This Jamaican Rum Cake combines the most amazing flavors and takes holiday fruitcake to a tropically festive new level! There's just so much to love about this tasty cake that features rum and wine-soaked mixed peel and dried fruits spread beautifully throughout the whole cake! The icing is optional, but topping the cake with toasted coconut rounded out the whole Caribbean appeal for me!
1teaspoonorange extract(or almond extract, or coconut extract)
Soak your fruit in advance. Place mixed peel, sultanas (golden raisins), and dried cherries in a medium bowl or storage container and cover with rum (or a combination of rum and port wine). Set aside in a cool place to allow the fruit to soak up the alcohol.
2 lbs mixed peel, 1 cup dark rum, 1 cup port wine
Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C) and prepare a 10-inch springform pan with a layer of parchment paper in the bottom. Spray the pan and parchment paper with non-stick baking spray.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
1 ¼ cups butter, 1 cup sugar
Add the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar 1-2 at a time. For the final egg, add a tablespoon of the flour with the egg to prevent the mixture from breaking or 'curdling'.
5 large eggs
Add the baking powder, mixed spice, cinnamon, and orange peel to the butter mixture and combine.
Add the flour. Mix until the flour is incorporated to the wet ingredients and thick batter is formed.
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Add the molasses and browning (or burnt brown sugar) to the batter and combine.
2 tablespoon molasses, 1-3 tablespoon browning
Add the drained soaked fruit (including the mixed peel, sultanas, dried cherries), lime zest and juice, rum, vanilla extract, and orange extract. Mix to combine. The fruit should be evenly distributed in the batter when ready to bake. *The batter should be thick enough that a spoon will stay upright. If it is not, add a bit more flour a tablespoon at a time to thicken the batter consistency.
Transfer the rum cake batter to your prepared springform pan and smooth the top of the batter.
Bake in the center of the middle oven rack at 325°F (163°C) for 1 hour 45 minutes, or until a knife or cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.
Remove the baked Jamaican rum cake when done and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing the springform round. If desired, poke the cake with a toothpick and soak with more rum or port wine while still warm. Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.
Optional Icing & Toasted Coconut
In a small non-stick frying pan or skillet heat about a ½ cup of shredded coconut (sweetened) over medium heat. Keep the coconut moving once it starts browning. Immediately remove your pan from heat when the coconut is golden brown. Transfer toasted coconut into a small bowl to stop the toasting process.
In a small bowl, combine 1 ½ cups confectioners sugar with 2 tablespoons of karo light corn syrup, 1 tablespoon of heavy cream, and a teaspoon of coconut extract (or vanilla extract). Mix until the icing is smooth and fairly thick. Adjust the thickness by adding more sugar to thicken, or more heavy cream to thin.
Apply the icing to the center of the top of the cake. Use an offset spatula to spread the icing in a thin, even layer toward the cake edges. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
*Soak your mixed peel and dried fruits as long as possible, anywhere between two months (if you plan ahead!) to two days (minimum recommended) to several hours (last-minute baking). Add liquor as needed when soaking the fruit for longer periods of time.**Note that the soaked fruit DOES NOT need to be fully drained of liquid. The juicier the fruit, the better the cake.***I add a ¼ cup of orange juice and 1 cup of crushed pineapple to my liquor-soaked fruit the night before baking. It's a wonderful addition to the flavor, but is not necessary!