupcakes.

Tiramisu Layer Cake

This rich, coffee-flavored classic is surprisingly easy to make.

Rate recipe

Your rating


Reviews 13

  1. 13 Ratings


Georgia was my grandmother, but she passed away in January of this year. She was poor and had no access to cookbooks. Of course, there are tons of jam cake recipes out there, but this was her own special recipe, written and modified many times to make good use of the things she had lots of -- homemade blackberry jam, walnuts, buttermilk, butter and eggs. I can't speak for anyone else's recipe, but my grandma's special tricks included cutting circles from brown paper, greasing those with butter, and lining her round cake pans to keep the cakes from sticking. She was a phenomenal person.


My grandmother, too, was a proud Virginia lady who called her recipes receipts (which is the traditional old English way).She called her jam cakes Tennessee Jam Cake because she had eaten her first one at a wedding there and had requested the recipe from a cousin who had cooked it for the wedding feast. It is entirely correct to call a jam cake, in the south, Tennessee Jam Cake because it is traditionally associated with that state and its long and noble culinary traditions- no matter where it was invented -England has a very similar cake- it is Tennessee Jam Cake! Last word! Tradition rules! Oh yes, I can't imagine anything but burnt sugar icing on jam cake; by all means try cream cheese, but I think you will go back to caramel. I use cream to keep the burnt sugar from curdling- forget the calories! My grandmother beat the egg whites separately to lighten the cake. Misha

Wendy Humfleet

Great taste. I was curious on this and wanted to try it out for my father-in-laws birthday. This came out similar to what I would consider a spice cake and I did not really taste the jam. Thank you for sharing the recipe and your story about Georgia.