No picture does this one justice. I originally got the recipe out of the Chicago Tribune Wednesday Food Section, from Kathy Starr's The Soul of Southern Cooking. It is reprinted with a picture in Southern Cakes, by Nancie McDermott, one of my favorite modern cookbooks.
There is a picture in there of a three layer jelly cake with raspberry or strawberry jelly oozing down the sides. Frankly, mine never looks like that. It sticks to the pan like no other cake I've made. I use Pam, butter, and flour and have tried all types of pans, too. No matter, though, my parents, sons, husband and I can eat this one with forks out of the 9X13 glass pan - without topping - it's that good.
I have used jelly on it, or powdered sugar or even chocolate frosting for some of my Mother's birthdays. It's her favorite of the cakes I've introduced her to. It is more than delicious. She's been telling me which recipes to include in her tribute week now, and we both knew this one would be on here.
Mississippi Delta Jelly Cake
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups sifted flour, preferably cake flour (Yes, sifted cake flour. Trust me, it works.)
Dash of baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 1 tsp. butter, softened
2 2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Combine the sale with 2 2/3 cups flour in a bowl and mix with fork. Combine the baking soda, baking powder and remaining flour in a small bowl.
Cream the butter, sugar, and oil with a mixer until creamy. Add eggs, beating for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour-salt mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk. Gently fold in the flour-baking soda mixture.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Cool in the pans. Combine the confectioners' sugar and jelly with a fork. Spread on the top of the cake layers, if you do it that way. Do not ice the sides.