Thank goodness there isn’t a blog police. If there were, they would have hauled me off long ago for negligence. If it counts for anything, I thought about posting. Whenever I whipped up a new type of cupcakes, or concocted a hearty stew, or figured out a novel way of eating abundant squash, I would think wistfully of you lovely readers. And yet, life continued to get in the way. Starting with the holiday season and running right through a wedding and move, I just wasn’t finding time to sit down and write. Now, though, I’m all wed and settled. Thus, I return! So, without any further ado, onto the food!
Starting in January, I vowed to make a new cake each month. (I know, you’re cursing me even more now that you’ve missed out on seven months of sweet decadence. I’m sorry.) August was no exception, and since it was the husband’s birthday I allowed him to dictate the flavor profile. After pressing past his initial “I like cake” response, I finally got a request: rum. For us, rum cake has quite a storied past. One Christmas Eve, my mother in law decided that a festive cake was in order. She added some rum to the chocolate batter, then decided to thin out the icing with it as well. Only, it took a while to get the glaze to the right consistency, meaning we had quite a potent dessert,. Christmas Eve mass was never so memorable!
Anyway, once I knew I was making a rum cake, I wanted to do something different. We saw Tortuga cakes at every turn on our honeymoon, and the free samples were beckoning me. But, chock full of gluten, indulging would have been a mistake. So when I got home, I started looking for recipes for a Caribbean rum cake. After reading a ton of recipes, and making a few of my own modifications, we ended up with a delicious cake. It was sweet and buttery, rummy and nutty. It was like eating Fralinger’s Butter Rum taffy without feeling like you were breaking your jaw from chewing. In short, it was a success. So, please accept this wonderful and simple recipe as my apology, and enjoy!
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 ¾ cups gluten free flour (with xantham gum)
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 3 tbsp + ½ cup canola oil (DIVIDED)
- 1 3.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup 1% milk
- ¾ cup light rum
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Rum Syrup (recipe follows)
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Prepare pan by greasing, flouring, and sprinkling with the chopped walnuts. If you are a normal person, you can do this in a bundt pan. If you are me, you can use a 10” round pan with a ramekin in the middle to make a pseudo-bundt and a loaf pan.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and the 3 tbsp of canola oil, and mix on medium-low speed until it is combined and resembles coarse crumbs, scraping the sides of the bowl periodically. Add the pudding mix and beat again, on medium-low speed until combined.
- In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, rum, remaining canola oil, and vanilla. Slowly add into the bowl of the stand mixture, beating on medium speed until everything is combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so the batter is nice and uniform.
- Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. (Note: if you’re using a bundt pan it will likely take longer to bake; remember, I’m a special person who used the most bootleg bundt pan ever)
- As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, SLOWLY pour about 1/3 of the rum sauce over the bottom of the cake. You want it to seep into the cake, so let it sit for about five minutes.
- Flip the cake onto your serving platter, and poke it generously with a fork or skewer to create holes over the top and sides. Slowly pour more of the rum sauce over the cake. Again, the goal is for the sauce to seep into the cake, so the more slowly you do it, the more will get absorbed. However, having some of the sauce dripping over the sides looks pretty, and it is delicious, so it’s okay if it isn’t all absorbed.
- The cake will keep, covered, at room temperature for about a week.
Rum Sauce Directions
- After the rum cake has been baking for about 40 minutes, start making the sauce. Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
- Once the butter is melted, add the sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. (In theory, you can do this without the water; the water just helps prevent the sugar from burning).
- After boiling for 5 minutes, turn off the heat and add the rum CAREFULLY. Because of the alcohol content, the mixture will bubble up and splatter and it will be hot. Once the rum is mixed in and no longer resembles a spewing volcano, return the sauce to medium heat for about 30 seconds.
**I didn’t use all the sauce for my cake, but saved some in the fridge. It will harden, but melts beautifully in the microwave as an accompaniment to the cake, or an ice cream topping.