Jamaican Easter Spice Bun

Jamaica Spice Bun
Image © Cynthia Nelson

“I first made this bun a few years ago and since then, it has been a staple on my list of Easter treats. Do try it with the cheese and a cup of tea or coffee.” – Cynthia Nelson, Tastes Like Home

 

(SPECIAL EQUIPMENT)

1 (12 x 4 ½-inch) loaf pan OR 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans

For Cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

A pinch of salt (1/8 tsp.)

1 egg, room temperature

1 ½ cups brown sugar (Caribbean)

2 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter

1 cup whole milk

1 tsp. vanilla essence

1 heaped cup raisins

1/4 cup dark rum

For Glaze & Topping:

1/4 cup white granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

12 – 14 Maraschino cherries, halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in the middle.

Grease a large loaf pan and set aside.

Toss raisins with rum and set aside.

Add flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt to a large bowl, mix thoroughly and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat egg until frothy then add sugar, butter, milk and essence and beat until fully incorporated. Add raisins and rum to egg-sugar-milk mixture and mix well.

Pour the wet ingredients – egg, sugar, milk, butter, essence, raisins, and rum – into the bowl with the flour and spices and mix well until the batter is smooth; there should be no lumps.

Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 55 minutes. Meanwhile add the 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar to a small pot and place on medium low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute and remove from heat and set aside.

At the 55-minute mark, remove the bun from the oven and glaze with the syrup. Arrange the halved cherries, cut-side down along the middle of the loaf from one end to another. Brush again with syrup and return the bun to the oven and let bake for 5 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

As soon as the bun is removed from the oven, glaze again and let cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool.

Serve at room temperature with slices of aged sharp cheddar cheese.

CYNTHIA’S NOTES

– Instead of milk, you can use a cup of port or your favourite red wine.

– Instead of decorating the loaf with the cherries you can add 1/2 cup of cherries, halved, to the batter by folding it in just before pouring the batter into the prepared pan.

This recipe was published in the Easter 2015 edition of Cooking Sense Magazine.
Cynthia Nelson

Journalist, Cookbook Author, Lecturer, Photographer. I write about food and life in the Caribbean. My interest is in food and how it shapes our identity.