Photos courtesy of the Governor’s Press Office

First Lady Cathy Justice exhibits “Ms. Van’s Blackberry Skillet Cake,” winner of the West Virginia Birthday Cake Contest, during the West Virginia Day celebration at the Culture Center in Charleston. The cake will be served annually on June 20 to commemorate the anniversary of West Virginia’s statehood.

West Virginia now has an official birthday cake, selected during West Virginia Day activities celebrating the state’s 159th anniversary. Kim Wymer, of Scott Depot, won the West Virginia Birthday Cake Contest with her recipe, “Ms. Van’s Blackberry Skillet Cake,” which is now the official birthday cake of West Virginia.

The cake will be served annually on June 20 to commemorate the anniversary of West Virginia’s statehood.

First Lady Cathy Justice made the announcement during the June 20 celebration at the Culture Center in Charleston.

“It’s my honor to welcome Kim to our West Virginia Day ceremony today,” Justice said. “I congratulate her in every way.

“Everyone in my office had a chance to eat the cake and not only did it taste great, but it also is a taste that reminds you of West Virginia.”

In addition to her recipe becoming the state’s official birthday cake, Wymer also won a $500 Visa gift card, a custom cake platter, and was awarded a certificate as the contest’s grand prize winner.

The Blackberry Skillet Cake was selected as the best of the best among seven outstanding cake recipes that were selected as finalists in the contest.

All finalist cake recipes were taste-tested by the First Lady and Gov. Jim Justice, along with Vicki Shannon, executive assistant to the first lady; Katie Morris, special assistant to the first lady, and other staff members.

Each finalist won a $100 Visa gift card and awarded a participation certificate.

Finalists included the following:

l Almost Heaven Golden Delicious Apple Cake With Black Walnut Molasses Icing, by Rania Mitter Zuri, Morgantown;

l An Apple-achian Birthday Cake, by Hayley Craig, Franklin;

l Appalachian Apple Stack Cake, by Laura Atha, Weston;

l From the Pantry, by Olivia Tharp, Charleston;

l Rhubarb Cake with Strawberry Icing, by Theresa L. Cook, Hinton;

l Sonny’s Famous Apple Cake, by Hilary May Ramsey, Montrose.

l l l

Ms. Van’s Blackberry Skillet Cake


1 1/2 sticks butter, separated

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

12 oz. fresh blackberries, washed and drained

1 1/2 cups + 1 Tbsp. granulated white sugar

2 cups flour

2 1/2 tsps. baking powder

1/2 tsp. ground clove

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 eggs

2 tsps. vanilla

1 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss blackberries with 1 Tbsp. granulated white sugar.

Put 1/2 stick butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place in the oven until melted.

Remove from the oven, add 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup walnuts, stir and then add and arrange blackberries in a cast iron skillet.

In a medium bowl combine 2 cups flour, 2 1/2 tsps. baking powder, ½ tsp. ground clove, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg and 1 tsp. Cinnamon, then set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix 1 stick butter with 1 ½ cups sugar, then whisk 2 eggs, 2 tsps. vanilla and 1 cup buttermilk together and add this to the butter and sugar and mix until combined.

Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and mix until smooth for about 2 minutes.

Pour into a cast iron skillet on top of the berry mixture.

Bake approximately 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting cake onto serving plate.

While the cake is cooling, mix up nutmeg glaze.

Nutmeg Glaze


1 cup powdered sugar

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

6 tsps. warm water


Combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Once cake is inverted onto pan, drizzle glaze over top of warm cake.

Trending Video

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you