This is a modern Christmas cake recipe we wrote for the Herald Sun Christmas Gift Guide 2016. I used my favourite rum, Diplomatico; though you can use any type of rum you like! This recipe makes about 10 teacakes/20 cupcakes/ 1x 8 inch cake depending on what kind of party you're throwing!



– 200g soft light brown sugar

– 2 eggs

– 280g plain flour, sifted

– 1tsp baking powder, sifted

– 1tsp bi-carb soda, sifted

– 1tsp cinnamon, sifted

– 1tsp ground ginger, sifted

– 140ml vegetable oil

– 100g pitted dates, sliced into slithers

– 100g raisins

– 60g Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva rum

– 250ml Earl Grey tea – my favourite is ‘Silver Fox’ from Storm in a Teacup

– rind of one orange



  1. Place dates, raisins & orange rind in a sealable container, and pour Earl Grey tea over until about an inch over the mix. Add rum, and set aside to cool to room temperature, before placing in the fridge until use. You can do this up to three days before hand to really get the fruit macerating!

  2. Preheat oven to 160°C, grease baking tin lightly with oil & line with baking paper.

  3. Whisk sugar and eggs in mixer until light and fluffy, before slowly adding oil.

  4. Gradually add flour, baking powder, bi-carb, cinnamon, and ginger; mix until just combined.

  5. Drain fruit & rum mixture, before folding into cake mix gently.

  6. Divide mixture evenly between tins, before baking for about 25 mins.

  7. Once out of the oven, using a brush, liberally coat cakes with rum.

  8. Cool cakes completely before turning out from tins. Some of the cakes may not have risen evenly, to make it easier to decorate later, use a serrated knife and shave the surface of the cake flat.

  9. Brush another layer of Diplomatico rum over the surface of the cakes to seal in moisture & flavour.

  10. Decorate with edible jewels & baubles! For festive cakes, I love using fresh herbs to really bring out the amazing aromas of the cake as well. If you don’t have a piping bag, it’s alright to use a tablespoon to drop spoonfuls of frosting on the tops of the cakes before smearing flat with the back of the spoon!


  1. To make frosting, combine butter, pure icing sugar & milk in mixer and beat until light and fluffy. This process can take up to 15 minutes – the more you beat it, the fluffier and lighter it gets!

  2. Add rum to taste (if the frosting gets a little soft, add more icing sugar).

  3. Fill piping bag with frosting, and finish cakes with a generous layer.


– Rum buttercream frosting

– You can find an assorted array of Christnas decorations from your local supermarket

– Fresh aromatic herbs (like rosemary twigs, thyme)

– 180g unsalted butter, room temperature
90g pure icing sugar, sifted
22ml full cream milk
30ml Diplomatico Reserva Exclusvia (or more to taste if you like!)