Monday, March 12, 2018

Cherry Jam Bundt Cake

When I started baking cakes, one of the first things I learned was that jam could take an ordinary cake and vault it into torte-sphere. All I had to do was cut the layers in half horizontally, spread jam on them and put them together again. Use a little frosting in the middle and everyone acts like it's fantastic. I have to admit that in a cake that can be a little overwhelmed by a flavor, like a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, a bit of apricot jam goes a long way in perking it up.

Consequently, I have been intrigued by jam cakes. I have a vague memory of adding jam to the batter and ending up with a disaster, nevertheless, that's one way you can incorporate jam. You can also bake two layers and spread jam between them and on top, something a lot of people remember country grandmothers doing. And then there's adding it between layers of batter, which is what I tried today.

I have to confess, it's a good thing this is a Bundt cake with a lot of servings because I love the soft crumb on this cake. It's super easy to make. I used my favorite cherry preserves to give it a punch–Smuckers Natural Red Tart Cherry Fruit Spread. If cherries aren't your thing, use blackberry jam or strawberry.

Cherry Jam Bundt Cake

1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup butter + extra for pan
1 1/2 cups sugar  + extra for pan
4 eggs
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 jar (roughly 8-9 ounces) fruit preserves or jam

lemon juice
powdered sugar

Bring butter and eggs to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350. Grease the Bundt cake pan with butter. Sprinkle with sugar and spread like you would flour to coat the pan.

Pour vinegar into milk and let stand. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

Cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the eggs. Pour in about 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat, then add about 1/3 of the milk mixture and beat. Continue alternating the flour and the milk, beating in between, until they are fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat about one minute.

Spoon half the batter into the bottom of the Bundt pan. Using a long spoon (I used an iced tea spoon) add the preserves or jam in the middle of the batter, trying to keep it away from the edges. Add the remaining batter on top, starting at the outer edge to keep the jam from shifting. Smooth the top. Bake for 50-55 minutes.

Remove from oven and set on a rack. Allow to cool about ten minutes, then flip.

When cool, mix the glaze. This is extremely flexible. Some people will want more and some less. Squeeze 2-3 tablespoons lemon into a small bowl. Pour in about 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Mix thoroughly, add sugar and mix again until it is drizzling consistency. If it's too stiff, add lemon juice. If it's too runny, add powdered sugar.

Grease the Bundt pan and dust with sugar.

Add batter along the outer edge first to keep the jam from spreading in that direction.

Top with remaining cake batter.

After baking.

Isn't this cute? Color Me Read is on the back cover to color.


  1. That's a good tip about starting the second batch of batter towards the outside.
    Looks lovely.

  2. Oh, Krista! This is my kind of cake. Looks luscious. Every time I hear "bundt cake" I laugh, thinking of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

  3. I love bundt cakes. You can never go wrong with them.

  4. And THIS is how I will use up that jar of cherry jam and justify the space the bundt tin takes up in my kitchen! Thanks so much!