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Can Kids Eat Rum Cake?

With the holidays quickly approaching, your children will be more excited about all the treats included in the festivities. Parents might be faced with the question of whether or not they want to dish up classic rum cake at the family party.

You don’t know how much the little things make a difference until you’ve become the mother or father to a child. This opens the entire realm of you looking out for another human being, and one of smaller body composition at that.

You might recall having rum cake at grandma’s house as a kid, but is this something you agree with for your own children? And if your totally unsure, you’re in the right place. Let’s see what other parents are saying when faced with this question too.

What Is Rum Cake and Is There Real Alcohol In It

Rum cake is a traditional cake derived from the Caribbean culture. It’s been around for centuries and still made regularly on Holiday over there. It’s so delicious it became popular in other parts of the world.

It’s the evolution of rum pudding that was prepared for holiday festivities before the cakey version took over to becoming even more popularly consumed.

The traditional way of preparing rum cake

If you’ve ever made rum cake and didn’t soak dried fruit in quality rum, you didn’t make it the traditional way.

Original to the Caribbean way of preparing the glazed cake is by soaking dried fruit in rum for a few weeks to a few months than making the cake with the fruit.

After the fruit soaks up the rum and becomes alcoholic dough is added to the fruit, and then sugars topped to perfection with a glaze.

In the United States, rum cake is prepared slightly differently. The fruit is soaked for a few days, or sometimes even just overnight.

Though some top producers wish to mimic and compete with Caribbean rum cake, and rum is actually induced into the cake directly. This would mean the alcohol flavor would absolutely be stronger in these versions.

What kind of fruit is used in rum cake

Various fruits are added to rum cake, and it depends on the preference of the homecooked or the company on what is used.

The fruits that are used can be fresh or dried before soaking them in rum. They can be plums, raisins, sultanas, and there’s even a black cherry version of rum cake made in Trinidad, that makes an extra dark ‘ Christmas Cake.’

woman baking top view

Many People in the Caribbean Have Decade-old Recipes and Value Rum Cake Tradition

For centuries, the Bahamian culture has used rum for countless recipes. The Caribbean is known around the world for making most of the rum that is bought around the world today.

In 1919 a law, the 18th Amendment was passed that prohibited alcohol consumption or storing, in the United States. This caused a chain effect of rum being smuggled into Florida from the Bahamas since they’re only 128 miles apart.

This smuggling was done through a process called rum-running. So much alcohol was passing through to the country that the British Empire expanded the Prince George Wharf to assist with the ever-growing money produced from Rum while passing through to the States.

Eventually, the townspeople of the Bahamas got ahold of the rum and needed a better way to store it. Because sugar and heat play a crucial role in preserving foods and liquids, rum cake was concocted.

While it’s still enjoyed today across the United States, in the Bahamas rum cake is truly prized among families.

Families in the Caribbean often keep family recipe traditions alive in each individual household, one recipe slightly different from the next. Sharing with other households the flavors of their family tradition.

According to Wikipedia, You Can Get Drunk Off of Rum Cake

Wikipedia had a detailed description of rum cake, stating that it’s totally possible to get drunk off of rum cake. The statement is as follows:

“It is possible to become intoxicated from consumption of an excessive amount of rum cake, and some rum cakes contain even more than five percent of certain grain alcohols, though some are made to consistently contain less than 0.5% alcohol.”

Based on this description, it’s clear that most parents would probably not want any rum cake going in their child’s small bodies. As any amount of alcohol regardless of how subtle could affect the overall system in some way or another.

The subtle effects of alcohol and why put it in rum cake if it’s simply “cooked off” when it’s baked

It all comes down to a science. Science makes magic happen, so to speak. At some point when induced with a high enough heat, alcohol will be cooked off, whether it be baked goods or a fried dish.

cake in the oven

The real question is how long does it actually take for that to happen? The answer: a good 3 hours of solid cooking would need to take place for every trace of alcohol to be cooked off completely.

That means when you hear someone say it doesn’t matter “all the alcohol will cook-off and not hurt” they are in fact inaccurate in most cases.

The alcohol will not completely cook-off in most cases, especially because it doesn’t take that long to cook most dishes that contain alcohol.

For instance, a rum cake takes only half that time to bake. And the time it takes to bake will be at an even lower temperature than necessary to actually heat off the alcohol content

A study was done on several dishes, cooked for various amounts of time to see where the alcohol content was at final preparation.

The amount of alcohol that was left in the dish ended up being a surprising 4 to 78 percent, even after cooking. Most parents would not agree to have their child drink this amount of alcohol outside of a dish.

A Good Way To Think About Alcohol in Dishes When Considering It For Your Children

The best way to think about the ever-confusing question of whether to give your child an alcohol-containing dish or now, like rum cake.

Because there’s such variation in the determining factors that establish the alcohol content that ends up in the given product.

You should avoid alcohol-containing dishes because you won’t know how the heat was applied, the length of time the food was cooked, and all preparation methods involved that determine the amount of alcohol left in the dish.

How much alcohol is used in the batter of rum cake

In a simple search through Google, you can find loads of recipes for rum cake. One recipe that I found called Caribbean-Style Rum Cake called for 1/2 cup of rum spiced or plain. If one drank this amount of rum, they would surely feel buzzed.

Yet again, the process of preparation and cooking determines the amount of alcohol content left in the cake.

You have to be vigilant to ask for the recipe from the person who made the cake. Or, you can also make it at home yourself for your children to partake in.

The kid-friendly Rum Cake recipe is also an option for kids

What better way to allow your child to have rum cake, than a kid-friendly version of the recipe. Cookchildren.blogpost offers a great recipe that you can make right at home.

If you make a kid-friendly version, you don’t have to worry about how much or little alcohol content is left in it.

There can be a parent rum cake and a kid’s rum cake at the holiday party! This recipe is used with rum-flavoring instead of alcoholic rum.

happy boy eating cake

What If You Were Raised Having Small Amounts of Wine As a Kid so It Doesn’t Bother You

We turned to Quora to figure out what parents who were raised themselves to have small amounts of alcoholic wine, as many people are from various cultures.

A lady who was born in Italy speaks of her experience being 12-years-old and having wine at the table with her parents.

She says “I grew up in Italy, where on special occasions and family dinners where all the relatives were toasting, my parents once I was around 12.y.o, started to give me a little bit of wine, like maybe a finger-size, and dilute it with water.”

In cases as such, you might feel more comfortable giving your older child rum cake, without harm. In these Quora threads, these mothers are sticking to the age of 5-6 years-old to be old ‘enough’ to partake in alcoholic foods that are baked or cooked.

In Conclusion

If you’re a parent wondering whether to give your small child rum cake or other alcoholic treats, hopefully, this cleared up any questions you might have had.

If you’re still undecided, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It isn’t that big of a deal for a child to miss out on cake at the party. But you can’t go back once they have eaten it.

Consider other aspects of the situation as well when offering your child rum cake. Does your child like sweet cakes? Would they enjoy the flavor of the rum-cake? Are there other treats available for them to have that will include them?

Rum cake is a delicious treat, and a long-lived tradition in the Bahamas, if you’re from a nationality that it’s an important tradition, you should base your decision on your personal beliefs and how you feel about it as a parent. 


A Brief History of Caribbean Rum Cake – Culture Trip

Is there alcohol in rum cake? – Asking Lot

Alcohol Evaporation in Cooking and Baking – What’s Cooking America