Open Jars: Upside-Down Jam Cake

November 30, 2010(updated on October 3, 2018)

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m still trying to get myself together after all the food and lazing about of the Thanksgiving holiday. Happily, while I recover from the amount of pumpkin pie I’ve ingested in the last five days, I have a guest post from Melissa who blogs at The Wynk to keep you all entertained. As you plan your holiday meals and parties, her very clever Upside-Down Jam Cake is definitely one to file away.

Here’s my confession: I love pineapple upside-down cake so much I could eat the entire thing in one sitting. I had some jam lying around and decided to see if I could do something similar with it. It turned out so delicious, that it’s now my new favorite way to both use up leftover jam and bake cakes.


It’s also brilliantly easy, because you go through all the same steps you normally do to make cake, with one addition: after you grease the cake pan, add a layer of jam to it!


You want to get a nice layer of jam in the bottom, but it doesn’t even have to be the same kind of jam. The cake I made last night had a bit of tangerine marmalade and a bit of strawberry-muscat.

Then, you just make your cake up as usual. You can use your own favorite cake recipe, or even a box mix.


Pour the cake in the pan, on top of the jam.


Pop it in the oven and bake to your recipe’s instructions.


Let it cool a few minutes, and then turn it upside down onto a platter.


Experiment with different combinations of jam and cake. The more fruit there is in the jam, the better it will come out.

apricot upside-down cake

vegan chocolate-strawberry upside-down cake

Another thing I’ve learned–coworkers really don’t mind if you bring in your experiments. That is, if there’s any left. 😉

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26 thoughts on "Open Jars: Upside-Down Jam Cake"

  • Holy cow BRILLIANT!

    I am so going to steal this idea.

    Meyer Lemon Kiwi Upside Down Cake here we come! Do you think that I could slice up some kiwi and put it on the cake like you do pineapple rings for pineapple cake?

  • I made a similar one of these, but it was Pioneer Woman’s apple cake in a skillet. I used that Pampered Chef’s apple peeler deal that peels and cores the apples into flat rings, and boy, it made the best apple upsidedown cake you can think of. The thinner the fruit slices, the better! I’m totally trying this idea with jam. 🙂

  • What a great idea! I just made an upside down cake, using the last third of a jar of home canned pears and some minced candied ginger with a gingerbread recipe for the cake. I am making some orange marmalade right now, and I can’t wait to try it in an upside down cake. Thanks!

  • Hmmm, I wonder if this would work with some of my jams that didn’t set so well? I guess the worse that could happen is a sticky, but still tasty, mess!

  • Love it! As someone who is not a big icing fan this looks like a fantastic alternative and since my mom loves making jams I always have more than I know what to do with.

  • Will you be my friend? That is brilliant. The great refrigerator clean-out of 2010 uncovered no fewer than 23 open jars of jam, pickles and salsa in my fridge. I spent Thanksgiving eve dripping remnants into Alice Waters pie crust tartlets. But this takes the…er, cake?

  • I tried this last night and it was a bit of a mess. Jam stuck to the pan, didn’t add much to the cake in the end. I’m glad I tried it, but I prefer using the jam between small layers of the cake (cake+jam+cake+jam+cake) rather than baking it. It’s prettier, too. 🙂

    1. Oh boo! I’m sorry it didn’t turn out. I’ve never had it stick…maybe there wasn’t enough “grease” on the bottom of the pan. Or maybe I’m just more liberal with the cooking spray than I realize! But cake+jam+cake_+jam is a good method too, and a time-honored tradition with Victoria Sponge. 🙂

  • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! Another use for jams. Brilliant. Two jams on one cake. Brilliant. Mixing different jam and cake flavors. Brilliant.

  • Now why didn’t I think of that? Whatever – this is a must-do idea that will be a yummy solution to my too-many-jam-jars challenge.

  • Just made an oatmeal cake over a peach pie filling that did not seal. WOW. Wonderfully moist, what a great idea, I would never have thought of this. I am actually writing this one down, my son said, Glad you don’t have a job mom, you can come up with stuff like this.” Thanks Food In Jars!

  • I would like to use leftover jam to replace part of the sugar called for in the mixing process (to be beat in with the butter). Do you think that would work? I would try it in a heavier loaf bread type cake like banana loaf. Would it require a little more flour or less liquid?