Sunday, July 14, 2024

Firemen Honor Robbins Kelly for Many Years of Delicious Rum Cakes

Robbins Rum Cakes

Rum cakes are one way to firemen’s hearts in Coronado, as each Christmas they receive the tasty treats from long-time resident Robbins Kelly. The tradition was started by former city councilmember Patty Schmidt, who was a big supporter of the fire department, and helped fund the restoration of the Little Mac fire engine.

Originally, Schmidt, who was friends with Kelly for more than 40 years, ordered two large cakes from her and gave one to each fire station. After Schmidt passed away in 2010, Kelly went to the fire station to see how the distribution process worked and found out that everyone usually scrambled to get a bite of the cake. “So, I decided to donate 50 small rum cakes, so that everyone could enjoy them in Patty’s memory,” comments Kelly. Each year she gets a group together, with various members of the Schmidt family, to gift the cakes to the firemen.

Robbins Kelly rum cakes firemen
Throw back to 2011 when Robbins Kelly took over the rum cake tradition started by Patty Schmidt.

Kelly was surprised when the firemen called to say they wanted to drop something off at her house recently. “It was the first time I’ve ever gotten a recognition plaque and I was stunned,” notes Kelly, who was touched by the gesture.

Her foray into baking rum cakes started when she was just 16 years old, and she says they are easy to bake, with no need for frosting, and she discovered everyone loves them, especially men. Her business, Robbins Rum Cakes, is a side hustle and she creates the cakes in five sizes, from bite size to large 48 ounce cakes. Custom shapes are available, but the originals are her most popular. She also donates to other local groups as needed, and always has a booth at both the FOCUS Holiday Boutique and Artisans Alley, and counts many local residents as clients as well as a few corporate ones too.

For more information on these delicious cakes, visit or call 619-892-2168.



Coronado Culinary Crafters: Robbins’ Rum Cakes Sweetly Embody Coronado’s History

Jennifer Velez
Jennifer Velez
Jennifer fell in love with Coronado as a teenager while visiting a college friend. She vowed that someday she would make it her home, and that dream has recently become a reality. Fast forward through completing college with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations and Communications, she then went on to work with a variety of clients. She also taught Journalism and coordinated fundraising for her children’s school, and was a staff writer for San Diego Family Magazine and contributed to other parenting publications. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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