Rum, Raisin & Rosemary Cake with Honeyed Rum Buttercream

I truly believe my love of Rum & Raisin began in the womb. You see, I share my mother’s adoration for anything spiked with booze-soaked plump raisins. Take me to any gelateria and my eyes begin to scan for my R&R.

So, I pay homage to that combination in this cake. Rosemary is the symbol of remembrance so it seems fitting that it should take me back to those Halcyon days of carefree joy, Ice Cream cone in hand.


115g Rapeseed Oil

115g Unsalted Butter, softened

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

300g Golden Caster Sugar

4 Eggs, room temperature

250ml Milk, room temperature

50ml Lemon Juice

50ml Aged Rum

360g Plain Flour

2 ½ tsp Baking Powder

2 tsp Rosemary, very finely chopped

1 tsp Salt

150g Raisins, soaked overnight in 2 tbsp Rum


220g Butter

420g Icing Sugar

2 tbsp Honey

2 tbsp Aged Rum

¼ tsp Salt


1. Preheat oven 160C. Grease and line 2 deep sided 6-inch tins with butter and flour.

2. Beat the butter and oil in a stand mixer until homogenous, this can take a while, it needs to be smooth.

3. Add the sugar and beat again until light and paler in colour. The sugar should be completely dissolved.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition, you are looking to make this mixture light and fluffy. Continue to beat for 2- 3 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, mix the milk, lemon juice, vanilla and rum in a jug and set aside to curdle. Whisk the rosemary, flour, baking powder and salt until homogenous.

6. Spoon 1 tbsp of the flour mixture into the raisins and stir to combine. Set aside.

7. Add ¼ of the flour to the egg/butter mixture then ¼ of the liquids. Mix then continue, adding ¼ of each at a time. It’s important not to overmix as this will jeopardise the integrity of your cake.

8. Once mixed very carefully fold through the raisins.

9. Weigh the batter and split evenly between your two tins. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

10. Meanwhile, for the buttercream, beat the butter until smooth. Add the icing sugar and mash in with a fork, this prevents clouds of icing sugar in your kitchen.

11. Beat well for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the rum, honey and salt and beat again.

12. Split each cake into 2 horizontally and layer with the buttercream. Use the remaining buttercream to ice the top and the sides. Serve in large wedges with clouds of icing sugar and cocktails.