Rum Raisin Apple Cake

A splash of liquor can elevate a simple cake into something altogether more sophisticated. In this one, raisins are soaked in dark rum before going into the batter of a classic French apple cake. As the alcohol evaporates during baking, what remains is the rum’s essence and flavor.

Rum Raisin Apple Cake

Recipe by Anna BembryCourse: DessertCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Simple


Prep time


Baking time



A splash of liquor elevates this simple apple cake into something altogether more sophisticated.


  • 1 1/4 cups raisins

  • 3 tablespoons dark rum

  • 2 apples, such as Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp or Fuji

  • 8 1/2 tablespoons (115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1⅓ cups (140 g) confectioners’ sugar

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (200 g) all-purpose flour

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 4 tablespoons apricot jam


  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a medium (8- by 4- by 1/2-inch) loaf pan with parchment. Use enough parchment to create a 3-inch overhang so that the cake can be lifted out of the pan once it’s baked.
  • Place raisins in a small bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let sit a minute or two, then drain. Bring 2 tablespoons of rum to a boil and pour over raisins. Set aside to macerate.
  • Peel and core apples. Cut them into 1/2-inch chunks.
  • Using an electric mixer, whip butter until smooth. Pour in 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, a bit at a time, and continue to beat until the mixture is pale and creamy. One by one, add eggs, beating after each addition. The mixture should be homogenous.
  • Place sieve over a separate mixing bowl and sift in flour, salt and baking powder . Use a rubber spatula to gently but decisively fold flour mixture into egg mixture. Fold in raisins and their rum, and then the apples.
  • While the cake is baking, heat up the apricot jam.
  • Bake the cake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 – 60 minutes. Remove from oven, but do not remove cake from pan. Brush top of the cake with warm apricot jam. Set aside to come to room temperature.
  • Just before serving, remove cake from pan using parchment overhang. Discard parchment. In a small pan, combine the remaining tablespoon of rum with the remaining 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar. Stir to combine ober very low heat for no more than 1 minute. Drizzle glaze over cake and serve.

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