Cooking with Hope: Create a guest-pleasing Christmas menu

Published: Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 17:05 PM.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9 x 5 –inch loaf pan

In a bowl and with an electric mixer beat until smooth, butter, granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, rum, and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, stirring to combine.

Stir in undrained crushed pineapple, apricots, raisins, dates, ginger, cherries, and nuts. Mix well. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon.

Arrange cherry halves down 2 rows of the cake. Sprinkle top with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired (Optional). Bake in 350 degree oven for 60 minutes, then tent with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes more or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove cake from oven, brush with rum or Grand Marnier or a simple syrup of boiled vanilla and sugar. Cool cake for 20 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool.

Let cake cool completely then wrap in plastic wrap. Store at room temperature for up to 6 to 8 weeks. Brushing the cake every week with rum or simple sugar syrup will keep the cake moist and tasty as it was the day it was baked. If keeping more than 6 weeks, refrigerate.


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