The rum cake diaries

By Katherine

That is a nice looking bundt

Greg isn’t that big on sweets, but he has a few favorites. He loves macaroons, a small slice of ricotta cheesecake, a bit of tiramisu and of course biscotti. His mom also makes a rum cake that’s a family favorite.

This year I made a rum cake the day before his birthday. I used some guidelines in Michael Ruhlman’s brilliant Ratio to create the cake and stuck with the glaze Greg’s mom uses. On the day itself, I normally grill up some steaks and fancy up potatoes. Last year, I made a chilled soup and there was a freak snowstorm. That’s what we call any snowstorm down here. This year I took him to his favorite restaurant to celebrate.

While the cake was delicious, I’m determined to make it a bit more rummy and we’re not talking the card game I always beat Greg at. Instead of using a bundt pan, I will cook it in a springform pan and cut the cake in half, glazing the top of both halves and then sealing it with more glaze or the topping Greg’s mom uses. (I’ve included it and have made it this way, as Greg’s mom does, with a different cake base in the past.) Other suggestions are welcome too. I’ll keep you posted. By Greg’s next birthday it has to be not just delicious, but perfect.

Rum Cake No. 1

  • 4 eggs plus 1 yolk at room temperature
  • 8 ounces sugar (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 8 ounces flour (about 1 3/4 cup), sifted
  • 4 ounces butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tbsp apricot nectar
  • 1/4 cup ground amaretti cookies (optional)

Grease a bundt pan or springform pan and set aside. In a stand mixer on medium high, beat eggs, yolk, sugar, salt and almond extract until the mixture triples in volume, a few minutes. Remove from the mixer and fold in flour. Fold in butter and remaining ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Use a toothpick to poke holes around the top of the cake or if using a springform cut cake in half and poke holes in the top of each half.

For apricot glaze

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup apricot nectar
  • 1//4 cup rum
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water

Whipped topping

  • pint heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar

Cook sugar and nectar on low heat until sugar dissolves. Mix cornstarch and water and add to mix. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in rum. Brush glaze over bundt cake. If using a springform pan, Spread half the apricot glaze over the top of each cake. In the meantime, beat cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Brush over the top of the bottom cake. Place the top half on and ice the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with shaved chocolate and almond slivers.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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47 Responses to The rum cake diaries

  1. Mmm, this looks so good. I’ve never made a rum cake, and the apricot glaze sounds like it goes perfectly with it. And happy birthday, Greg!

  2. I look forward to following all of the rum cakes and variations you make — rum cake is one of the few cakes I like (but, no, sadly, I don’t have a fabulous recipe for one).

  3. Yuri says:

    I love bundt cakes! Love how this one turned out, smooth and perfect :)

  4. I love rum and amaretti cookies, so together they make your cake sound very, very tasty. I have been away for a bit and have missed a few posts, but am looking forward to catching up.

  5. nrhatch says:

    I love the look of a Bundt cake . . . and used to make one with Grand Marnier sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. Always a hit!

  6. zestybeandog says:

    Mmmm Rum Cake! I’m all about making things more “rummy” :) Cheers!

  7. I love the Ratio book too- cake looks great!

  8. What a gorgeous looking bundt, Katherine and the glazes sound really tasty too!

  9. A_Boleyn says:

    I love the look of this bundt cake just as it is. Brushed with a thicker apricot glaze, maybe with some poached apricots and some whipping cream flavoured with rum on the side.

  10. Joanne Ozug says:

    Apricot nectar?! That is so intriguing. I’ve been craving rum lately and was thinking about doing a baba au rhum, but I think I’m going to do this one instead. The bundt looks so pretty!

  11. rutheh says:

    Sounds perfect to me! Love the title of the post, too.

  12. k.m. says:

    Rum cake is one of my favorites. My aunt lives near a great bakery that makes a verrrrrry boozy rum cake. Not only do they put rum in the cake, I think they soak it in rum too. Then they pour over a rum-filled glaze to seal in the rum in the cake, and then make a frosting to put on top of all that, made with butter and…rum!

    Actually, I’m surprised now that I was ever allowed to eat it before turning 21…or that it isn’t a fire hazard!

    They might also put in rum extract too, but I suppose after a certain point you’re kinda drunk on rum cake and start to get a bit hazy on the details! Sorry :)

    and happy birthday too to Greg!

  13. Maureen says:

    How beautiful that cake looks!! What a wonderful wife to want his dessert to be perfect. I’m a horrid wife I suppose. I only think about his cake the day before his birthday. DON’T tell him, okay? He likes me a lot and I wouldn’t want to spoil it. lol

  14. How lovely that you want to make him the PERFECT cake! Greetings to Greg for whenever his birthday is/was. This cake looks pretty perfect to me and sounds delicious. Whenever I see a Bundt cake it always reminds me of a scene from the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”!

