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by on November 16th, 2014

Amalgamation Cake

Just in time for the holidays.


The Purplish color comes from the blackberry jam.

Growing up I remember a special holiday cake my mother use to make and that was the Amalgamation Cake. I don’t know the history behind the recipe but according to Wikpedia, amalgamation is the process of combining or uniting multiple entities into one form.

Ok, that kind of describes this cake which is full of eggs, sugar, blackberry jam, raisins, nuts and coconut. What that description does not describe about this recipe is the love that my mother put into making it. Whether she was making this for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, she knew just the right time to start making it. Of course she always shelled her own pecans and after carefully measuring everything, mixing, baking, cooling then frosting with a delicious coconutty frosting she would wrap the cake in multiple layers of plastic wrap and then foil and then put into a closet to rest (or I suppose to ferment) until the big day which she would put it out just in time for dessert to be served. (Of course, this was Missouri so I’m sure the closets were a little cooler than here in Texas.)

This cake has a purplish color to it and is so rich and scrumptious that you only need a very thin piece to satisfy your sweet craving. I’m making this cake for our craft circle boutique and some lucky person will go home with a cake that they can put in the freezer until the holidays when they can pull it out and slice up for Christmas dinner.

Looking on the Internet for the history of this recipe I came across many recipes that started with a cake mix but none had blackberry jam in it. Then finally, after a little searching I ran across  a recipe that was so similar to my mothers and it turned out this girl’s grandmother use to make the cake and she lived in Lake County, Tennessee not too far from where we grew up. What a coincidence.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Blackberry Raspberry Upside Down Cake is a cake I posted back in 2009 and it has had over 4,000 views so I hope some of those have tried this  new version of an upside down cake.


Most of the ingredients for the cake. I forgot to take out the pecans before taking the picture.


See how purple the blackberry jam makes the batter.


Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.


Divide the batter between three 8″ cake pans that have been greased, lined with waxed paper and greased and floured.


This is what the icing looks like after it has cooked and thickened.


After cake layers have cooled, remove wax paper and put the first layer on cake plate and add frosting and smooth.


Stack all three layers then frost/ice the top and sides.


Had to take a slice out before I took it to craft circle.  It was gone in a wink.


Amalgamation Cake for the Holidays

1 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 c. plain flour, sifted
1/2 c. raisins, ground
1/2 c. pecans
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 c. blackberry jam
8 egg whites, stiffly beaten


10 egg yolks
1  1/4  c. sugar
6 Tbsp. butter
1  1/4 c. pecans, chopped
1  1/4 c. coconut
1 1/4  c. ground raisins
2 Tbsp. cream, more if needed

For the cake, cream butter and sugar for 5-6 minutes. Add the jam, spices, 1/2 cup ground raisins buttermilk and soda. Add in the flour. With spatula, fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.

Grease 3-8-9″ cake pans with shortening. Then take wax paper and cut circles to go into the bottom of each pan (put wax paper under pans and use scissors to outline pan, cut) and then, grease the wax paper with more shortening and then put in about 1-2 tablespoons of flour into each pan and shake around to totally cover the bottom of the pans. Divide the batter between the three pans. Bake in 350° oven for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Mix all the ingredients except the cream in a double boiler and cook until thick, about 15 minutes. Thin with the cream if necessary. Let this cool awhile before filling and frosting cake. (Second time I made this I just did in a heavy Dutch oven and it worked fine and was a lot easier to stir than in the double boiler.)

When ready to put together put the cake on what you are going to serve it on or a piece of cardboard covered with aluminum foil. Put the first layer down and put a little filling on it and continue until you have all three layers put together. Frost top and sides of cake. Wrap in several layers of plastic wrap and either put in a dark room for a week or so or you can freeze it until the holidays.

Hope you enjoy one of our family recipes.

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9 comments to Amalgamation Cake

  • Janet Russell

    THIS CAKE IS OUTSTANDING!!!! I plan to bake the cake and take it to my husband’s family Christmas Party where the hoards gather at his cousin’s home. Traditionally everyone brings the ‘same olde traditional item’. This will be our contribution as a new tradiation.

  • Terri

    Been looking for someone to bake this cake for the holidays and most people I talk to have no idea what this cake is.im from Lake County,Tn and my great great grandmother used to make months ahead of time and freeze and serve own Christmas DayBeen looking for someone who made but can’t find anyone so I’m going try making myself.

  • I love this cake. Did you make it? And was it a hit?

  • Tony

    I’m from ridgeway my mother inlaw used to make this cake small world I was wandering if I new you I live in north Alabama now

  • Deborah Herren

    My Grandmother was from Ridgely, Tn in Lake County and this sounds like the recipe she used to make us one and mail it to us in Alabama. My sister is going to try making it this year and Im hoping this is the recipe I remember. I remember the blackberry jam so this sounds promising!

  • No, I live in The Woodlands, TX

  • Helen Bell

    My mother made this cake every year for Christmas and was my favorite thing she made. Even as a child I looked forward to this cake each year. We lived in Lake county at the time but moved to Benton county where I still live.

  • Ridgely, Lake County, Tennessee is where my grandparents lived (the Connell and the Ray families) and where my mother graduated from high school. My childhood memories of this cake are still fresh in my mind after over 55 years. I can clearly remember my grandma making this cake each year for Christmas. This is adelicious cake and worth the time and ingredients it takes to make it. I enjoy it more after a few days because the flavor improves and the cake remains moist. The blackberry jam is key to this recipe; I prefer the seedless variety jam.

  • There are two people in comments above from lake county and Ridgely. My parents moved to Reelfoot Lake from Caruthersville after my dad retired. Must have been a lot of mothers/grandmothers who made this cake.

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