Homemade Rum Cake

Oh, rum cake...  I got a mini Tortuga rum cake a few weeks ago and I knew I had to make one of my own.  Most of the recipes I found called for using a box of yellow cake mix, but I was looking for a real homemade cake from scratch.
I tracked down a rum cake recipe here, picked up some rum, and got my bake on.

I started out by mixing flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

I then used my mixer to blend the butter and sugar together.  Now, the recipe called for unsalted butter, but I had *just* gone to the store and picked up salted butter, so that's what I went with.  Of course this made me curious about the difference between unsalted and salted butter, and I eventually found an interesting post that clarifies the issue.  Salted butter is more preserved, and therefore often not as fresh.  Also, it obviously has more salt and therefore more salt goes into whatever you're cooking. I'll have to keep that in mind next time I buy butter.

Once the butter and sugar were mixed and were fluffy, I added the flour mixture and let it mix.  Then I added the box of pudding mix.  The batter was the consistency of sand.

The next step was mixing the eggs, milk, rum, and vanilla.  I cleaned out the same bowl I had already used for the flour and re-used it.  Less dishes are always OK with me.  I opted for 2% milk instead of whole and used a spiced rum.

I added the egg mixture to the batter and mixed it thoroughly.

I then divided the batter into 2 greased and floured cake pans and placed them in the oven. If I were adding nuts as a topping, I would have put them in the pan before the batter, but I opted to skip it this time. I used cake pans instead of a Bundt pan because I don't own a Bundt pan yet!

After 30 minutes of baking, the cakes were ready.

I made the glaze over the stove and poured some of it on the bottom of the warm cake after it came out of the oven.

I flipped the cake onto a plate, poked holes throughout using a toothpick, and added the rest of the glaze.  Now that's an awesome looking rum cake.

The finished cake was amazing!  The fresh cake itself was fantastic but the rum glaze made it killer.  I almost couldn't believe I actually made something so awesome!  I have some set aside to share with my family and can't wait to get their verdict.  My husband ate a bit but it wasn't really his style...he isn't a fan of rum cakes in general so I wasn't offended.  Besides, that meant more for me. :)

Update:  My family pretty much demolished this cake and everyone said it was fantastic.  I even got a mini-bundt pan set so that next time, I can make several little cakes.  Now I just want to make more!

Homemade Rum Cake Recipe


For the Cake:
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup butter, at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons + ½ cup canola oil, divided
1   3.4-ounce package of instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
¾ cup 2% milk
¾ cup dark rum
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Rum Syrup:
¾ cup unsalted butter
1½ cups granulated sugar
¼ cup water
Pinch of salt
½ cup dark rum


Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a standard Bundt pan or two 9 inch cake rounds. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar and use a mixer to beat until it is light and fluffy.  Pour in the flour mixture and add 3 tablespoons of canola oil.  Mix for a few minutes until ingredients are combined; the mixture will be dry and have a sandy consistency. Add the pudding mix and continue to mix until combined.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, rum, ½ cup canola oil, and vanilla extract. Add the egg and milk mixture to the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Pour the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or into the cake pans and allow to cook for 30-35 minutes.  When the cake has a few minutes left to bake, start making the rum syrup. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. After it has melted, add the sugar and the water and boil for 5 minutes, stirring consistently.  Remove from heat and stir in rum, then return it to medium heat for about 30 seconds.  As soon as the cake is out of the oven, immediately pour about one-third of the rum syrup over the bottom of the cake. Pour slowly so it has time to seep into the cake. Let sit for 5 minutes, then flip the cake pan over onto a plate or platter. Poke lots of holes all over the cake using a fork or toothpick.  Slowly pour the remaining rum syrup over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. I had some overflow onto the plate and just used a spoon to pour it over the top again. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature and enjoy.  Wrap in plastic wrap to store.

The original post stated that this cake will last for up to 5 days.

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