This past week I had grand plans for baking…I bought ingredients for creamsicle ice cream (pictured below) that I couldn’t wait to make for our friend Mike who loves orange and fruit flavor.  I was also oddly excited to make a grapefruit yogurt cake (again photo below) which I know sounds kind of weird, but I had a really good feeling about.  The grapefruit cake – for lack of a better word, sucked.  It didn’t taste like anything.  Awful.  Had to toss it.  The orange ice cream was great right out of the ice cream maker.  Soooo good – like a real creamsicle – yet in ice cream form but once it sat in the freezer it became chalky and kind of started to taste like baby aspirin.  I brought it to Mike and he sadly agreed.  The funny part is that Greg came home that day – and announced that we needed an Irish dessert for school.  He signed me up to bake.  Well, I was in no mood after my failures and I was wiped, and I’m not Irish – nor know much about Irish baking!  So I looked for the easiest recipe that I could find that we could do together.  I decided to double the recipe so we could taste it (what else is new) and also decided to spike the raisins in our cake with rum.  Well, even though this is not something I thought I would love – it was really good!  The cake was light and fluffy – the rummy raisins were a tasty addition and the light glaze on top was really good too.  I find out today if the kids liked their cake (no rum).  Hope so.  (Greg just came in and said eveyone in the whole class loved it!)  Enjoy this – it is nice in the afternoon with coffee or tea (if you like raisins).

glazed irish tea cake (adapted from
3/4 cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs (room temp)
3 oz. cream cheese (not whipped and not low fat, room temp)
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup buttermilk (pull out to room temp)
2/3 cup raisins (or currants, dates) and rum (optional)

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 teaspoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice

If spiking the raisins – place in a saucepan and add about 1-2 tablespoon of  rum and simmer lightly until rum is absorbed by the raisins.  Set aside

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Butter, flour, and line a 9 inch or 7 cup capacity loaf pan.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 3-5 minutes.  Add the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time – mixing until incorporated.  Scrape down the bowl and mix again.  Add the cream cheese and mix well.

Add 1/3  of the flour mix to the mixer on lowest speed.  Then add half of the buttermilk.  Repeat – and end with the last 1/3 of  the flour mix.  Mix as little as possible.

Remove from mixer and continue to fold batter and scrape down sides to incorporate the flour and butter.  Add the raisins and mix again.

Pour into prepped pan and bake in center rack for a while.  I forgot to time this!  But the cake got nicely browned and had a good spring to it.  Use your toothpick.   The recipe says 80 minutes – but I don’t think it took that long.  Sorry…really wasn’t planning to blog about this.  Just lucked out.  So set the timer for 45 minutes – start there and see how it goes…check often based on what you see (this is really the best way to bake a dessert by the way).

Once cooked, let stand for 10 minutes.  Make the glaze.  Combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and whisk until smooth.  Invert cake carefully as it is delicate – and spread glaze onto the warm cake.  Cool completely.  Enjoy!

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