Counting Cake

Years ago, my mom gave me a cookbook with tabbed dividers. In each section, she had written some of the family favorite and most requested recipes, plus some cooking tips. One of the best recipes was for Counting Cake. (edit: This recipe came from my Aunt Laura's grandma.  I'm so happy she shared it with us all those years ago.)

I love this cake. You can make whatever flavor you want. It's a basic cake bar recipe with just a few ingredients. And the cake itself stores well for a week in the fridge. It can be frozen and it travels well.

I made some for a friend's birthday while we were on vacation. I made it again for the teachers at Phee's daycare last week. And, as usual, I had to tweak the recipe just a little bit. I just can't leave a recipe alone! But, the changes didn't alter the quality of the cake and we happily gobbled up the leftover bars that didn't make it to Phee's daycare.

Counting Cake ~ Life in Random Bits #cake #dessert

Counting Cake (the standard recipe)
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla or other flavoring
  • jam, jelly, or preserves

Counting Cake (my tweaked recipe)
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla or 1 tsp other flavoring
  • jam, jelly, or preserves


1. Mix all ingredients together; the dough will be crumbly
Counting Cake ~ Life in Random Bits #cake #dessert

 2. Spread 2/3 of the batter in a greased 9x13 baking pan

3. Spread a jar of jam, jelly or preserves over the layer of cake batter.
Counting Cake ~ Life in Random Bits #cake #dessert

4. "Sprinkle" the remaining batter over the layer of jam; by sprinkle I mean plop sticky dough all over the top of the jam layer
Counting Cake ~ Life in Random Bits #cake #dessert

5. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, until the cake starts to turn a golden brown.
6. Cool and cut into bars

I've used a number of different sized jars for this recipe. You want to have a nice layer of jam, but it doesn't have to be a half an inch thick. This can be a good way to use up a couple half jars of jam in your fridge for a quick dessert.

I love playing with the flavor combinations for this recipe. Blueberry preserves and lemon flavoring.  Almond extract and strawberry or peach jam. One of my favorite combinations is a mix of peach and raspberry jams with vanilla extract. Delicious!

Counting Cake ~ Life in Random Bits #cake #dessert

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