Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Merry Wife's Completely Non-Authentic Bermuda Rum Cake

Rum Cake on Johnson Bros. Rose Chintz platter.
Several years ago, my sister and her husband went to Bermuda for their honeymoon. When they returned, she raved about the pink sand, the Dark 'N' Stormy cocktails, and (best of all) the Bermuda Rum Cake.

The cake apparently has its origins in the Christmas plum pudding. As far as I can tell, it's a boozy Bundt cake made with dark-as-molasses rum. I've been tempted to order the real thing online from one of the several bakeries specializing in this cake, but so far, have just resorted to making my own. It's quite possible that I have completely misinterpreted the essence of the Bermuda Rum Cake, much like the medieval illustrator who, after hearing a description of an elephant, drew this strange looking monster:

Either way, it's a great excuse for me to break out a bottle of Gosling's Black Seal Rum.

Here's the recipe.

Ingredients for Cake

1/2 lb. butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups light brown sugar (packed)
5 large eggs
5 oz. evaporated milk
1/2 cup dark rum
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Ingredients for Glaze

1/4 lb. butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup rum


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening. Gradually add the brown sugar while beating at medium speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended.

Stir together the evaporated milk and rum in a bowl. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternately beat in the flour and milk mixtures to the butter and shortening, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in the vanilla.

Grease and flour a 10-inch (12-cup) Bundt pan. Scatter pecans at the bottom of the pan. Pour in the batter. Give the pan a good tap on the counter to make sure that the batter has settled.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, remove the cake from the pan to the rack. Let the cake cool for 45 minutes.

For the glaze, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the water and sugar. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from heat and carefully stir in the rum.

Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a thin skewer, chopstick, or carving fork (the pecans will help disguise the holes). Slowly spoon glaze over the cake.* It will take several minutes for the glaze to soak in, so pour on a little at a time. Continue until all the glaze is used.

*Merry Husband suspects that superior results may be accomplished by injecting most of the glaze into the cake before pouring the rest over the top. So far, his theory remains untested.


  1. If that is your cake, it looks yummy. Of course I am dessert free for a week so even flan would have some appeal. The only things I have ordered on line, yes I am lazy and have ordered several, are the cheeses from Pastoral and the fois gras from D'artagnans.

    1. That's it! Just came out of the oven a couple of hours ago. It's very tasty, if I do say so myself. My deepest sympathy to you for the lack of desserts. You've been kicking ass with your challenges though, so I'm sure all your hard work is paying off!

  2. Love this! I have never seen that illustration and that has totally made my day!

  3. This sounds so deliciously moist and it looks so impressive too. The illustration made me smile too!

    1. A lovely surprise to see that you are my newest follower - thank you very much! I've just been enjoying your previous posts and I'm pleased to be following your blog too!

  4. Interesting. With shortening (or, traditionally here, suet) it does sound much like a pudding. But the addition of condensed milk is definitely not something I've seen before!

    It looks yum.

    1. I am completely intimidated by suet for some reason. It ends this year - I'm making a mince pie this winter, damnit.

  5. You can buy dried suet in packets here. It looks just like white hundreds-and-thousands (do you have those?). I have yet to try baking with real honest-to-goodness perinephric fat ...


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