  15. Oh wow Katherine.. this rum cake looks delicious. And I think baking it in a spring pan might actually work. I can’t wait to see how everything comes out for Greg’s next birthday. I can just see this cake being the hit of the party

  16. foodtable says:

    Looks so delicious! He’s so lucky to have you cook this *perfect* cake for him! Hope he does the same for you on your bday on whatever you like to eat. Cheers! :)

  17. Happy Birthday to Greg. I think your bundt rum cake is perfect but understand your mission. Looking forward to the next variation. :-) Mandy

  18. peasepudding says:

    Bundt cakes are the best, I love that you have used real rum in the glaze.

  19. Interesting recipe, but the name “bundt” grabs me more. I believe the Bundt is the cool main street in Shanghai!

  20. sgbakegirl says:

    looks delicious….i just finally bought a bundt pan…might try this recipe

  21. Tandy says:

    my dad would love this as a treat!

  22. ChgoJohn says:

    I think your photo’s caption says it all. I bet Greg grins ear to ear when you set that down before him — I know I would. I’ve attempted 2 bundts. You can probably guess how they went. Your recipe makes me want to try again. Maybe this time I’ll be able to say I baked a bundt instead of attempted one.

  23. SimpleP says:

    I’ve always preferred glazes over frosting. Such a simple bundt sounds like it packs a delicious punch.

  24. niasunset says:

    delicious, so delicious…. Can I visit to you for five o’clock tea time dear Katherine, :) Thank you, it was a wonderful cake recipe, with my love, nia

  25. Karen says:

    I make a run cake every year for my Christmas party. I’ll try adding the apricot nectar next time for added flavor. Sounds good.

  26. I love apricot anything. Thank you for pointing me in that direction again.

  27. spicegirlfla says:

    The rum cake challenge!! I’ve made my share of rum cakes in the past and the apricot nector is something new and different. Also your idea to cut the cake and totally soak it, sounds really intensely delicious!! Happy Birthday to Greg… and a homemade cake, made with love, that’s the most important part!!

  28. Charles says:

    Wow, that is a great looking cake – so smooth and brown… a beautiful caramel colour. I kind of want to see inside so I can imagine eating it too. It looks too pretty to cut in the photo you posted!

  29. Sydney Jones says:

    I’ve never tried rum cake. I’m going to have to give this one a go for sure, looks yummy :)

  30. Yummy Yummy! Katherine this looks so moist and perfect – more rum – couldn’t hurt a thing!

  31. Christina says:

    One of my favorites!! The apricot glaze sounds perfect. :D

  32. How pretty and shiny!

  33. Just looking at all those ingredients, I would say that looks about perfect now. Rum. In a cake. You can’t really go wrong!
    Happy Birthday Mr Greg :-)

  34. egg me on says:

    It makes me laugh (in a good way) that one of the only sweets Greg eats has booze in it. Not surprisingly in the least. And I’m sure this rum cake is pretty near perfect. Awesome job. And, Happy Birthday Greg!

  35. Kristy says:

    Happy belated birthday to Greg! I hope you have a fabulous year!!! And looks like it got kicked off to a great start with this cake and a trip to that restaurant – yum!

  36. Sissi says:

    It sounds like a delicious homely, rich cake.

  37. Rum cake? Heavenly. This looks like a winning version.

  38. Stefanie says:

    This looks amazing! You have some wonderful ideas for how to make it even better! What about poking holes in the top so the glaze runs into the cake, too, or does it already soak in pretty well…

  39. Hey that is one great looking “bundt” ya got there. :-) I’m surprised that you guys didn’t take the opportunity to insert this video clip into the post: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwkafGx_IsA&feature=related

  40. Lisa says:

    Happy belated birthday, Greg. And Katherine, your bundt always looks nice.

  41. This is exciting! I had rum cake for the first time last summer and fell in love. It’s been on my to-bake list ever since!

  42. I love this! It looks so good and sounds even better. Absolutely love rum cake.

  43. Stef says:

    Happy Birthday Greg! Katherine, you are a sweetheart for seeking perfection in his special cake. :)

  44. aFrankAngle says:

    Rum cake is a fav – and fortunately is part of some family gatherings. Belated Happy Birthday Greg – and I miss my daily trips here. Don’t we hate it when work gets in the way of the good stuff!

  45. It is a beautiful bundt! I must get myself a bundt tin.

  46. Pingback: Sunday Suppers: Birthday Meals | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

  47. Pingback: Rum Cake | The Orange Bee

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