This little golden cake may not look like much, but it packs a punch of flavor… and alcohol. This is definitely an adult dessert. While you cook the alcohol out of the cake, there’s additional uncooked rum in the glaze so you will taste it. If you don’t like rum, I’m afraid this is not the dessert for you. If, however, you enjoy rum (like me), you’ll love it! Not only does it taste great, but it’s incredibly moist. This cake is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next party.
I was inspired to make rum cake after a recent trip to Kaua’i. I’d never really made rum cake aside from a rum “ham” cake I made for an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia party. Don’t worry, the cake wasn’t flavored like ham. It was just decorated to look like a ham. If you’ve seen the show, you’ll understand. But, I digress…
My boyfriend and I went to Kaua’i this spring to get away from the rainy Juneau weather. As it turns out, the island has its own rum distillery so, of course, we had to check it out. If you’re headed that way, I highly recommend making a stop at the Koloa Rum Company. They offer free tastings (we stopped by twice) featuring their 4 types of rum and their Mai Tai mix. I really enjoyed their spiced rum (which is the type of rum I use to make “Cuba Libres” aka Rum and Cokes) but their dark rum was truly exceptional with notes of vanilla. The best part of the tasting came at the end when they served bites of their macadamia rum cake (made with their dark rum) topped with their rum fudge sauce. Wow! This rum cake, not the free rum, is the reason we decided to go back later on our trip for a second tasting. The Koloa Rum Company is definitely a must-stop spot if you ever find yourself on Kaua’i.
So, once we got back, I decided to figure out how to make rum cake. As it turns out, rum cake is easy. This recipe is not re-inventing the wheel. It’s essentially your classic dark rum cake recipe that can be found easily on the internet. It may not be as good as Koloa Rum Company’s rum cake, – it is hard to match perfection – but it’s delicious. Plus, it freezes well (alcohol is a great preservative after all) so you don’t have to eat the whole batch at once. I promise this recipe won’t disappoint!
Boozy Rum Cake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-60 minutes (depending on your pan)
1 box Yellow Cake Mix
3.4 oz. box Vanilla Pudding
1/2 c. Milk
1/2 c. Vegetable Oil
1/2 c. Dark Rum (I recommend Myer’s)
1/2 c. Butter (1 stick)
1/4 c. Water
1 c. Sugar
1/2 c. Dark Rum (again, I recommend Myer’s)
1. Combine all cake ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat on high for 2 minutes.
2. Grease and flour your pan(s). The original recipe calls for using a Bundt pan, but I didn’t want an entire Bundt cake sitting around. So, I used 4 mini cake pans (They’re actually individual deep dish pizza pans, thanks Meagan!).
3. Pour the batter into your greased pan(s). If you’re making multiple smaller cakes, I recommend using a ladle to divide the batter between pans.
4. Bake at 325°F for 30-60 minutes (30 for mini cakes to 60 for a Bundt pan). The tops should be golden, and an inserted toothpick should come out clean.
5. Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack then invert onto a plate or serving tray.
Note: I was freezing some of my cakes so the ones I didn’t plan to eat or give to friends I inverted onto aluminum foil rather than a serving dish.
6. While your cakes are cooling, make your glaze. Melt your butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add your sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes while stirring. Then, remove your pan from the heat, allow the mixture to cool a minute or two, and stir in the rum.
Note: You’re not trying to cook the alcohol out of the rum so make sure not to add the rum to the pot while it’s still on the stove.
7. Use a fork to make holes in the tops of your cake(s) then drizzle with glaze. If your glaze starts to pool at the bottom of the cake, grab a pastry brush and brush that rummy yumminess back onto the top and sides of the cake(s).
The rum glaze keeps this cake wonderfully moist. The flavors will continue to develop as it sits on your counter so it’s often best a couple days after it’s made. Sometimes I like to top mine with chocolate sauce. In this case, I was using rum fudge sauce which certainly ups the proof of the cake. Doesn’t this look de-lish?! So, if you’re over 21, grab a fork and dig in!!