15 Ways to Turn Ordinary Jam Into Extraordinary Desserts

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Chocolate-Covered Raspberry Brownies
Photo: Darcy Lenz

Pump up the jam! Instead of calling for a homemade fruit compote or sauce, each of these easy dessert recipes gets a flavor boost from a jar of store-bought fruit jam. Peach jam, strawberry jam, blackberry jam, and more star in these treats. Whether you start with a new jar of fruit jam or need a way to use up the final few spoonfuls at the bottom of the jar, you can't go wrong with these recipes for fruit-flavored bar cookies, coffee cake, cupcakes, and beyond.

01 of 16

Strawberry Shortbread Bars

Think of these bar cookies like strawberry shortcake in an easily-made-ahead format. According to Kim, who shared the how-to details, "These bars taste great even after being refrigerated — and are maybe even better the next day!" In addition to acting like a glaze of sorts, the jam here accentuates the fresh berry topping.

02 of 16

Peach Jam Coffee Cake

Alongside two chopped peaches and a scoop of Greek yogurt, one full cup of peach jam helps make this coffee cake ultra-moist. Warm baking spices including cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg help each bite taste just like grandma's peach pie. If you're enjoying this for dessert rather than brunch, we highly suggest topping your slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

03 of 16

Air Fryer Shortbread Cookie Fries

Here's scrumptious proof that the air fryer is great for more than savory dishes like chicken fingers and French fries. It makes quick work out of "baking" the simple three-ingredient cookies into dunkable "fries." For dipping sauces that resemble what you'd get at a fast food window, serve this air fryer dessert with strawberry jam "ketchup" and lemon curd "mustard."

04 of 16

Chocolate-Glazed Honey Cake

Even though the jam doesn't get naming rights in this cake recipe, it definitely makes an impact. But a tablespoon is all you need to pair beautifully with the coffee, honey, cinnamon, and cloves in the batter. All of the above only get better when you shower the baked jam cake with brandy-scented chocolate glaze.

05 of 16

Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes

A box of cake mix, a box of pudding mix, and a few baking staples transform into a jelly doughnut-like treat once you bake and pipe them full of strawberry jam. "Using a boxed cake mix and a cupcake corer made this soooo easy. Switch out the cake mix flavor and jams (or maybe with lemon curd) for a totally different cupcake," reviewer lutzflcat suggests.

Buy it: Norpro Cupcake Corer ($6.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)

06 of 16

White Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

One of the most traditional jam desserts, thumbprint cookies are built atop a base of a buttery cookie dough and can be dressed up with a wide variety of fruit jams (raspberry is what the recipe creator prefers), nuts, and drizzles. "I'm not a big fruit cookie person, but these are some of the best cookies I have ever eaten," admits Allrecipes homecook busynurseandmom.

07 of 16

Strawberry Crepe Cake

sideview of Strawberry Crepe Cake layered with strawberry jam and cream cheese frosting, and topped with fresh strawberries and edible violets

"If you're looking for a lavish, yet straightforward way to enjoy crepes, this is it," Smart Cookie says of her almost-too-pretty-to-eat jam dessert. "Twenty delicate crepes are stacked together with strawberry jam and cream cheese frosting to create this deliciously light no-bake crepe cake." Don't want to fuss with making your own crepes from scratch — especially since the batter needs to chill out overnight before proceeding with the recipe? Many bakeries and supermarkets sell them already cooked (such as Belgian Boys Original Crepes, $4.99 for 7; target.com), which will make this strawberry dessert recipe super-speedy.

08 of 16

Rainbow Cookies

More than 250 five-star reviews can't be wrong…this almond-flavored classic Italian cookie recipe is about to be the hit of your next party or bake sale. Remarkably tender and deceptively easy (they look way more complicated than they are to make, reviewers swear!), these layered cookies get a hefty dose of flavor from both apricot jam and raspberry jam. Both fruit jams and the almond notes play nicely with the chocolate topping.

09 of 16

English Trifle to Die For

Several Allrecipes fans cheer for the fact that this is a "real trifle" made the classic English way — no boxed pudding mix in sight! A homemade custard plus a cup of raspberry jam make this pretty sponge cake dessert recipe irresistible. "All I can say is WOW. This was my first time making trifle and this was delish. I did make some changes due to the size of dish I was trying to fill. I used twice as many raspberries and doubled the recipe for the custard. I used this extra to make the trifle with three layers instead of just one," says reviewer Jeanette.

10 of 16

Panna Cotta with Strawberry Jam

Bright lemon zest, floral vanilla, and sweet strawberry jam make this one of our go-to spring and summer dessert recipes. It's actually a breeze to perfect homemade panna cotta; all you need is some gelatin, heavy cream, milk, sugar, and a vanilla bean. Once you have mastered this version, make it your own with lime zest or another flavor of fruit jam, if desired.

11 of 16

Blackberry Shortbread Bars

closeup of a square of Blackberry Shortbread Bars recipe sprinkled with confectioners' sugar
Chef Mo

True, the process — mix, freeze, then grate the dough — sounds a bit strange, but we promise the tender and tasty results are worth it. Stuffed inside two layers of shortbread cookie dough, you'll find a whole cup of blackberry jam (or any flavor you crave). "​​Cookies met with rave reviews at work and book club. Definitely a keeper recipe," home cook frogmama3 says.

12 of 16

Banana Split Cupcakes

"By layering the distinct banana split flavors (chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla) over the banana cake base, each bite can be a new flavor experience," says Erin Brocklehurst, the baker behind this showy cupcake recipe. Half of the frosting that tops the homemade banana cupcakes is infused with chocolate, while the other is spiked with strawberry jam. Don't forget the whipped cream and cherry on top!

13 of 16

Rogaliki (Polish Jam-Filled Crescents)

homemade Rogaliki (Polish Jam-Filled Crescents) topped with sugar glaze and served on a decorative glass plate

"Similar to Russian rugelach, rogaliki are a traditional Polish sweet. You'll love the soft texture and jam filling," swears recipe contributor Jola. The yeast in the dough offers a lovely amount of height so the jam-stuffed treats are like a mash-up between a cookie and a pastry. Try them with the plum jam noted in the recipe — or any flavor you have handy.

14 of 16

Vegan Skillet Apples

Recipe contributor Buckwheat Queen likes to serve these warmly spiced apples with vegan ice cream, crêpes, and pancakes. Apricot jam lends extra flavor and gloss to the finished dish.

15 of 16

Chocolate-Covered Raspberry Brownies

Darcy Lenz says of her beautiful brownie recipe: "Each brownie bears a fruity layer of raspberry jam and fresh raspberries that's covered with a truffle-like blanket of chocolate ganache over top. In other words, they're decadence incarnate." Say no more; our ovens are already flipped on to preheat. A half cup of berry jam teams up with 1½ cups of fresh fruit to create a luscious layer that makes each bar taste similar to one of the most popular chocolates in those heart-shaped boxes.

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