Rum Raisin Pound Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This delicious cake is filled with the flavors of golden raisins, orange and lemon zest, and cinnamon, and is then steeped with dark rum and aged for a few days before serving.
Recipe type: Dessert | Butter Cake
Serves: 12 to 14
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest (about ½ orange)
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest (about ½ lemon)
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
Storing and Aging:
  • Cheesecloth
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • ½ cup dark rum, divided
  • Plastic Wrap
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 9 inch Bundt or fluted tube pan; lightly grease the pan with shortening and dust with flour.
  1. Plump the golden raisins by steaming in a colander in a double boiler; steam the raisins about 1 minute or until softened. Thoroughly drain, or spread the raisins on paper toweling to dry. Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Place the fruit in a steamer or plastic or wire mesh colander on top of the simmering water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  3. In a small cup, stir together the rum and vanilla. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, orange zest, lemon zest, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter, orange zest, and lemon zest in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter and zests about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the rum mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and rum mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended. Remove bowl from mixer.
  7. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the golden raisins into the batter.
  8. Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the back of a large spoon. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pan and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Storing and Aging:
  1. Cut a double thickness of cheesecloth, large enough to completely wrap the cake, approximately 18 inches square. Lay cheesecloth flat on a large piece of aluminum foil, large enough to completely wrap the cake. Sprinkle ¼ cup rum all over the cheesecloth to saturate the cloth. Place the cake in the center of the cheesecloth. Completely wrap the cake in the rum soaked cheesecloth by bringing the ends of the cheesecloth up and over the cake and tucking the ends down in the center. Wrap the aluminum foil tightly around the cake. Place the cake in a plastic bag and seal, or enclose with plastic wrap. Let cake stand overnight at room temperature.
  2. The following day, unwrap the aluminum foil and cheesecloth. Re-moisten the cheesecloth with remaining ¼ cup rum. Re-wrap the cake in cheesecloth, foil and plastic and allow to age for 2 to 3 days, or up to 10 days. It is not necessary to re-moisten the cheesecloth again.
  3. When ready to serve, slice and serve the cake plain, or dust with confectioner’s sugar. Wrap leftover cake in the cheesecloth. Store in plastic wrap or aluminum foil at room temperature for up to 10 days.
Adapted From: Walter, Carole, Great Cakes, Random House, New York, 1991
Recipe Notes
Pan: One 9" Bundt or Fluted Tube Pan Prep: Greased and Floured Oven Temp: 350° Storage: Covered, Room Temperature

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