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  1. To prepare the fruit: Combine the dried fruit with ¾ cup rum in a bowl. Cover and microwave for 1 minute, stir, then microwave for another minute. Cool to room temperature as you prepare the batter. (Fruit may be soaked in rum overnight or longer, if you don't want to microwave it.)

  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease three 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans, or the pans of your choice (see tip, below left).

  3. To prepare the cake: In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, molasses, baking powder, salt, flavors, and spices.

  4. Beat in the eggs one at time, scraping the bowl between additions.

  5. Mix in the 1/2 cup milk alternately with the flour, then add the rum and mix until combined.

  6. Fold in the nuts, fruit/rum mixture, and candied cherries.

  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, filling them about three-quarters full.

  8. Bake the cakes for 60 to 90 minutes. When done, the cakes will be a light golden brown all over, and a cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean.

  9. Remove the cakes from the oven, and let them cool slightly.

  10. To finish: Leave the cakes in the pans, and brush with the rum or syrup. Let it soak in, then brush with more, until you've used about 1/3 of the liquid. Allow the cakes to sit for about 45 minutes, to firm up and soak up the liquid. Then turn them out onto a serving plate and brush with the remaining rum or syrup.

  11. When completely cool, wrap the cakes airtight, and let rest at least 48 hours before serving. You may store the cakes for up to a month, brushing with liquor or flavored syrup weekly.

  12. For easiest slicing, refrigerate the cakes. Let the slices warm to room temperature before serving.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you leave the fruit out of this cake, the yield will be less: one large Bundt, or two small Bundt or tube cakes. Also, the baking time will be less; about 60 minutes for the large Bundt cake, or about 50 minutes for the smaller cakes.
  • You can easily make this recipe into a variety of sizes and shapes, perfect for gifts; it'll make six 7" wooden bakers; or seven 7" paper bake & give pans (using 2 cups of batter in each); or one 12-cup Bundt-style pan plus 1 small 7" loaf pan, or two 6-cup Bundt-style pans plus a 7" loaf. The smaller pans will bake for a shorter amount of time; the full-size Bundt cakes will bake for 80 to 90 minutes.
  • If you're using paper or wooden bake & give pans, just brush the tops of the cakes, leaving them in the pans. You may not use all the syrup; save it to brush the cakes during storage.