Your best jam-y cakes
February 23, 2016 6:49 PM   Subscribe

My friends are having a joint birthday celebration this weekend, and I've offered to make them a cake. The one piece of guidance I've received? "Jam. I LOVE JAM." Give me your most jam-ful cake recipes, please!

Assume better-than-average baking skills, and access to most standard home baking equipment. I have, in fact, made jam before, so I've also got that bit covered, skill-wise. Google keeps turning up "jam cake" which appears to be cake with jam in the batter, but I assume friends want jam in its original form present in a big way.

Obviously, I could just make a layer cake, and have thick layers of jam/preserves in between the layers, but I would love some more creative suggestions!
posted by damayanti to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
What you want is a Victoria sponge. It is jam between layers but it's a classic and delicious.
posted by methroach at 6:59 PM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

I feel like, as a jam lover myself, when I am craving the very most POW! JAM! feeling, it's got to be a jam trifle, but my secret is I honestly don't care for a ton of custard (fine in moderate amounts) or whipped cream (no, it's just air, serve ice cream on the side instead). I want cake and jam and maybe some fresh fruit too if you must, and I am fine with mixed jams (alternating jam layers of raspberry jam and lemon curd, just for example).

And you can get a little nuts with your cake if you want, do an interesting sponge rather than pound cake or ladyfingers or even (ugh) torn up angel food bits.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:04 PM on February 23, 2016

Response by poster: Not to threadsit, but I should have mentioned, I did think of both Victoria Sandwiches and Swiss Rolls (why yes, I have been watching a lot of Great British Bake Off, why do you ask?). If anybody has any particularly fun/unusual variants on those, I'd love to hear them!
posted by damayanti at 7:09 PM on February 23, 2016

Linzer Torte is another option.
posted by gudrun at 7:30 PM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

Jam-filled shortcakes.
posted by kindall at 7:44 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Crepe cake, i.e crepes layered with jam and stacked until they reach normal cake height. Similarly, this Smitten Kitchen marvel with almond and orange. Just look at all that jam.
posted by ostro at 7:57 PM on February 23, 2016

Also, in case you want the traditional ice cream and cake birthday combo, I remember seeing in an Edwardian-era book (I think it was an Anne of Green Gables sequel?) a reference to vanilla ice cream with raspberry jam. I tried it out of curiosity -- just blobs of jam on top, no fancy raspberry sauce or anything -- and it was AWESOME.
posted by ostro at 8:03 PM on February 23, 2016

Omg, there is a Mexican bakery by my house that I get cake from every time I host or go to a party (I always volunteer to bring dessert just because of this cake). It is a strawberry tres leche cake and it is legit the most delicious thing I've ever tasted. I've brought all kinds of lush and beautiful cakes to parties over the years and this is always hands-down the most popular.

Here's a basic tres leches cake recipe, but you could use any good tres leche recipe. Make a two-layered cake and put strawberry jam in between the layers (most recipes use whipped cream or whipped cream and fresh berries in between the layers). I think the bakery I go to may also spread a thin layer of jam on top of the cake, before they put the whipped cream frosting and fresh strawberries on. Honestly, it is just THE BEST CAKE EVER.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:04 PM on February 23, 2016

In other words, strawberry tres leche is basically a Victoria sponge cake, except with three milks! Which makes it WAY better!
posted by triggerfinger at 8:08 PM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not a specific recipe but chocolate cake with chocolate glaze and apricot jam filling is really delicious.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:39 AM on February 24, 2016

Jam tarts (recipe by none other than Paul Hollywood's mum!).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:28 AM on February 24, 2016

What about cupcakes? I make a lot of jam-filled cupcakes. I use a cupcake corer but you can use a spoon or some other implement. The bigger the hole you make, the more jam you can put in there, as long as you make sure the cupcake is still structurally sound. Then pipe some frosting on top.

I also like to mix in a little bit of fresh fruit with the jam, especially when it's strawberry or raspberry.

Also, if you're putting jam between the layers of the cake, be careful to make sure the filling doesn't squish out or the layers slide around. You might want to stabilize the cake with a dowel or skewer down the middle. And if your frosting is stiff, some dollops of frosting strategically placed can help keep the jam from being squished down and out the sides.
posted by thejanna at 6:07 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

How about a Swedish Princess cake? Sponge, crème pat, cream, plenty of jam, and marzipan.
posted by Acheman at 11:09 AM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Pop Tarts? or maybe a Bakewell Tart? Actually make 2 Bakewell Tarts and send one my way, please.
posted by Duffington at 3:46 PM on February 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all! I ended up making the Smitten Kitchen cake that Ostro linked to (and one of the birthday people said that it was their "platonic ideal of a cake") but all of the rest of the links look delicious too!
posted by damayanti at 10:15 AM on February 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

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