I was making a cookbook for a friend's birthday and reorganized my clipped recipes. I found - yeah - my famous jelly cake. I pulled this from a Chicago Tribune food section in February: it was published for Black History Month as a traditional recipe. It was modified from "From the Soul of Southern Cooking," by Kathy Starr.
I have modified it a bit. I made it today for my parents' anniversary and baked it and served it in a 9X13 pan. This is the best cake I have ever tasted, but it is absolutely impossible to get it to pop out of any kind of pan, no matter what treatment I give it. This is the best way to go.
The recipe calls it "Strawberry Jelly Cake" but I've made it with frosting (soft as otherwise it will rip up the top of the cake), grape jelly, and apricot. All good. I think you could spread spinach on this cake and it would still taste good, but I'm not going to try it!
2 2/3 cups sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) plus 1 teaspoon butter, softened. (I've done 1 butter/1 margarine and 2 margarine - still good, sometimes holds together better)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs beaten
3 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon salt (I've skipped this even on purpose sometimes)
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Jelly icing: 1 cup each confectioners' sugar, jelly
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat the sugar, butter and oil with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each addition.
Reduce mixer speed to medium-low. Beat in 2 2/3 cups of the flour and the salt, alternating with the milk, beating just until mixed; gradually add the remaining 2/3 cup of the flour, baking powder and baking soda, beating just until mixed. Pour batter into greased and floured 9X13. (The recipe suggests 2 9 inch round pans, but there is enough batter here to fill 3. That gives you a spare when one crumbles up, or pieces to patch with, I think.)
Bake until tester comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool completely. (I do that in the pans, the recipe says flip them out after 10 minutes. Good luck with that.)
For icing, combine confectioners' sugar and jelly with a fork until smooth. (Yes, I'm serious. It's good, honestly.) Spread mixture on top of layers and on top of cake, but not on sides.
Now the recipe also gives nutrition information, but I don't want to scare you. It's not something you'd want to eat weekly if you have cholesterol concerns, but you can't beat it for days when you are down or special occasions.