Rum Cake

For years, my mom would make rum cake using the Bacardi recipe, which called for a box of yellow cake mix instead of making the whole thing from scratch. Given my culinary expertise, I’m the type of girl who likes to make almost everything from scratch. Thus, the search began for a recipe that would eliminate the use of the cake mix, yet still taste delicious. While I did find a couple, this one worked extremely well, and, although I altered a few ingredients, it was still scrumptious. And granted this recipe is somewhat tedious, it is more than worth it when it’s all done.

1/2 cup walnuts, crushed
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (one stick) butter, softened
3 Tbsp canola oil
1-3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 - 3.4-oz. packages instant vanilla pudding
3/4 cups milk
4 eggs
3/4 cups dark rum
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. applesauce

Rum Syrup:
1/2 cup (one stick) butter
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dark rum

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease and flour bottom of angel food cake pan. Sprinkle crushed walnuts into the bottom of the pan and set aside.In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream the 1-1/2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup of butter. Add the canola oil, flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt, combining until evenly distributed (mixture will look like fine crumbs). Mix in the pudding mixes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, rum, vanilla and applesauce. Add to the dry mixture and mix well until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour or until it passes the toothpick test. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack. Let cool for another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the rum syrup: In a large saucepan with high sides, combine the butter, water sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until the butter completely melts and the sugar dissolves. Let the mixture reduce slightly, keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over. Remove from heat and stir in the rum (it will bubble). Poke holes in the top and sides of cake with a toothpick or fork. Pour about 1/3 of the rum syrup all over the top of the cake and let absorb for about 30 minutes. Pour another 1/3 of the syrup over the cake and allow to absorb for another 30 minutes. Pour the remaining syrup over the top and allow to absorb (or simply drink the rest of it … it makes a delicious hot buttered rum). Let the syrup soak into the cake for at least 10 hours or overnight. Enjoy!


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