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Cooking Through "The Baker's Man": Rum Cake

Continuing with the adventure to cook my way through The Baker’s Man, today I bring you Chapter 2: Rum Cake.

Sometimes your best friend knows exactly what you need when your heart breaks like peanut brittle. Other times, a night of innocent encouraging turns into an accidental disaster in the kitchen, courtesy of a bottle of rum and an enchanted recipe.

Instead of Anna and Lily creating a deliciously sweet rum cake, the recipe causes something else entirely to pop out of the oven.

However, standing in for Lily last weekend was one of my best friends Tracey, and she and I managed to create a rum cake while she mixed amazing, homemade piña coladas.

Lily's Strawberry Piña Colada

Serves 2

Difficulty Level: Easy


6 oz coconut cream

10 oz pineapple juice

½ pint of strawberries, capped and sliced

3-4 oz white rum (optional)

How to Make

  1. Place coconut cream and pineapple juice in a blender. Mix well.

  2. Drop sliced strawberries into blender. Blend until smooth.

  3. Pour into two glasses.

  4. Add 1½-2 oz white rum into each glass. Stir well.

Rum Cake

Serves 10-12

Difficulty level: Moderate

Prep & Cook Time: 2 hours


For the Cake:

1 cup chopped walnuts 1¾ cups all-purpose flour ¼ cup cornstarch 4 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon kosher salt ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 1½ cups granulated sugar 3 tablespoons + ½ cup canola oil, divided 1 cup DIY instant vanilla pudding mix (or one 3.4-ounce package of instant vanilla pudding) 4 eggs ¾ cup whole milk ¾ cup dark rum 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Rum Syrup: 1 cup unsalted butter 1½ cups granulated sugar ¼ cup water Pinch of salt¾ cup dark rum

How to Make

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a standard Bundt pan (12-cup capacity). Sprinkle the chopped walnuts around the bottom; set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and the 3 tablespoons of canola oil, and mix on medium-low speed for a minute or two. The mixture should look like wet sand. Add the clear mix and mix again on medium-low speed until combined.

  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, rum, remaining ½ cup canola oil, and vanilla extract. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined, approximately 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. (The batter will be quite thin - this is good! It will be nice and moist!)

  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

  6. When the cake has approximately 10 minutes left to bake, start the rum syrup. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Once it is melted, add the sugar and the water. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and stir in the rum. Once it is mixed in, return it to medium heat for approximately 30 seconds. Don't overcook or sugar will cease up.

  7. When the cake comes 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 it sit for 5 minutes.

  8. Invert the cake onto a serving platter. Using a fork or a skewer, poke holes all over the cake - the top, sides, and around the inside. Don't be shy - all of the holes ensure that the rum syrup seeps into the cake evenly. Sloooooowly pour as much of the remaining rum syrup over the top of the cake as you like, allowing it to drip down the sides. You want to do this step very slowly so that the syrup actually seeps into the cake and doesn't just pool on the bottom of the serving dish. Note: I didn't use all of the sauce because it was very sweet and very heavy.

  9. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before serving. Leftovers can be kept, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Recipe adapted from: Always Order Dessert

The Baker's Man can be purchased in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon.

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