Aunt Beth's Gumdrop (or Cherry) Cake

Growing up I thought that Gumdrop cake was the slightly better tasting cousin to the dreaded Dark Fruit Cake that every person at a Newfoundland wedding was obligated to eat.  Years later, Gumdrop cake became my most treasured Christmas present from my Aunt Beth (next to her wool tams, mitts or socks).  She could make a pie crust that would make your cry and soothe your heart with this cake. 

After Aunt Beth passed my step-mom Irene made me a gumdrop cake most often after Dad went "Irene maid, that child (meaning me) needs a cake to take back to Halifax with her.  What do I need to get at the Bulk Barn so you can make her one?" Irene would make the cake, wrap it up perfectly then Dad would put it in a carton with salt meat, bottled partridgberry jam, some moose meat and perhaps a few Purity peppermint knobs or lumps. Ahhh - my very own carton of treasures.

Now Irene always has a bit of cake on the go when I visit, but Dad isn't around to start the ball rolling. I really wanted to try it out myself so after a couple of calls home I mashed together the recipe.

This family recipe could end with me so I am hoping someone reads this, tries it and continues my family tradition of Aunt Beth's Gumdrop Cake.

Here we go....

Things You'll Need (Otherwise Known as Ingredients and Supplies)

Missing are the Lemon Extract and Food Colouring
1 Cup Butter, Softened
1 Cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tin (can) Heavy Cream (170ml) or plain yoghurt
1 tsp pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Lemon Extract
2 1/2-3 Cups Flour
3 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 - 1 Cup Coconut (if desired)
1 - 1&1/2 Cups Gumdrops or Cherries (or a mix of both to equal 1&1/2 Cups). I use baking gumdrops but you can use regular ones and perhaps chop them. Don't use the black licorice flavoured ones. Rubbish!
Yellow Food Colouring
Milk or Plain Yoghurt (on Standby)

Tube or Bundt Pan
Butter or Spray to grease pan
Parchment paper

Things You'll Do (Otherwise known as Directions)

 Preheat oven to 275F.  Grease pan. Line with Parchment paper if you typically do for cakes. I did not need to with this pan.
Clay Bundt pan - Lovely but would not use again for this recipe
Cream together butter and sugar.  Add extracts, eggs, cream and a couple of drops of food colouring. Mix thoroughly.  (Note: Irene adds the food colouring so the cake doesn't look so pale and "sickly".)

Sift together 1 cup flour and 1 tsp baking powder (BP). Add to wet ingredients and incorporate until just mixed. Repeat with cup #2 and BP. My suggestion after this is to do a 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 tsp of BP and mix. See if the batter looks to "dry" if so, add a little milk, if too wet looking then add the last 1/2 cup of flour and BP.  I know, baking is an exact science but not in my family.

Add coconut.

Add gumdrops (cherries or mix). Mix by hand until just combined.

Fill Tube or Bundt pan with cake batter. Smooth the top as best you can.
Prepare a second pan with cold water to add steam to the oven and maintain the moistness of the cake. I used an old loaf pan.
Place Tube/Bundt pan in oven and put 2nd pan next to it.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 275F. Remove and invert on a cooling rack. Leave it for a couple of mins and then remove the pan.
 Let cool and slice!

Lessons Learned: The clay bundt pan was excellent but I think wrong for this cake. I think the clay may have made the cake too dry. I recommend a metal pan.

If you have a favourite gumdrop cake recipe you want to share, please comment below!

Enjoy and please, carry this tradition on - I think Aunt Beth would love that.


Aunt Beth - Played a mean game of 120's too!


Post a Comment

I really appreciate you taking time to comment. I read them all.

Thanks ever so much!


EBates Canada (referral link)

Canadian Food Blogger

Canadian Food Blogger
Food Bloggers of Canada Member


Follow me on Twitter