Are you familiar with the age old saying ‘have your rum, and eat it too’? No? Kindly allow us to elaborate…
Okay, so the true saying may go ‘have your cake, and eat it too’, but when we’re specifically talking about rum cake, we think our remix of the line is wonderfully apt! This season we’re teaching people far and wide how to make rum cake the old fashioned way, and sharing our favorite rum cake recipe to date.
Ready… set… bake!
Rum Cake: History and Origins
Not to be confused with tiramisu, rum cake is a household dessert in the Caribbean and Central and South American countries. The baked treat is said to have originated sometime during the 18th century, when British colonization was prevalent across the Pacific Islands.
The explorers would have brought with them recipes from home consisting of steamed fruit puddings and fruit cakes. The hot and humid climate of the Caribbean didn’t fend well for these recipes, and local chefs made attempts to come up with better preserved alternatives. This lead to an increase in the use both sugar and rum during baking and, inevitably, the rum cake was born!
What is the Best Rum for Baking Rum Cake?
Contrary to widespread belief, the best rum for baking is not cheap spirits — let’s get that small fact out in the open before we go any further. By simple logic, surely the best rum cake recipe deserves a premium rum to match.
Truth be told, the best rum for the job depends a lot on the baker and their personal flavor goals. What we mean by this is that if you’re more partial to a spicier, more full-bodied cake, then you need to use a rum that is both spicy and full-bodied! It’s simple math, and in this instance we would recommend none other than our Diplomático Mantuano.
If the desire is a more mellow cake that doesn’t necessarily have that potent spicy edge, a more golden rum will do the trick. Diplomático’s Reserva Exclusiva is a fabulous baking rum, if we do say so ourselves!
Staying true to the Caribbean origins, some seasoned bakers may opt for more fruity, light-bodied rum cake. White rum, like our Diplomático Planas, is right at home in the kitchen for this particular cake type.
So tell us, what’s your flavor?
Rum Cake Recipe
If you’re ready to make a rum cake, we’ve got your back. This recipe is a family heirloom of sorts and never ceases to delight even the harshest critics at the table. Exact measurements are important when making a rum cake, so do pay attention to detail, but remember rum is supposed to be fun — and we’re pretty sure cake is too!
- 1/2 cup of Diplomático Mantuano
- 1/2 cup of cold water
- 1/2 cup of canola oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 box vanilla cake mix
- 1 packet instant vanilla pudding
- 1 cup chopped pecan nuts
- 1tbs brown sugar
- 3/4 cup of Reserva Exclusiva
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
You already have all the ingredients ready, now follow the recipe!
- Preheat your oven to 325 F.
- Grease a bunt cake pan properly, and sprinkle nuts across the bottom with some brown sugar too.
- Combine all cake ingredients together and mix well until smooth.
- Pour into the pan and bake for 1 hour.
- To make the glaze, melt the butter in a saucepan and then stir in the water and sugar. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring nonstop so the mixture doesn’t burn.
- Turn off the heat and, gently, add the rum while stirring for another 30 seconds.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cake immediately (before removing it from the pan). Keep a small amount aside for later.
- After 5 minutes of allowing the glaze to soak in, invert the cake onto a serving dish of your choice. Use a fork to poke some holes across the cake surface, before pouring the remaining glaze over the top.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before serving!
Other Types of Rum Cakes Flavors
Just when you thought you had it all figured out, we’re going to let you in on another little industry secret: there are many, many different types of rum cake. Being such a easy breezy recipe, these cakes have proven to be experimental gems, even for novice bakers.
Pineapple Rum Cake
Taking Caribbean rum cake into a more fruity island realm, the pineapple rendition of this dessert is the perfect spring/summer treat. A pineapple rum cake calls for lighter ingredients and a quality white rum. Our Diplomático Planas was made for this cake!
In addition to the basic ingredients, one would add crushed pineapple, coconut milk and coconut oil to the mix.
Banana Rum Cake
Making a rum cake from scratch means you can get creative with whatever you have in the kitchen. Ripe bananas that are nearing expiry make for a great addition to any rum cake recipe, offering extra density to the usually light texture.
To make a banana rum cake, simply fold some mashed bananas into any existing recipe and consider adding some buttermilk instead of water!
Chocolate Rum Cake
Many would argue this to be the best rum cake variant of them all, and we probably wouldn’t object. A chocolate rum cake is perfect in any season and any occasion. Not convinced? Try adding refined cocoa powder, chocolate chips and chocolate glaze to any classic rum cake recipe. We’ll wait for the verdict…
Note: Opt for a less spicy rum, such as Reserva Exclusiva, to really allow the flavor of the chocolate to shine through!
Best Drinks to Pair With Rum Cake
What could pair better with a rum cake than a glass of the protagonist itself? Ironically, a glass of premium rum is perfectly complimentary to any rum-baked treat, as the aromas in one tend to stimulate the aromas of the other.
If you’re not all that partial to neat rums, we’ve got 5 winter rum cocktails in mind that would make for quite the dynamic duo alongside your cake. Lest we forget the other duo of the century, rum and coffee, and just how comforting a hot cup of joe is when served with a fresh baked cake!
To end the festive season we recommend going the extra mile. And if the past year has taught us anything, it’s that everyone has a budding baker in them somewhere (you saw what happened with banana bread!).
So here’s to having your rum, and eating it too!