Since last Saturday, almost a week now, I have made 2 recipes of the Ultimate loaf and as of now, 3 recipes of this lovely upside down jam cake. I am actually quite surprised at the amount of baking I’ve managed to churn out in such a short amount of time!
The upside down jam cake is actually a riff on the cherry cake I had made at the beginning of the month with all those uneaten cherries that I was struggling to consume. To be honest, I’m actually quite loving the recipe. It only requires the most basic of ingredients for the cake, no electrical appliances other than an oven, and your favourite jam.
I use the term "jam" rather loosely, since I’ve made this cake with both homemade jelly and the rhubarb-lemonade compote from last week’s experiment. This cake recipe is of the utmost simplicity and I can easily throw it all together and into the oven in less than 15 minutes, add 40-45 minutes for your baking time (depending on your cake pan) and you have a wonderfully satisfying homemade cake in under an hour!
Not needing to drag out the heavy equipment (or even the not heavy equipment, but still very cumbersome hand mixer) and only having a bowl, whisk and spatula is still making me exceedingly happy for some reason.
The first time I made the cake with jam I used a jar of homemade Nanking Cherry Jelly from the wonderful hard work of Miss R. The big thing for me during that first try was figuring out a way of getting my cake out of my cake pan in one decent piece. The only cake pan I own (that isn’t a bundt pan, or mini bundt) is a detailed sunflower pan from Nordicware. My first and only cake attempt in that pan turned out to be a minor disaster because it’s almost impossible to butter and flour the pan adequately. Then I remembered something that I had seen somewhere: you can wet parchment paper to line a pan more closely and still have the non-stick abilties! Awesome possum!
So that’s what I did last Saturday — I lined the sunflower cake pan with dampened parchment to the best of my abilties, poured in 1 jar of jelly into the bottom and spread it around as evenly as possible, then covered the whole thing with cake batter. I made the cake a few hours before I needed to be at my parents for dinner that night and so I left the cake in the pan to cool. When I got to mom & dad’s I turned it out onto a plate and gingerly removed the parchment from the jelly-topped cake. The parchment didn’t stick and I was left with a decently pretty-looking cake! Leaving the cake in its pan to cool as opposed to leaving the cake for ten minutes and then immediately turning it out so that the preserve juices could seep into the cake as it cooled, it makes it… well… I dunno… I honestly can’t complain about the method since I have yet to actually do it "the proper way". The three cakes I’ve made have all been for delivery to friends and family and I don’t think I am ever going to bother changing the method. It’s a speedy cake recipe that once it’s in the oven, I can quickly clean the few dishes I’ve dirtied (if I so choose) to kill some time, and then when I pull it out and leave to cool, I will still have more than ample time left in my day to go down for a nap when needed… like today.
…Goodness I am exhausted. I’m 95% sure that yesterday’s labwork drained the bejeezus out of me. Getting up this morning was no easy feat, lemme tell you. *sigh*
Anyhow. ONE day I shall get a picture of the elusive upside down jam cake in its proper plated position. In the meantime, you’ll just have to use your imagination as to how it looks when it’s turned out onto a plate ^_^
Upside Down Jam Cake
250ml jar of jam, jelly or preserves
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease and lightly flour a 10" cake pan. (Alternatively: dampen a piece of parchment large enough to line your pan)
Spread jam evenly on the bottom of your prepared cake pan and set aside.
Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
Add wet ingredients to bowl and whisk til smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven until toothpick comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.
Cool cake in pan, then turn out onto a serving plate.