Friday, March 1, 2013

Rum Cake

Linda and Ester
My family and I recently took a trip to Florida to visit some dear friends. During our trip our friends graciously shared favorite recipes and gave us a taste of the types of food they enjoy in their region. The wanted our visit to be a culinary treat, which it was. They introduced us to a shrimp boil, New Orlean's food with a Mardi Gras dinner party (King Cake and all), good fried chicken and my favorite: rum cake. I had never tried rum cake before. When I tried it I wondered where it had been all of my baking life. Rum cake can be kind of involved, but this recipe is SO easy. Every time I make this cake it reminds of that awesome trip. That trip was so special and we are so blessed to have such amazing friends! The Mardi Gras party was so fun with beads and all. Ester was such a sweet lady who taught me all about " Loo-siana" food and how to make the best brown roux. It was great to meet her and chat about food. What an experience to remember! Thanks to Linda for the amazing cake recipe. I wish that I could take credit for it. :)

Mardi Gras decor

Linda tells me that deep down inside I'm really a Southern girl that got geographically relocated. I love Southern food, the hospitality and the people. Florida will always feel like my second home. And can you believe the view? My. Favorite.

Florida Beach

This cake is SO good. It's dense, moist, and the brown sugar gives it a delicious caramel taste. If you are worried about baking with alcohol, you can boil the rum for the cake until you smell the alcohol burn off (3-5 minutes) and then fill up the measuring cup with water to get to 1/2 C. The glaze is also boiled so the alcohol will burn off and just the rum flavor remains. The pecans are also a nice compliment to the rum and brown sugar flavor. I also love that the top of the bundt cake gets caramelized. We all fight over who gets to eat the top. I hope you enjoy this cake. It's a crowd-pleaser and I get so many requests to make this cake and it's usually the first dessert to get gobbled up. I always buy 3 or 4 cake mixes and boxes of pudding at a time so that if I need a quick dessert for company or a pot-luck I have all the ingredients on-hand.

Here's what you need:

-(1) Duncan Hines Butter Golden cake mix (not the standard yellow cake mix)
-(1) 3.4 oz. instant vanilla pudding (not prepared)
-1/2 C. oil (I used canola, but you could also use veggie or melted coconut oil)
-1/2 C rum (I used Bacardi because it was on sale. Just get regular, not spiced)
-1/2 C water
-3 eggs
-1 C. pecans, coarsely chopped

*High altitude bakers: add 1/3 C flour to mixture.

-1 C brown sugar
-1/2 C butter
-1/2 C rum
-1/4 C water
-1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

-1/2 pint whipping cream
-3 TBS powdered sugar
-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
-sprinkle of cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 degrees if you are using a dark-colored pan) or 325 degrees for sea-level bakers. Grease and flour a bundt pan.

2. Combine all ingredients except for nuts in a medium mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer until well incorporated. Pour batter into bundt pan.

3. Sprinkle the top with pecans and lightly push the pecans into the batter.

4. Bake about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Sea-level bakers: bake 50-55 minutes at 325 degrees.

5. While cake is baking make the glaze. Combine sugar, butter, rum, water and vanilla in a medium skillet (gives more surface area for alcohol evaporation). Boil for 4-5 minutes or until you smell the alcohol burn off.

6. After cake is baked, remove from oven and allow it to stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Poke holes in the cake with a knife and then pour glaze over top of cake. Allow to stand at least 15-20 minutes (or longer if you wish) and loosen the sides of cake from the pan with a knife. Turn the cake out on to your serving platter.

7. Pour whipping cream into a medium mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Stir in vanilla and powdered sugar.

Cut cake and serve with fresh whipped cream and sprinkle cream lightly with ground cinnamon.

This was my first cake. The whipped cream idea came when I made my second cake.
It was eaten too quickly before I could take a picture of it. :)

Enjoy and Happy Baking!

Here's the printable recipe.

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