We just got back from JoCoCruise Crazy IV … yes, the 4th edition of the cruise that inspired me to take my awesomeness and create everything you see here. We visited a couple familiar islands, including a second trip for us to Georgetown, Grand Cayman.
In the Caribbean, and especially the Cayman Islands, rum cakes are popular, with the most well-known brand being Tortuga Rum Cakes. While I didn’t sample any of the Tortuga cakes, Ray and I found a little rum cake stand in Georgetown and tried a few of their offerings (the coconut rum cake was divine!) And from there, I knew I wanted to bring a little piece of the Caribbean to all my taste testers.
I hunted around the Internet looking for a good recipe, and found a variety. I was a bit dismayed to see how many had you combining yellow cake mix and instant pudding (blech!), but I went with Brown Eyed Baker’s cake recipe—adapting it to include whole milk yogurt instead of pudding, and using almond meal instead of walnuts. As for the syrup, I found her recipe made a thick paste, so I went with King Arthur Flour’s rum syrup recipe, which yielded a syrup with a good pourable consistency.
This is an interesting cake, because so much of the process seems like it’s wrong. Leave the cake in the pan overnight? Pour tons of syrup on it? But it works … with the gentle help of a small offset spatula, I was able to free the cake from the pan without any rips or chunks pulled out.
To call this cake moist is an understatement … the crumb is so saturated with syrup that it looks completely solid. Yet, when you slice into it with your fork, it’s like slicing into warm butter—effortless.
Along with the main cake, I’ve made mini rum bundt cakes for a food swap I’m attending on Saturday (I’ll also be making mini gimlet cakes). I’ll be interested to see what other people think of them!
Heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and make sure the rack is centered in the oven.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.
Whisk the dry ingredients into a separate mixing bowl. Set aside.
Add 3 tbsp of oil to the butter and sugar, mixing to combine.
Gradually add the dry ingredients, then add the yogurt, mixing until combined.
In a large measuring cup (or mixing bowl), whisk the eggs, milk, rum, remaining oil and vanilla together.
With the mixer on low, slowly pour the wet mixture in.
Mix for an additional 2-3 minutes, and scrape down the bowl if necessary.
Spray the bundt pan with cooking spray and coat evenly with almond meal (if using).
Pour in the cake batter into the pan and bake for 65-70 minutes, until the cake is fragrant and springy to the touch.
When the cake has 10 minutes left to bake, make the rum soak.
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the sugar and water. Stir to combine.
Simmer for 5 minutes, constantly stirring. Then add the rum and simmer for 3-5 more minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Set aside until you take the cake out of the oven.
Once the cake has finished baking, place it on a cooling rack and let it cool for 5 minutes before spooning the rum soak slowly over the cake (while still in the pan).
Once you've used up the rum, cover the bundt pan with plastic wrap and let it cool overnight.
When you're ready to remove the cake from the pan, use an offset spatula or butter knife gently around the edges. Place a plate over the top of the pan, then gently flip everything over, so the cake rests on the plate.
Slice and enjoy. Wrap up and refrigerate any leftover cake.