Christmas is coming, ya’ll! I love Christmas! The hustle, the bustle, the generosity and warmth of spirit, the excitement of the children… truly joyous and so heartwarming!
And, oh yes, the food… let’s not forget the food! Cookies, candies, cocktails, appetizers… oh, my! If you are a foodie, like me, this is truly a glorious time of year. 🙂
So for today’s featured recipe I thought I would share with you one of my personal holiday favorites… the Bacardi Rum Cake. This cake was originally published in the 1970’s by Bacardi and has been a huge hit ever since.
This is a semi-homemade cake that starts with a yellow cake mix and instant pudding. Don’t let the simplicity of the recipe fool you. This is truly a delicious cake. I strongly suggest you make two because before you know it the first one will have disappeared. It is… just… that… good! In fact, make a bunch and share with your friends. This makes a delicious Christmas gift, as well, and holds up beautifully for shipping to your distant friends and relatives. My friends, this cake truly improves in flavor with age!
One more thing, ya’ll. I hate to dampen your holiday spirit, but I have to share a personal pet peeve of mine. I don’t know about you, but I find it very upsetting that one of our corporate food giants’ favorite marketing gimmicks is to reduce the volume of food in their packaging and then further rub salt in the wound by making claims that they are not raising food prices. I guess they feel that we, as consumers, aren’t intelligent enough to figure this out!
I mention this to you because the recipe I am sharing with you today is affected by this. As I told you, this semi-homemade recipe dates back to the 1970’s and features the use of Duncan Hine’s Yellow Cake Mix, which used to contain 18.25 ounces. Today, however, this same cake mix now has 16.5 ounces. Ouch! Shame on you, Duncan Hines (and Pillsbury… and Betty Crocker)!
Wegman’s took the time to send a direct inquiry to Duncan Hines as to why they made this change… here is a direct quote from Duncan Hine’s in response to Wegman’s inquiry: “We have reformulated our Duncan Hines classic cake mix line to offer the same moistness and delicious taste you know and expect from Duncan Hines. As a result of the reformulation we were able to reduce the weight of our classic cake mixes from 18.25 ounces to 16.5 ounces and still deliver the same size cake/cupcakes, allowing us to provide the same great value to you despite rapidly rising raw material costs that would otherwise require us to raise our prices. You should continue to follow the directions on the box to ensure consistent results.”
Hmmmm… I am wondering, if the cake was already moist and delicious, why they felt the need to reformulate it to make the same moist and delicious cake we know and expect from Duncan Hines. Gee, why couldn’t it be a more moist and delicious cake and still stay at 18.25 ounces! Because we all know, eventually, the price of the cake mix is going to be raised anyway, so now we end up with a smaller, more expensive cake mix, with bakers everywhere scratching their heads and frantically calculating how to adjust recipes that incorporate these mixes!
Luckily, I was able to find a smart baker who has done her homework and has modified the original Bacardi Rum Cake recipe to reflect today’s significantly smaller cake mixes. Thank you, Anne Papina! The cake is still delicious and will, forever and always, be one of my holiday favorites! Here also is a link from Rose Bakes with detailed instructions on how to convert semi-homemade recipes using these smaller mixes.
Okay, ya’ll… I’m off my soapbox, for now! 🙂 I would love to hear your thoughts on the sneaky marketing tactics used by our corporate food giants… as well as the delicious Bacardi Rum Cake recipe I have shared with you! Happy Baking and Happy Holidays!