A British classic: two layers of cake with a layer of jam (some include cream) in the middle. This recipe uses a home made jam but you can easily swap it out for store bought. Raspberry jam is commonly used, a slightly sour/tart jam works particularly well to cut through the sweetness of the sponge.
Most recipes will ask you to bake two separate cakes and put these on top of one another. However, since they both won’t be flat at the top, it’s hard to stack them. Also, if you don’t have to cake pans of the same size, it’s going to take a lot more time. So, we’re just baking one cake and cutting it in half.
The cake of this recipe is inspired by Mary Barry’s cookbook the Baking Bible.
For the cake:
- 115g butter
- 115g granulated sugar
- 115g regular flour
- 2 eggs (which is a little over 100g)
- 2 tsp baking powder
For the cranberry jam (this makes about twice the amount you need for the cake*):
- 250g fresh cranberries
- 200g sugar
- zest of one orange
- juice of one orange
- 200ml water
- 1 small (or 1/2) cinnamon stick and two cloves (optional for an extra punch)
- For the sponge cake you can simply add ingredients into a bowl and use an electric mixer to mix hem all together. Take care to use softened butter so it mixes well through. The cake isn’t as delicate as you might expect so it’s somewhat harder to overmix than most other cake batters.
- Take a 15/16 cm diameter spring from and cover the bottom with parchment paper. Fill the pan with cake batter, keep in mind that the cake will rise considerably during baking and almost double in height.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C until a tester comes out clean, approx. 30 minutes.
- Leave the cake to cool and wait with the assembly until just before you’ll be eating it, that way it stays best longest.
- Add all the ingredients to a small pan and bring to the boil. Once it’s boiling turn down the heat to a low. The mixture should be simmering slowly so it doesn’t overflow. The cranberries will soften and break down over time. The cinnamon & clove will slowly give off their flavour, once you find the flavour strong enough, take them from the jam.
- You should cook the jam mixture until it is slightly thick and will not pour down when cooled. You can use a thermometer (cook until about 105C, here‘s more on how that works) or simply take a small bit of jam out of the pan and leave it to cool down to room temperature on a spoon. Once cooled down, which should go quite quickly, judge the consistency and see if you’re happy with it.
- It takes about 1-1,5 hours to cook the jam.
- Once the cake has cooled down to body temperature or lower, take a bread knife and cut the cake horizontally in two similarly sized slices.
- Spread a nice thick layer of jam on the bottom cake and put the top half back on top. Sprinkle with some icing sugar (some add sweetened whipping cream) and enjoy!
* Since this recipe makes too much jam for the cake feel free to only make half if you have suitable pots and pans. Otherwise, you can store this jam in the fridge in a close of jar for several days/week. Use your own instinct and knowledge in determining whether it is still suitable for use. The cleaner you work, the drier and more acidic your jam, the longer it keeps for.