I have to apologize that my last two recipes for Christmas Holiday Cakes and Cheesecakes are being posted two days after Christmas, but the hustle and the bustle got the best of me! I …. am….. sooooo …. sorry!
However, to make up for this, I am posting two really great recipes. The first one is a delicious Gingerbread Cake with Buttermilk Frosting from Southern Living. Gingerbread is truly one of my favorites and this cake captures the great flavor of gingerbread with the essence of molasses, cloves and crystallized ginger. The tang of the Buttermilk Frosting and the addition of the Spiced Glazed Pecans (walnuts would also be great) takes this cake over the top. A truly delicious cake!
So there you have it folks… my final offerings for the 12 Days of Christmas Cakes and Cheesecakes. I have had a great time rounding up these recipes to share with you and I truly hope you have enjoyed them as much as I have.
Before I bid you farewell, I would like to share with you my favorite Christmas Poem: The Night Before Christmas. As a small girl, I would look forward to my mom pulling out our cherished Christmas decorations and books. This book was the one I loved the most and could read again and again. The vintage illustrations were beautiful and the rhyming of the story truly made Christmas Eve such a magical and wonderful night.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do…
Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads,
And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap-
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donder and Blitzen;
“To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys – and St. Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes – how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
From my family to yours here’s hoping you and yours have a blessed Holiday season!
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!
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!