I went grape picking in Niagara on the lake a few weeks ago and it was a really nice experience. The place we went to pick wasn’t fancy at all. It wasn’t a glamorous big winery or vineyard, just a small farm with a few long rows of grape vines ready to be picked and enjoyed. It was great to be out in the fresh air enjoying picking your own fruit. It’s something I love to do and always did growing up with my mom. Nothing is better than farm fresh produce – nothing!
Other than eating a whole slew of them on the way home I knew I wanted to make a simple cake that really seemed to highlight the grapes. So I made that grape cake and here it is. This was one of my most delicious cakes! I love grapes so much, and the grape jam filling is absolutely delicious!!
For the cake
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Grape Jam filling
453 grams seedless grapes
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
For the frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Make the cake
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease 3 8-inch round pans. Line with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
Beat the granulated sugar and vegetable oil in the bowl of an electric mixer for about 2 minute on medium-high speed until it looks like wet sand.
Add eggs one at a time, waiting for one egg to be incorporated before adding the next one. Beat in vanilla extract.
Pour half of the buttermilk in. Mix on low speed until combined. Add half of the flour mixture in the bowl. Stir until combined. Add the rest of the buttermilk in.
Finally, add the other half of the flour mixture and continue beating until smooth.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Let cakes cool down for 10 minutes, remove them from the pans. Let them cool down completely before frosting.
Make the filling
In a small saucepan, combine the grapes, sugar, and lemon juice.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a medium low heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Combine the cornstarch and water, then add it to the jam mixture. Allow it to return to a boil and continue to stir and simmer for a few minutes more, until it thickens.
Let it cool down for about 5 minutes. Transfer it to the bowl of a small food processor or blender. Puree jam until smooth.
Let it cool completely in the fridge before using it.
Make the frosting
In a large bowl, beat the butter and salt on medium speed until smooth and fluffy
Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar, then the vanilla and beat on medium high speed until very light and fluffy.
Assemble the cake
Place one cake layer on a cake plate. Pipe a ring of frosting around the edges of the cake. Spread jam in the middle of the cake. Repeat with remaining cake layers.
Cover the top and side of the cake with the frosting. Refrigerate to set the frosting, 15 to 20 minutes.
This cake will last for up to 5 days, covered in the fridge.