Spiced Walnut Rum Cake

This cake heralds the Christmas season at our house. The nutty, sweet, and citrusy crumb is enhanced by the subtle hint of rum. It is also a wonderful accompaniment to a morning cup of coffee while watching the snow quietly fall outside.

Spiced Walnut Rum Cake

For the Cake:

Serves 8

2 1/2 cups of flour + a few tablespoons extra

2 sticks of unsalted butter

1 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of honey

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon of ground clove

1/2 teaspoon of allspice

1 cup of milk

finely grated zest of one lemon*

finely grated zest of 2 oranges*

1 cup of walnuts

powdered sugar for dusting

*save the juice for the glaze

In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices and set aside.

Using an electric mixer beat the butter until it softens. Add in the sugar and honey and continue to beat the butter until it is a soft, granulated even consistency.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula to ensure everything is well combined.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the walnuts and citrus zests.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently smooth over the top.

Bake for one hour until you insert a toothpick or cake tester and it comes out clean. Leave the cake in the pan and set it on a cooling rake or cutting board. While it cools, prepare the glaze.

for the glaze

3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup of fresh orange juice

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of honey

2 tablespoons of orange zest

6 tablespoons of dark rum

Pour the juices, sugar, honey, and zests in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir the glaze until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and add the rum.

With the cake still in the pan, using a toothpick pierce the bottom of the cake several times all around for the glaze to seep through. Pour the glaze slowly and evenly over the cake, pausing a few times to let it fully absorb. It will absorb every last drop eventually!

Once finished, let the cake sit for a few minutes to allow the glaze to settle in. To remove the cake, cover the pan with a plate. Holding the plate and pan firmly together, flip the cake over and gently remove it from the pan. If the cake does not come out easy, tap the edges with a knife and the cake should break free. You can transfer it to a prettier plate or cake stand if you wish.

When the cake is completely cooled, dust with powdered sugar over the top of the cake. Serve in thick slices.