This nutmeg cake is essentially spice cake soaked through and through with rum syrup. It’s as simple to make as a quick bread and it makes a lovely (and tipsy) gift when wrapped in parchment paper and tied with a bow.
No ordinary spice cake or quick bread, this deceptively simple nutmeg loaf has a spectacular depth of flavor thanks to it being drenched in a boozy rum-spiked simple syrup. What a lovely gift this quick cake makes when wrapped in parchment, tied with a bow, and packaged with a handwritten recipe. You may wish to make a couple loaves—one to gift, one to keep. You know, just to stave off gifters’ remorse. Originally published December 10, 2010.–Renee Schettler
Special Equipment: 1 pound loaf pan
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 1 H
- Makes 1 loaf
- Scant 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (from about 1/4 of a nutmeg)
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoons butter, softened, plus more for the pan
- Generous 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk
- For the rum syrup (optional)
- 1/2 cup sugar syrup
- 2 tablespoons rum
- Make the nutmeg cake
- 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Butter a loaf pan, line the base of the pan with parchment paper cut to fit, and dust the pan and parchment with flour. Tap out any excess.
- 2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
- 3. Beat the butter with a mixer or by hand until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- 4. Whisk the eggs loosely in a small bowl and then add the vanilla extract. Add the egg to the butter mixture in two batches, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- 5. Use a whisk as you would a spoon to fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk.
- 6. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Make the rum syrup
- 7. In a small bowl combine the sugar syrup and rum.
- Finish the cake
- 8. Remove the pan from the oven and use a skewer to pierce the cake all the way down to the bottom in several places. Slowly pour the rum syrup over the surface of the cake. Let the cake cool for about 5 minutes in the pan and then gently transfer it, right side up, to a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest overnight before slicing since the flavor of the cake matures with time.