When I was diagnosed with celiac disease, there were a few foods I genuinely feared I would never again be able to eat. One of those favorites was my mother’s Holiday Rum Cake.
She made this heavenly confection at this time every year, cut it into halves or quarters, wrapped in colorful cellophane with a pretty bow, and delivered to friends and neighbors as holiday gifts. It didn’t take long for people (not just me!) to eagerly anticipate this holiday tradition and begin to inquire of her when they could expect their rum cake delivery!
As I’m sure you would agree, a delicious tradition such as this one needed to be carried on … gluten free.
Unfortunately, it took me quite a few holidays before I got the recipe just right (the original recipe called for such things as a “pudding-in-the-mix commercial cake mix” – a bit harder to convert to GF!) , but now I happily share this recipe with you all since I can’t be there to knock on your door with a a cellophane-wrapped edible gift!
If you’re really in the Christmas spirit, use Pistachio Instant Pudding (Jell-O brand is currently gluten-free and dairy-free) instead of vanilla in this recipe, and use pistachios instead of pecans – the lovely green hue and subtle pistachio flavor are quite nice in this pound cake! (For the traditional vanilla recipe, I like using Dr. Oetker Vanilla Pudding Mix, as it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, organic and Non-GMO as well). The glaze is optional, but super tasty!
Holiday Rum Cake
- • 4 eggs
- • 1/2 cup light rum (may substitute equal amount of another clear liquid, but will change flavor)
- • 1/2 cup vegetable oil of choice
- • 2 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
- • 2 2/3 cup Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour
- • 2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
- • 1 cup granulated cane sugar
- • dash salt
- • 1 package gluten-free vanilla pudding dry mix (Jell-O Brand = 3.4 oz; Dr. Oetker = 3.8 oz – either works; both are currently Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free)
- • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
This beautiful pound cake has the dense, moist crumb you remember — making it totally irresistible!
Preheat oven to 325° F or 300° F convection.
Add all liquids and beat until mixed; sift in dry ingredients and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed – expect the batter to be very thick and taffy-like.
For cake: Oil and dust a bunt pan with Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Scoop batter out on top of the nuts and smooth with a rubber spatula. Bake for 50-60 minutes, removing from oven when a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
For cupcakes: Oil at least 18 muffin cups with Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour (or you may use paper cupcake liners). Fill the muffin cups only 1/2– 2/3 full of cake batter. Bake for 20-30 minutes – test with a cake tester or skewer to ensure that it is clean when removed from the baking cakes.
- • 1 cup granulated cane sugar
- • 1/4 cup light rum (or other liqueur)
- • 1/4 cup water
Bring ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over the hot cake while still in the pan. Let stand for 30 minutes, then flip the cake onto a plate. If the glazed cake is allowed to stay in the pan longer than 30 minutes, the glaze will stick to the pan and make it difficult to remove the cake. Should this occur, put the pan back into a warm oven to soften the glaze, then run a rubber spatula around the inside of the pan to loosen it before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.