Serves 8 to 10
Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, Kathy Starr learned more than recipes from her grandmother, Miz Bob, whose culinary memories stretched back three generations, to the time of the Civil War. Miz Bob raised children and grandchildren and ran a thriving cafe. She instilled in her granddaughter a pride in her people and her place in the world, and a joy in cooking for family and friends. Ms. Starr's extraordinary culinary memoir, The Soul of Southern Cooking, includes this recipe for a classic jelly cake, a yellow cake filled with jelly or jam between its layers and iced with more on the top. Ms. Starr stirs confectioners' sugar into berry jelly for a ravishing jewel color on a simply charming cake.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees F, and grease and flour three 8-inch or two 9-inch round cake pans.
Combine the salt with about 2-2/3 cups of the flour in a medium bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Combine the baking soda, baking powder, and the remaining 2/3 cup of flour in a small bowl, and stir well.
Cream the butter, sugar, and oil with a mixer at medium speed until creamy, with no gritty signs of sugar. Add the eggs, beating for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the flour-salt mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk. Gently fold in the flour-baking soda-baking powder mixture, and stir just until the flour disappears.
Pour into the prepared pans. Bake at 325 degrees F for 35 to 30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and springs back when touched lightly in the center. Cool in the pans on a wire rack or a folded kitchen towel for 10 minutes. Then turn the cakes out onto wire racks or plates, and place them top side up to cool completely.
To finish the cake, combine the confectioners' sugar and jelly in a medium bowl and stir with a fork until all the lumps disappear. Place one layer, top side down, on a serving plate or a cake stand, and spread a third of the jelly icing over it thickly. Repeat with the second layer. Place the final layer on the cake, top side up, and ice it with the remaining jelly icing. Do not ice the sides of the cake.
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This page created June 2007
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