Gumdrop Cake. A dense buttery pound cake packed with brilliantly coloured morsels of gumdrop candy. It’s very popular during the Holidays or as a birthday cake here in Newfoundland.
Gumdrop Cake is one of those things that I remember from childhood as does Spouse; it’s one of her favourites. Back then it was sometimes made as a birthday cake for kids and adults alike.
I mean, a cake that’s chock full of candy… and with frosting! What kid wouldn’t love that?
It is a very similar recipe to the ever popular Newfoundland Cherry Cake which is made in practically every household in the province during the Christmas season. The poundcake-like texture of the cherry cake is tweaked to be just a little more dense.
The purpose is in order to support the heaps of brilliantly coloured little gumdrops scattered throughout the cake. All the while still maintaining it’s rich buttery flavour.
Be sure to read the notes on the gumdrops that are provided with the recipe. This ensure the best success in baking this cake.
A gift giving favourite.
This a a perfect gift giving cake too, because the recipe can be easily divided between 2 small loaf pans. If you double the recipe you can get 4 perfect little cakes to wrap in some colourfully seasonal cellophane wrap and tie with a bright ribbon.
It’s just the thing to bring as a hostess gift to Holiday parties or to hand out to the neighbours, especially those with small children.
I always get questions about the gumdrops for this recipe. Here in Canada, these are carried by Bulk Barn, but I have been told sometimes only seasonally.
If you can’t find them try cutting up larger gumdrops instead. Very soft gumdrops are not suitable though. Be sure to use the firmest ones you can find.
For other cakes popular in Newfoundland during the Holidays, including traditional dark and light fruitcakes as well as a few with modern twists, check out our Collection of Newfoundland Christmas Cake Recipes.
2020 Update, finding the right gumdrop candies.
Over the years, I have received a great many questions about where to buy the baking gums called for in this recipe. I admit, they are increasingly hard to source.
Here in Canada, Bulk Barn is still carrying them, but I’m told that is probably just seasonally. Finding them for online purchase is also increasingly difficult.
This year I decided to experiment with a few commonly available jujubes/gumdrops to test the results (Are they called jujubes in the US?)
Using different gumdrops.
Keeping to my own advice, I set out to these three different types. The first was Walmart’s “Great Value” brand & the second was Canadian brand, Ganong jujubes.
Just for fun, I also tested Walmart’s store brand of red berry candies. These are firmer than the actual Maynard’s brand of Swedish berries candy. Spouse loves those, so it was worth a try too.
I should note that none of these brand were very large candies. For the most part, all I had to do was cut them in half, to about the size of my thumbnail.
I’m happy to report that all 3 experiments were a success! All of them maintained their shape after baking and none of them melted into the cake. Success!
So, my original advice as posted in the notes for the recipe, still stands. Stick with the firmest gumdrops and you should have success too.
Looking for more Holiday baking inspiration?
Here’s our collection of some of the most popular Holiday baking ideas from the past 14 years on Rock Recipe.
Originally published December 2015. Updated December 2020.
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Gumdrop Cake. A dense buttery pound cake packed with brilliantly coloured morsels of gumdrop candy. It's very popular during the Holidays or as a birthday cake here in Newfoundland
- 1 ½ cups butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp finely minced lemon zest, optional
- 3 cups flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup undiluted evaporated milk
- 2 1/2 cups baking gums + an additional ¼ cup flour
- Cream together the butter and sugar well.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder.
- Fold dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the evaporated milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. As a general rule, I add the dry ingredients in 3 portions and the milk in 2 portions.
- Fold in the baking gums that have been tossed at the last minute in the ¼ cup flour.
- Bake in greased and floured bundt pan or in a spring form pan, tube pan, or two 9x5 inch loaf pans lightly greased and lined with parchment paper.
Baking the cake.
- Bake at 300 degrees F for 1 to 1 3/4 hours depending upon the size of your pan. Small loaf pans may be done just under an hour so test them after 50 minutes. My bundt pan cake took the full hour and 45 minutes in my oven
- Baking times vary greatly on this recipe so rely on the toothpick test to ensure that it is properly baked. When a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, its done. Be careful not to go past this stage or the cake will be dry.
- Let the cake cool in the pan/s for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
I used the smallest baking gums that I could find in this cake and they worked well. Baking gums are made to withstand the heat of baking. If using larger gumdrops, you will want to cut them in small pieces about the size of cutting a cherry into quarters. Larger gumdrops may fall to the bottom and ruin the cake.
Be careful not to use gumdrops that are too soft either. They should spring back nicely when you squeeze them between your fingers. If you can crush them completely between your thumb and forefinger they are probably too soft to use and will probably melt through the cake batter.
Serving Size1/32 of cake
Amount Per Serving Calories 250Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 42mgSodium 105mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 1gSugar 25gProtein 2g
The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.