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Kentucky Cake Recipe for Derby Day

Derby Day is held on the first Saturday in May. Even if you’re not into horseracing, you’ll want to serve traditional Kentucky food on that day; in fact, it’s a great excuse to have a party. This incredible Kentucky Jam Cake is an heirloom recipe from my 92 year old mother-in-law, who has lived in Kentucky her entire life and has been making this cake for over 70 years. She is an amazing cook and every time I make this cake there are lots of raves and no leftovers.

Kentucky Jam Cake with Caramel Frosting

16 Servings

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup blackberry jam

6 tablespoons flavored coffee syrup, (blackberry or caramel), blackberry liqueur, or red wine

1 double batch Old Fashioned Caramel Frosting
1 cup walnut halves for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

  2. Line 3 9-inch round cake pans with parchment and spray with non-stick spray; alternatively, grease and flour.

  3. In the large bowl of a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth.

  4. Add the egg yolks and beat until fluffy.

  5. Combine the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice; turn the mixer on low speed and add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and jam; mix well.

  6. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks; fold them into the batter.

  7. Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared cake pans.

  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

  9. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.

  10. Poke a few holes in each layer with a fork.

  11. Drizzle 2 tablespoons flavored coffee syrup, or blackberry liqueur, or red wine evenly over each layer.

  12. Spread caramel frosting between each layer and on top and sides of the cake.

  13. Press walnut halves decoratively on frosting.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 522 Calories from Fat 182
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 35% Protein 5% Carb. 61%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 20 g
Saturated Fat 10 g
Cholesterol 91 mg
Sodium 322 mg
Total Carbohydrate 79 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 6 g

Vitamin A 12% Vitamin C 2% Calcium 0% Iron 8%

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Content copyright © 2018 by Karen Hancock. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Karen Hancock. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Karen Hancock for details.


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