Yesterday I made a rum cake for the first time. It was a holy experience. OK, hole-y is more accurate: you poke lotsa holes in the cake when it comes out of the oven so you can pour hot buttered rum syrup all over it to soak in. Heavenly!
I found a recipe in Southern Living to get started, tweaked with some good ideas from King Arthur Flour’s Harvey Wallbanger cake and from my faraway girlfriends who are near to my heart. My own katty thoughts are baked in, too, of course! I couldn’t be happier with how this came out. I busted out the good rum for this effort.
KATTY’S RUM CAKE
1 stick butter (salted), softened
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
zest of one orange (1 tablespoon)
3/4 cup dark rum
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a Bundt pan.
Beat together sugar, butter and salt till fluffy. Add vegetable oil and vanilla. It’ll look like this.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating till each egg is fully incorporated. Add orange zest. Orange zest loves to hang out on the paddle, so be sure to scrape it off and get it into the batter where it belongs! Gradually add the rum next.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the batter, scraping down the bowl as you go.
Pour batter into Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour or until a pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Place pan on wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.
Now it’s time to poke around! I used a knitting needle to make nice, deep holes all over the cake. A wooden skewer would do the trick, too. Lots of rummy, buttery goodness is coming, so make plenty of holes to catch it all! Let the cake cool 15 minutes before adding the syrup.
HOT BUTTERED RUM SYRUP
1 stick butter (salted)
3/4 cup brown sugar
¼ cup water
½ cup dark rum
Melt butter. Stir in water and sugar. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Using a ladle makes it easy to make sure you get all those holes filled in.
Let stand 45 minutes till you take that leap of faith–please, please, please come out of the pan in one piece. Place a plate over the cake and invert it. You’ll hear that comforting SWOOSH as your cake releases perfectly from the pan and lands safely on your plate.
At that moment, you’ll know life’s been good. Rock on! Remember, this cake tastes even better the next day as the rum is absorbed.