The debate about whether or not to add rum to fruit cake is an old one. Fruit cake is believed to have originated in Roman times, but today, each country has its own unique variety. Adding rum to fruit cake originated in the Bahamas, where the fruit is soaked in rum before making the cake. In addition, rum is poured over the top of the cake just as it comes out of the oven.
In other countries, rum is never added to fruit cake, and in some countries, it is often added to fruit cakes made at home, but varieties sold in bakeries and stores do not have rum.
There are two primary reasons for adding rum to your fruit cake. The first is that it rehydrates the fruit, adding the flavor of the rum while plumping it up and making it moist.
The second reason for adding rum to the fruit cake is to moisten the cake itself. Some fruit cake recipes create a very dense cake that is prone to being dry. Pouring rum over the fruit cake adds moisture along with flavor.
Rum fruit cakes are very popular with some people, while others find the alcohol flavor too strong. When rum is poured over the top of the fruit cake after baking, it can create a very strong taste of alcohol, as the alcohol is not burned off, since it is not baked into the cake.
When it comes to choosing your holiday fruit cake, it’s easy to find varieties both with and without rum. There are even bakeries that make both varieties because it’s such a personal preference. If you’ve never tried a rum fruit cake, give it a taste. There is definitely a moistness and richness that other fruit cakes don’t have. You might just find it’s your new favorite.
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