Kentucky Blackberry Jam Cake

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Kentucky Blackberry Jam Cake is covered in caramel icing. This southern cake is a special dessert any time of year and it is very popular for Christmas.

Kentucky Blackberry Jam Cake with Caramel Icing


What makes this cake so special is the Blackberry Jam that’s mixed into the cake batter. It gives the cake a sweet and slightly tangy flavor that is accentuated by the ultra-sweet caramel icing.

In addition to blackberry jam this cake is also flavored with chopped walnuts and lots of spice: cinnamon, allspice, and cloves.

Kentucky Blackberry Jam Cake with Caramel Icing


More traditionally, Kentucky Blackberry Jam Cake have three layers, but it is much easier to make a 2 layer cake and you need one less cake pan.  🙂

If you like spice cake and you like caramel icing, you will love this cake.

Kentucky Blackberry Jam Cake with Caramel Icing


The cake layers are fabulously moist from all the jam added and the spices are so fragrant in every bite.

This is a distinctly southern cake that I believe has its roots with German settlers. It is very popular not only in Kentucky, but Tennessee as well.

Some Kentucky Jam Cakes use pecans so feel free to use them instead of walnuts.

Kentucky Blackberry Jam Cake with Caramel Icing

More Southern Cakes

Kentucky Blackberry Jam Cake with Caramel Icing

Kentucky Blackberry Jam Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 18
Kentucky Blackberry Jam Cake is an old-fashioned southern layer cake with walnuts and caramel icing. Perfect for the holidays!
Print Recipe


Cake Batter

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup blackberry jam
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Caramel Icing

  • 10 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • walnuts for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with baking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time, scrapping down sides of the bowl in between additions.
  • Add the buttermilk, baking soda and jam and beat until incorporated.
  • Whisk together flour, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon. Add to butter mixture in batches, beating just until combined. Stir in walnuts.
  • Divide batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until they feel firm when pressed down on. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and then turn them out on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Prepare Caramel Icing. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add brown sugar, bring mixture to a boil and simmer, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  • Stir milk in and transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. Use electric mixer to beat mixture while gradually adding powdered sugar.
  • Place bottom cake layer on a cake stand or serving platter. Gradually pour about half the icing on top. You want the icing to have cooled enough so that it all doesn't run off the sides. Let the icing set up some and then place second layer on top.
  • Pour remaining icing on the top layer. Decorate with walnuts if desired.


For best results, have your eggs, jam, and buttermilk at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from Nashville Eats

Blackberry Jam Cake on a cake stand.


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5 thoughts on “Kentucky Blackberry Jam Cake

  1. This is a good, dense, old-fashioned cake with an easy to make frosting. I used one recipe to make two smaller cakes (6-7″), split them in half and frosted them with 1 1/2 batches of the frosting. One was used for a 93 year old’s birthday and the other was for a luncheon.

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