PEI

P.E.I. rum cake offers an 'almost illegal taste' of the Island

An Island company is offering a new P.E.I. rum cake that it says offers an 'almost illegal taste' of the Island.

'I'm finding a lot of people didn't know rum was produced on P.E.I.'

P.E.I. rum cakes are proving popular with Islanders and visitors. (submitted)

An Island food company is producing a new P.E.I. rum cake that it says offers an "almost illegal taste" of the Island.

They're produced by J.J. Stewart Foods of Stratford, which already creates preserves, root beer, wild blueberry products and chocolate sauces.

The idea for the rum cakes came from travels to the Caribbean over the last several years by owners Thom and Heather MacMillan. The couple wanted to create rum cakes on P.E.I. using Island products — including the rum.

"We decided to experiment and came up with a recipe," Thom MacMillan said.

"We probably made about 10 to 15 different cake batters to see which one we liked. And we took pieces from one of this and that to get the right rum balance. And then after Christmas we got some professional help in order to bring it to a commercial recipe. And we started producing in June."

6 Island ingredients

Six ingredients in the cake are Island products, including the rum. The packaging is a tribute of sorts to P.E.I.'s rum-running history.

It's the rum and the Island air, and the milk, and the Island butter and the Island eggs.- Thom MacMillan

"It has that prohibition feel in terms of the old-looking boards to make it look like a crate or possibly a square barrel."

MacMillan noted there's been a lot of positive response from Islanders and tourists, and they've been getting mail orders as well. 

"'I'm finding a lot of people didn't know rum was produced on P.E.I., which kind of surprised me a bit," he said.

"So I am educating them on that ... where they can get the rum and what type of rum it is. We are using the Myriad Distillery amber rum from Rollo Bay." 

'The Island air'

Small cakes sell for $7, and large ones are $24. They have a shelf life of five months when sealed. 

When asked what makes it so good, MacMillan said, "It's the rum and the Island air, and the milk, and the Island butter and the Island eggs and the fact that we pay attention to all the products we produce."

P.E.I. rum cakes can be seen this summer at local farmers markets and craft stores.