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Quadruple Rum Cake

Quadruple Rum Cake

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Makes 1 cake (8 to 12 pieces).
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from an Internet recipe.

This rum cake is strong with rum. The first time I ate it I told my friend, “It burns a little going down.” This is a scratch cake. Having a good formula and method of preparation for making scratch cakes is always an excellent addition to your kitchen library of recipes.

Equipment Needed: A large Bundt pan, preferably cast aluminum with a nonstick surface, 10 to 15 cups.


For the Cake:
½ cup (85g) crushed walnuts
1½ cups (312g) granulated sugar
½ cup (113g) butter; softened, at room temperature
3 tablespoons + ½ cup (118ml) cooking oil (corn, canola, grapeseed, or vegetable); divided
1¾ cup (7½ ounces / 213g) all-purpose flour or cake flour
¼ cup (21g) corn starch
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (200g) instant vanilla pudding mix, or make your own mix (see below)
¾ cup (175ml) whole milk
4 large eggs
¾ cup (175ml) dark rum
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Rum Syrup:
½ cup (113g) butter or clarified butter
½ cup (118ml) water
¾ cup (156g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup (118ml) dark rum
For the Caramel Rum Sauce:
½ cup (85g) brown sugar
½ cup (100g) sugar
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup (118ml) heavy cream
3 tablespoons dark rum
For the Topping:
1 cup heavy cream (double or even triple these proportions for a large crowd)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
To Make Your Own Pudding Base:
¾ cup nonfat dry milk powder
¾ cup cornstarch
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt


Grease, or spray with nonstick cooking spray, and flour the Bundt pan, tapping out excess flour. Crush the walnuts, if not already crushed, to the consistency of bread crumbs. Scatter them evenly into the bottom of the Bundt pan. Set aside until needed.

Heat the oven to 325°F (about 165°C).

Using either a mixer or a medium bowl and spatula, cream the sugar and butter together until smooth and homogeneous. Add 3 tablespoons of oil, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Combine until well blended. Add the pudding mix powder and combine. The mixture will have the consistency of bread crumbs or corn meal.

In a separate bowl, using either a mixer or a whisk, combine together the eggs, milk, rum, vanilla extract, and the ½ cup of oil. Blend well. Add the dry mixture and combine completely. The batter should be smooth and thin, easy to pour.

Pour the batter into the Bundt pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. (I use a digital thermometer and aim for an internal temperature of 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C)).

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Then invert the pan onto the cooling rack to release the cake and let cool for an additional 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, wash and dry the Bundt pan. You’ll need it again.

While the cake cools, prepare the rum syrup by combining the butter, water, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring often, to reduce the volume. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum.

Place the clean Bundt pan over the cooled cake and again invert the cake back into the pan. Slowly pour hot syrup over the cake, letting it soak into the cake. You can assist this step by piercing the cake all around the top with something wider than a toothpick, such as the probe of a digital thermometer or a skewer. A meat carving fork with round tines would suffice.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours. It does not need to be refrigerated. (I turned the cake over after a few hours to let the syrup distribute more evenly.)

To make the caramel sauce, heat the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and water in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Watch carefully to observe the color. It should start to darken around the edges. Alternatively, you can use a candy thermometer and heat to 350°F (175°C). This is hot. It will smell like it’s starting to burn. For a lighter sauce, cook to only 300°F (150°C). Meanwhile, heat the cream until warm but not hot. Remove the hot syrup from the heat and, using a wooden spoon or wire whisk, stir vigorously to keep the sugar from burning. Whisk in the cream (caution: it will boil up violently) and butter. Continue whisking until blended and smooth (no solid sugar). If the sugar congeals in the whisk and/or refuses to dissolve, stir the pan over medium heat until dissolved. Add the rum and whisk until blended. Set aside, covered, and allow to cool until warm. It can be warmed later if made ahead.

Before serving, whip the heavy cream and sugar in a mixer to form soft peaks. Add the rum and gently fold into the cream with a spatula.

To serve, slice a wedge of cake and arrange on a serving plate. Spoon some of the flavored cream over the top. Finally, drizzle caramel sauce over the cream and pool a little sauce onto the plate around the cake.

Rum in the cake batter, rum in the syrup, rum in the whipped cream, and rum in the caramel sauce make this a “quadruple” rum cake.