Rum and Raisin Cake

What book are you currently reading?

My immediate family and my in-laws are all book lovers. My sister-in-law read 37 books last year. Everyone has their preferred genres. My husband’s is non-fiction and he has several going at the same time. My mother loves autobiographies but specifically of African women—lives that she can relate to somewhat. Her recent good read was Rebeka Njau’s autobiography. Even my 10 year old niece gobbles up a book in 4 days.

“We lose ourselves in books, we find ourselves there too”


There are several books I enjoyed last year, top on the list was one recommended by Suzie, “The Housekeeper and the Professor”. But I have also found myself reading a lot of food memoirs and food books.

Some interesting ones I read last year are “Thousand Days in Tuscany” (another Suzie recommendation), “Save me the Plums”, ” Taste of Flavour”, and “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” (not quite finished this). There are three other food memoirs currently on my phone.

Simple pleasures: cake, tea and a good book. Go ahead and bake this cake. I’d also love to hear what books you are reading …

Rum and Raisin Cake


  • 225g (1 cup) butter
  • 175g (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2-3 drops of almond essence
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 350g (2 1/2 cups) flour
  • 100-200g/ 1/2 – 1 cup sultanas
  • 1/2 cup rum


Preheat oven to 160 or 350F. Grease and flour a loaf tin.

Soak the raisins in enough rum (or juice or water) to cover them, for 15 minutes to rehydrate and become plump again.

In a large bowl, add 1 cup room temperature butter and 1 cup sugar. Mix with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Beat in 3 eggs one at a time, waiting until each is incorporated before adding the next.

Add 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and a tiny pinch of salt to the butter mixture and mix until combined.

Beat in 6 Tablespoons milk and 2-3 drops of almond essence.

Next add 1 cup flour and beat until just combined.

Finally, add the raisins.

Pour the cake batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for 30-40 minutes in the preheated oven. Halfway through the baking time (about 15 minutes), rotate the tin in the oven since the back of the oven is usually hotter than the front. It is ready when a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Let the cake cook for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes—while the cake is still in the tin—poke several holes (around 15) throughout cake using a butter knife or toothpick. Pour the rum that wasn’t absorbed by the raisins (or 1/4 cup rum) over the top of the cake. Let the cake cool completely. Remove from the tin and serve.

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