Peanut Butter & Cherry Jam Cake

I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly

This cherry jam spice cake has swoon-worthy crumbs and is topped with a billowy peanut butter frosting.  A layer of roasted cherries is sandwiched between the two layers of this naked-style cake.

Everyone remembers the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that marked their formative years in grade school.  I’ve updated the lunchbox staple with a sophisticated, country chic version that will please the most refined adult palate.

This cake will be the perfect centerpiece at your rustic wedding gathering or reunion with friends.  You can easily add more tiers, and the naked-style lends itself to simple elegance.  This stress-free cake will allow you to worry about other things on your special day!

Grab a fork and prepare yourself for nostalgic decadence.  Scroll down for the recipe!

 

Cherry Spice Cake

(Makes two round 9 inch cakes)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry jam
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • fresh cherries, for roasting/garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.  Whisk to make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the jam and the buttermilk.
  4. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs one at a time.
  6. Alternate the incorporation of the flour and the buttermilk mixture.  After each addition, mix until just barely blended to prevent over-mixing the flour.
  7. When both the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture are incorporated, distribute the batter evenly between two greased and floured round 9 inch cake pans.
  8. Bake 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  The cake centers should be just barely firm when lightly touched.
  9. Let cool before frosting.

 

Peanut Butter Buttercream

(Double recipe according to your peanut butter addiction)

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup natural crunchy salted peanut butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the peanut butter until smooth.
  2. Gradually incorporate the confectioners sugar until smooth.
  3. Add cream and vanilla.  Beat until the frosting is light with an even consistency.

To Assemble: Pit one cup of fresh cherries and spread on a baking sheet.  Bake for ten minutes at 400 degrees.  Let cherries cool.  Let cake cool completely before frosting.  Using a piping back with a round tip, pipe a thick layer of peanut butter frosting on top of one of the cake rounds.  Sprinkle roasted cherries generously on top of the frosting.  Place second layer of cake on top.  Repeat process.  Garnish the cake with roasted cherries or fresh cherries.

 

A Visit Home, With a Cherry On Top

During a recent trip home, I was delighted to see the cherry tree in our yard brimming with fruit.  It’s easy to forget about small tasty details like these that are forming over a hundred miles away when you’re just trying to get by day to day in the city.  It’s crazy to imagine that these guys were growing while I was focusing on the to-do lists that define my hectic days.  It’s nice to know that positive, unanticipated progress was happening even when it felt like I was spinning my wheels on many fronts.

cherry bowl with cup

Also waiting for me at home were these beautiful pieces of pottery that my mom made.  They were the perfect complement to the bright fruit!  They’re a variety of pie cherry called “Stella.”  Usually, we aren’t quick enough to pick them before the birds get to them…

stay back moo moo!

… or the cats.

hadley eating cherries

I decided to cook the cherries in a mixture of sugar and white rum (approximately 1 cup halved cherries, 5 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons rum, and 2 tablespoons water).  The syrupy-sweet concoction turned out to be an excellent pairing with vanilla ice cream.

cherries bowl

Tomorrow I’ll try sampling it with yogurt… the ice cream is going fast.

cherries bowl 2

I will definitely be asking for more of these cute ice cream dishes from my mom!

hadley eating cherries 2

This season will be gone in a flash, so get out there and taste all that June has to offer!