Cake/ Dessert

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Frosting/Filling:
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. Hope you enjoy one of our family recipes.

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  • Reply
    Janet Russell
    November 17, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Been looking for someone to bake this cake for the holidays and most people I talk to have no idea what this cake 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.

    • Reply
      June 7, 2017 at 9:24 am

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

    • Reply
      November 26, 2023 at 11:23 pm

      I too am from LC Tennessee, my mother and grandmother made these cakes during the Christmas holiday. I remember so many times grinding the raisins and cracking the pecan nuts from our trees. I did not like the cake when I was young, but now I wish my Mom was still with us and we would make it again, good memories!

  • Reply
    November 21, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    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

    • Reply
      July 23, 2018 at 11:51 am

      No, I live in The Woodlands, TX

  • Reply
    Deborah Herren
    December 6, 2017 at 1:22 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Helen Bell
    October 20, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Emily Jo Ray
    July 13, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      July 14, 2019 at 9:22 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    Lee McAdams Formanek
    November 21, 2019 at 5:59 am

    My Grandmother made 2 of these every year, one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. She wrapped them well and put them in an unheated bedroom a couple weeks before needed. She lived in Caruthersville, MO.

  • Reply
    Paige Wilkinson
    November 26, 2019 at 7:05 am

    My grandmother lived in Ridgely, TN(Tittle/Chism families). I remember visiting on holidays and she ALWAYS had an amalgamation cake. I remember being so fascinated by the colors and textures and it always smelled so good. I am so happy to find this recipe! I pray it tastes like hers!!! Thanks for this. 🙂

  • Reply
    David Neil
    December 2, 2019 at 7:59 am

    My mom has made this cake every year for Christmas, this year she just isn’t up to it, so I am gonna make it.. we are also from Lake County Tn, but now live in Jackson Tn. I hope mine taste as good as hers..

    • Reply
      December 3, 2019 at 2:34 pm

      I feel like this recipe must have been passed down to friends all in that area. I haven’t seen many copies of it.

  • Reply
    December 22, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    I have a family copy of this recipe written by an aunt in the 1930’s. It was my mother’s father’s favorite cake. He died in the 30’s. Mother made it every year for Christmas. I am making it in 2019 for Christmas. Cherished. They were the Posey Tutor family from Pontotoc County Mississippi.

  • Reply
    December 22, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    I now live in Richardson, Texas

  • Reply
    December 23, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Im also from Ridgely,Tn. My mother Martha made this cake every year right before Christmas. She also made home made yeast rolls that would take days to make. They would melt in your mouth! The cake was supposed to go in the fridge some days before being served, well mine would never make it to the fridge lol. I sure do miss those cakes and making them with my mother. She would always use the BlackBerry jam with seeds in it.

  • Reply
    Sheila Davis (Staggs and Neil) family
    March 31, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    My family is also from Lake County, Tiptonville, Tn. I remember all the years my mom would make this cake for Christmas. All the time and love she would put into it. I have been looking for this recipe for a long time. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Suzette Simmons
    December 17, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    I am also a Lake County person ( Leake’s/Turners/Fowlers). I have eaten this cake all my life. When I was little I would watch my dad use an old grinder to grind the nuts and raisins and coconut. Good cake but u only can eat a little. I just finished making one today.

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