This is an easy recipe for a tea cake, specifically a rum raisin tea cake with rum soaked raisins and a rum butter frosting. This is a great cake for afternoon tea any time of the year, but also perfect for the holiday season!
My foray into gingerbread cranberry muffins last week made me realize something: this year, I don't want to do all my holiday baking at the last minute. There's nothing wrong with spending the two days before Christmas cramming as much holiday baking as humanly possible, but I want to enjoy all the holiday treats before the big day instead of stuffing my face with them at the last minute, trying to get my fill of them and the festive season in a short period of time.
In the spirit of getting festive more than 2 days before the holidays, I've decided to also decorate my apartment with cheesy dollarstore decorations and, of course, my flannel reindeer sheets. Yes, I have Christmas-themed sheets for my bed, and today I made fruitcake.
This recipe is loosely based on the European "quatre quart" cake, which is basically equal parts, by weight, butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. It's a simple cake that I fancied up with nutmeg, rum-soaked raisins, some candied peel, and of course a little frosting. You could call it fruitcake, but in case there are fruitcake haters out there, let's call it a tea cake, like the Brits do (which basically is fruitcake in disguise). Looking for something more festive? Try this traditional white fruitcake recipe.
To bake the cake, I used an 8-inch round cake pan. Take the time to prepare the cake pan before baking, by buttering the pans, lining the bottom with parchment, and dusting the sides with flour. This way your cakes will slide right out of the pan, without getting stuck.
Frosted rum raisin tea cake
For the cake
- 100 grams golden raisins ⅔ cup
- 80 grams mixed peel ⅔ cup
- 63 mL spiced or dark rum ¼ cup
- 100 grams unsalted butter 7 tbsp, softened
- 100 grams granulated sugar ½ cup
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 150 grams all-purpose flour 1 cup+1 tbsp
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
For the frosting
- 115 grams unsalted butter ½ cup, softened
- 165 grams icing sugar 1 ¼ cups, sifted
- 1 tbsp spiced or dark rum
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
To make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Prep an 8-inch cake pan by greasing and flouring it, and lining the bottom with a round of parchment.
- Mix the raisins and mixed peel with the ¼ cup of rum and heat it in a saucepan or microwave the mixture to plum the fruit. Let soak, and set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each one in before adding the next, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder.
- Strain the plumped fruit, saving the rum. Mix the plumped fruit with 2 tablespoons of flour to coat them.
- Add half of the dry mixture to the mixer bowl and beat it in, followed by the saved rum, and then add the last of the flour. Fold in the plumped fruit with a spatula.
- Spread the cake batter in the prepared pan and bake it for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before unmolding the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting
- Cream together the butter with the icing sugar, then add the rum and the vanilla.
- Spread the frosting thickly over the cake before serving.
I do my best to bake with the finest ingredients. Stirling Creamery, a Canadian company, has provided the butter for this post.