Cranberry Jam Cake

An old-fashioned jam cake is a delicious way to keep things simple, with easy instructions and simple ingredients, not to mention the joy of simply eating cake! This is part of our An Appalachian Christmas series, and is definitely a show stopper.

This recipe is part of our An Appalachian Christmas series — try them all and celebrate Christmas with some homegrown flavors.


For cake:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons solid shortening
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 cups flour
  • pinch of salt

For cranberry jam:

  • 3 cups whole cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water

Foodie byte: Choose whether you want mounded tops on cake, which is a rustic look, or shave down the tops if you want a flat surface. The jam is sticky enough to hold the layers together either way.


For cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine sugar, eggs, shortening and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add to other.
  4. Add buttermilk, slowly.
  5. In three greased Springform pans (10-inch) divide the dough evenly; with about an inch to 1 ½ inch in each (it will be thin).
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool before removing from pans.

For cranberry jam:

  1. Combine cranberries, sugar and 1/2 cup of the water in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring to integrate the sugar. The idea is to heat the berries until they start to break down.
  2. Allow mixture to come to a boil and cook to desired consistency. The longer you let it boil, with more water will boil off — and the less jam it will make.
  3. Add the second 1/2 cup water toward the end of cooking.
  4. Remove from heat and allow it to cool at room temperature until you are ready to use.
  5. Generally makes 3 cups of jam.


  1. Layer cake with about one cup of prepared jam, then layer the next until done.
  2. Spread jam over cake.
  3. Garnish with candied orange (link below)

Originally published at

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