I was really lucky to grow up surrounded by family. Literally. Both my aunts live next door (one on each side of my parent’s house), so I was able to see my cousins every day. Right across the driveway, was my grandparents house. Every sunday, both my uncles and their families would come to visit, and we would meet all together at my grandparents. My dad is one of 5 siblings, so to make the math for you, that’s 12 adults and 14 kids. Grandma Lucy made sure that there was always a pair of freshly baked cakes or pies. This recipe was a bit hard to master under her eyes. She was an amazing baker: she knew if you over (or under) beat the batter, or if you didn’t let the butter and dry ingredients mix properly. When I was in my school vacations, I would spend entire days just sitting in her kitchen, watching her do her thing and try to learn as much as I could. At first she would only let me get the butter out of the wrapper, or get her the spoons to measure the dry ingredients. After that, she would let me add things to the mixer… Eventually graduating to making the cakes or pies myself and getting them in and out of the oven.
The secret from grandma Lucy (as with every baking recipe) is to follow the steps to the dot. She first softens the butter and then slowly adds the sifted dry ingredients. Tablespoon by tablespoon. Make sure to mix it until all of the ingredients are blended together, resulting in a mixture that looks like coarse cornmeal. You will think it’s not Ok, but it totally is – this is not the usual method of making a cake but it’s worth it trust me! Takes it about 10-15 minutes (if you are using a KitchenAid mixer is about 5 minutes) to blend together and make sure there are no crumbs left. After that you add the wet ingredients and mix for 4 minutes. The two ounces of rum the recipe asks for is barely noticeable, but it gives the cake a nice flavor. If you prefer, you can remove the rum from the recipe.
Preparing this recipe always gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling that reminds me of those Friday or Saturday afternoons in my grandmothers’ kitchen making two cakes for all the family that would be guaranteed to visit the next day. Share this one with your friends and family! You won’t regret it!