Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
This recipe has a bit of a background. My mother used to make a wonderful cake called a Bonnie Butter Cake - the recipe is listed in the old orange Betty Crocker cookbook she gave me when I moved out of the house. However, upon trying to recreate this cake for my husband, I discovered a shocking secret - the recipe she uses for the frosting (arguably the best part of the cake) wasn't the one referenced by the recipe! It was too late in the day to call her and get the recipe, so I looked for other ideas. A slight adaptation of another frosting recipe for a Butter Rum Glaze led to my husband's announcement that this cake was possibly the best he'd ever eaten! Now I have a "secret" recipe of my own to share!
- 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
- 2⁄3 cup butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄4 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons rum (or rum flavoring)
- 1⁄3 cup butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons rum (or rum flavoring)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 1 -4 tablespoon hot water
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While waiting, grease and flour a 13x9 inch pan. You can also use two 9 inch pans or three 8 inch pans if you prefer a layer cake.
- Start with the cake ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla on low speed until the mixture begins to get fluffy. This usually takes two or three minutes if your butter is nice and soft.
- Beat the mixture on high speed (the highest your mixer will go!) for five minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl to ensure complete mixing. This step is very important; do not skip it to save time! It will make all the difference in the fluffiness of the cake. The mixture should be pale and resemble cheesecake filling by the time you are finished mixing.
- Beat in the flour, baking powder, salt and milk alternately on low speed. The mixture will thicken considerably as more flour is added. This is great for giving those arm muscles a workout!
- Add the rum or rum flavoring and give the mixture a final mix on low speed. You can add a little more rum if you're so inclined, but too much will ruin the consistency of the cake. Save it for the glaze or get yourself a drink!
- Pour the mixture into your pan(s).
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. For 13x9 pans this is approximately 45-50 minutes; for layers this is approximately 30-35 minutes.
- Let the cake cool while you make the glaze.
- Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until it is fully melted.
- Slowly add the rum or rum flavoring and the powdered sugar. Make sure you take the time to dissolve the sugar, it can take a few minutes to fully melt. The glaze should thicken considerably by the time the last of the sugar is added. You can add more rum than the amount listed if you're so inclined, but too much will cause consistency problems.
- If the glaze is too thick, add hot water one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you want. For this cake I prefer leaving it on the thicker side (1-2 tablespoons of water at the most) but it is a matter of personal taste.
- Add the nutmeg and cinnamon. These spices are optional, but they add a lot of character to the glaze and give it a flavor similar to a hot buttered rum - yum! Add more if you like this combination, the amounts listed are conservative for what my family in particular enjoys!
- Let the glaze cool for a minute or two and then pour it over the top of the cooled cake. Use a spatula or spoon to help make sure the cake gets fully covered if the glaze is on the thicker side. To really make sure the glaze gets into the cake, you can poke holes in the top of the cake with a fork before pouring - this will help the cake soak up the glaze.
- Let the cake sit for at least half an hour before serving. This will give the glaze time to harden up a little and become more like a smooth frosting than a wet glaze.
- Serve and enjoy! You can sprinkle a little extra nutmeg and cinnamon over the top for presentation, but I've found that the taste of the cake requires no bells and whistles to get attention! It may look and feel simple, but this is deceptive once you get a taste of what you've made.
I chose this recipe to make my first rum cake because it has half as much rum in it as there is in most other recipes. I wasn't sure, since I rarely drink alcohol and never rum, if I would like the taste of real rum in a cake. In the glaze the amount listed works. The glaze is gorgeous. But in the cake 2 T. simply isn't enough rum. Snide remarks by the recipe author aside, this recipe needs a bit more rum in the batter. If that would affect the texture maybe the use of extract in addition to real rum is in order? On the subject of extract, I don't think a person should substitute the same amount of rum flavoring for rum as suggested in the recipe. I use rum flavoring in whipped cream as I would vanilla extract. McCormick.com suggests 1/2 teaspoon Rum Flavor = 1 tablespoon light rum and 1 1/2 teaspoons Rum Flavor = 1 tablespoon dark rum. If the rum amount in the batter were increased this would be a solid 4.5 star cake. As written the recipe didn't quite do it for me. I'm sorry to leave a less than stellar review, but this is my honest opinion. I did have fun trying this cake. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
You've not made this? My dear, how DO you live with yourself? The spiced glaze makes this taste like a first cousin to a honey-bun, except better.