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This cake is pretty darn awesome. I served it at work for a birthday and it was gone in a matter of minutes. One co-worker said he liked it because he could actually taste the jam in it.  It’s also got a kind of a spice-cake vibe that you might not expect but which blends really well with the deep blackberry flavoring.

The recipe comes from “Recipes Tried and True”, published in 1894 by the ladies of the First Presbyterian Church in Marion, Ohio. It doesn’t come with any frosting or filling instructions, so I made up my own. I used a can of commercial frosting for convenience-if you have time, and you want to be more authentic, feel free to make your own powdered sugar vanilla frosting. I also think this cake would be delicious when frosted with sweetened whipping cream!

• 2/3 cup butter, softened
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1 cup (one 11.5 ounce jar) blackberry jam (but buy two jars, because you’ll need some for the filling)
• ½ cup milk
• 3 eggs
• 2 cups flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon allspice
• ½ teaspoon cloves
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Vanilla sugar frosting or one container of vanilla-flavor whipped frosting
• Pint blackberries


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cream the sugar and butter in a stand mixer.

Add the jam, milk, and eggs and blend.

In a separate bowl, sift or mix with a fork until thoroughly blended the flour, baking powder, and spices.

Add the dry ingredients slowly to the liquid ingredients, stirring until blended. Add the vanilla and mix. Pour even amounts into two rounded 8 inch cake pans which have been greased and floured.

Bake for 30 minutes.
Just before serving, place one layer on serving plate. Cover with frosting, and half a cup of jam, swirled around to mix into the frosting.

Place second cake layer on top and top with the rest of the frosting. Arrange the blackberries on top.