Rum. Cake. Two essential elements of the holidays smashed up into one delightful and moderately easy baked good. Plus, who doesn’t like a dessert that gets you buzzed?

Because citrus is in season and there are all kinds of distinctive fruits available right now, we used a mix of blood orange and tangerine for our rum cake. Since the rum doesn’t get cooked out, we wanted to use something nice, so we chose Cruzan Single Barrel Rum, a flavorful spirit produced in St. Croix.

A pretty straightforward recipe: You make two cakes, glaze them, put some icing on one, stack them, and put some more icing on it. It also calls for citrus “supremes.” Those are just little chunks of the fruit meat taken out for decoration. This is definitely our new favorite holiday fruit cake.

Citrus rum


Citrus Rum Cake

1/2 pound butter, softened
Zest of 1 citrus fruit (we used half of the blood orange and half of the tangerine)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons rum

For the glaze:
4 tablespoons citrus juice
8 tablespoons guava jelly
1/2 cup rum

For assembling:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Citrus segments, supremed

Preheat the oven to 350º then grease and lightly flour 2 (8 or 9-inch) round cake pans.

Use a stand mixer (or electric hand mixer) to cream the butter and zest. Add the sugar little by little, until the mixture is very light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour and baking powder together and add to butter mixture in three stages, alternating with 1 tablespoon of the rum after each addition. Mix on low speed until just incorporated. Divide the mixture between the two prepared cake pans, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and springs back when lightly touched. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for a few minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks lined with waxed paper.

Citrus rum cake

In a small saucepan, combine the citrus juice and guava jelly and heat until jelly is softened and combined with the fruit juice. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum.

Use a toothpick to make small holes all over the bottoms of the cakes. Place one cake on a cake stand and gently brush with a little less than half of the glaze, allowing the liquid so soak into the cake. Add half of the whipped cream to the top of the cake and gently set the second cake on top of the first layer. Again, brush the cake with a little less than half of the glaze, reserving a small amount to coat the citrus supreme garnishes. Ice the top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Decorate with citrus supremes. Refrigerate until ready to serve, but the sooner you serve it, the better.