When I started this blog I couldn’t imagine the directions my life would take. Two and a half years ago, I did a post on a semi-homemade rum cake and titled it “Shame on me” for being semi-homemade instead of from scratch. Rereading it, I feel like that’s the cake I should’ve made the other night. I was feeling bad because I’d found a fundamental problem in my research (still unresolved…) after wasting away my morning and before picking up the baby late from daycare because I’d forgotten an umbrella. So after putting the baby down and eating dinner, I decided to make a rum cake. During this time I was chatting with my husband and offhandedly asked him the last time he was proud of me. He said “I’m proud of your right now, you’re making that cake. You’re so capable.”
Hell yes I am capable! My research is stagnant; last time I timed myself it took me 13.5 minutes to run a mile; I keep not getting the oil changed on my car. BUT I’m trying research, I am active, and my baby is still alive. AND I made a rum cake.
Some days, you need pep talks from those who love you. Some days, you need to bake a cake.
I didn’t have a Bundt pan (we don’t know what happened to that old one but rum cake is the only thing I make in a Bundt pan so it seems silly to buy one), so I used a 13 x 9 pyrex instead. Generously grease and flour it, then sprinkle with nuts (I used peanuts do not do that. Use pecans or walnuts).
Then you make your doctored cake by adding pudding mix, an extra egg, and rum. Yum. This makes the cake a bit lighter and bouncier while somehow super moist (that’s the pudding mix).
I thought this label was hilarious on the box:
So then I took this picture:
Anyways, while that’s baking you can doodle around the house for half an hour, then make the glaze- it’s just butter + sugar, boil it, then add rum.
After the butter and sugar have boiled, turn off the heat. Make sure you use a deep sided pot, not a pan, because when you add the rum things get exciting and it fizzes up.
After the cake comes out of the oven, poke it all over with toothpicks or skewers, as much as you can until you get bored (so maybe 40 times?). Then drizzle half the glaze all over it. Wait a bit, invert the cake onto a plate or baking pan, and poke again + drizzle again. It’s great warm, but it’s awesome about 12 hours later, when the rum has soaked in a lot and everything is moist and rummy.
Buttery rum cake, adapted from allrecipes
1 c chopped nuts (I prefer pecans)
1 box yellow cake mix
1 box vanilla pudding mix
1/2 c each water, vegetable oil, rum
1/2 c each butter, rum, white sugar, brown sugar
1/4 c water
cake part: grease and flour a pan (Bundt if you have it, 13×9 if you don’t, two 8″ or 9″ rounds if you don’t have that either, if you don’t have those I’m not sure why you’re looking at a cake recipe) Sprinkle with nuts (toast if you so desire)
Whisk together cake mix and pudding, then add remaining cake ingredients and mix. Pour into pan, bake at 325 for one hour.
glaze part: fifteen minutes before cake is done, melt butter in a pot with sugars and water. Bring to a boil, constantly stirring. Take off the heat and stir in rum BE CAREFUL IT BUBBLES UP.
When cake is done, poke holes all over it. Dribble half the glaze over it. Carefully loosen sides of the cake from pan, then cover with a serving plate and invert the cake. Poke holes all over the nutted top half, and dribble remaining glaze all over it.