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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Italian Rum Cake Recipe
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    Italian Rum Cake

    Italian Rum Cake. Photo by Chef #483004

    1/7 Photos of Italian Rum Cake

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    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    2 hrs

    1 hr

    1 hr

    Dee514's Note:

    Italian Rum Cake is a delicious 3 or 4 layer cake, which is a tradition for birthdays/special occasions in many Italian families. There are 3 basic parts to the cake; sponge cake layers, pasticciera cream (filling) and (stabilized) whipped cream. Below are the recipes for all three parts. If you make it with 3 layers, omit the whipped cream layer. The sponge cake and pasticciera creams may be made a day ahead. The whipped cream should be whipped just before assembling the cake. Prep/Cook times do not include the 3-4 hour chilling time for the pasticciera cream. PLEASE NOTE: This is an egg leavened cake! The egg yolks and whites MUST be beaten to the correct volume and consistency or the recipe will not work. Also, the other ingredients must be folded in (beaten WHITES folded INTO the YOLK/sugar mixture NOT the other way around) in the order given in the directions or the cake will not turn out. The finished layers will be thin depending on the size of your pan. The smaller the pan, the thicker the layers and the longer the baking time needed. If you are expecting this cake to turn out like a "Génoise or American sponge cake," you will be disappointed as this is not a Génoise sponge recipe.

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    Ingredients:

    Serves: 12

    Yield:

    Cake

    Units: US | Metric

    Italian Sponge Cake Pan di Spagna

    • 5 egg yolks
    • 5 egg whites
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1 1/4 cups pastry flour, sifted
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind (optional)

    Italian Pastry Cream Pasticciera Cream

    Chocolate Pasticciera Cream

    Rum Syrup

    • 1/4 cup dark rum (light rum may be used in place of dark) or 1 tablespoon rum flavoring (light rum may be used in place of dark)
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 1/2 cup sugar

    Corn Syrup Method

    Gelatin Method

    Directions:

    1. 1
      Italian Sponge Cake (Pan di Spagna):.
    2. 2
      Place egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until very thick and lemon colored (mixture should be at least doubled in volume, and thick like frosting - it can take up to 15 minutes (or longer with a hand mixer) of beating to reach the proper volume/texture) .
    3. 3
      Add flour, a little at a time, gently folding it in until well blended.
    4. 4
      Gently fold in vanilla and lemon rind (if using it).
    5. 5
      Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into cake mixture.
    6. 6
      Butter and flour an 18-inch square (or a 9 x 13 x 3, or a 11 x 17 x 2-inch half-sheet) cake pan, (make sure pan size will fit your oven; you could also use three 8 or 9-inch layer pans).
    7. 7
      Pour cake batter into prepared pan(s) and bake at 375°F for 15 to 35 minutes (depending on your oven and the volume of your pans.), or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
    8. 8
      Remove cake from oven and turn out (of pan) onto a cake rack to cool completely.
    9. 9
      Cake can be tightly wrapped and refrigerated overnight, or frozen (up to 3 weeks) for future use.
    10. 10
      Italian Pastry Cream (Pasticciera Cream): Place sugar, egg yolks, flour, lemon rind (if using it), and vanilla in a sauce pan and mix together well.
    11. 11
      In a separate sauce pan, scald milk.
    12. 12
      Very slowly pour milk over egg yolk mixture, in a thin stream, beating constantly with rotary beater.
    13. 13
      Continue cooking on low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture reaches the boiling point.
    14. 14
      Cook 4 minutes longer, stirring constantly.
    15. 15
      Remove pan from heat, add butter and mix well.
    16. 16
      Pour into bowl and let cool, stir occasionally to prevent skin from forming over the top.
    17. 17
      If using as a filling, chill (with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming) until very thick (about 3-4 hours).
    18. 18
      Chocolate Pasticciera Cream: Place sugar, egg yolks flour, and vanilla in a sauce pan and mix together well.
    19. 19
      In a separate sauce pan, scald milk.
    20. 20
      Very slowly pour milk over egg yolk mixture, in a thin stream, beating constantly with rotary beater.
    21. 21
      Continue cooking on low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture reaches the boiling point.
    22. 22
      Cook 4 minutes longer, stirring constantly.
    23. 23
      Add chocolate and while stirring, cook 1 minute longer.
    24. 24
      Remove pan from heat, add butter and mix well.
    25. 25
      Pour into bowl and let cool, stir occasionally to prevent skin from forming over the top.
    26. 26
      If using as a filling, chill (with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming) until very thick (about 3-4 hours).
    27. 27
      Rum Syrup*: Mix together the water, sugar, and rum in a small pot.
    28. 28
      Bring to a boil, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
    29. 29
      Remove from the heat and cool before using.
    30. 30
      *NOTE:If you prefer not to use rum syrup, you may sprinkle/brush cake layers with 1/3 cup rum which has been diluted with 1/4 cup water.
    31. 31
      Stabilized Whipped Cream - Corn Syrup Method: In a large chilled bowl, with chilled beaters, beat cold cream until it just starts to thicken.
    32. 32
      Add corn syrup and vanilla from the side of the bowl, and beat until stiff peaks form.
    33. 33
      Stabilized Whipped Cream - Gelatin Method: Prepare gelatin- Soak plain gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes.
    34. 34
      Dissolve by placing it in a container over a small pot of simmering water, stir until dissolved.
    35. 35
      Set aside to cool before using.
    36. 36
      In a large well-chilled bowl, with well chilled beaters, beat cream with electric mixer.
    37. 37
      Just before it becomes soft and billowy, slowly add the sugar and vanilla to the whipped cream at the sides of the bowl, continue to whip as you do.
    38. 38
      Whip the cream until barely stiff.
    39. 39
      Add melted and cooled gelatin all at once to cream during whipping.
    40. 40
      Stop whipping when cream forms soft peaks.
    41. 41
      Finish beating with whisk to adjust consistency to stiff peaks.
    42. 42
      Use/serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed.
    43. 43
      If peaks have softened during refrigeration, rewhip by hand using a whisk.
    44. 44
      Rum Cake Assembly Instructions: Slice sponge cake in half to form two 9 x 18-inch layers Using a long, thin bladed knife, cut/split each layer in half lengthwise making four thin 9 x 18-inch layers.
    45. 45
      Place bottom sponge layer on platter cut side up, sprinkle/brush with about 1/4 of the rum, be careful not to get the cake too wet, or layers will become soggy.
    46. 46
      Allow sprinkled/brushed rum to soak into the cake for about 5 minutes.
    47. 47
      Sprinkle/brush remaining sponge layers (on the cut side) evenly with remaining rum.
    48. 48
      Spread a layer of vanilla pasticciera cream on the first sponge layer.
    49. 49
      Top the vanilla cream layer with another layer of rum sprinkled sponge cake.
    50. 50
      Spread a layer of stabilized whipped cream on the second sponge layer.
    51. 51
      Top the whipped cream layer with another layer of rum sprinkled sponge cake.
    52. 52
      Spread a layer of chocolate pasticciera cream on the third sponge layer.
    53. 53
      Top the chocolate layer with the last layer of sponge cake.
    54. 54
      Frost the top sponge cake layer (and sides of cake, optional) with remaining stabilized whipped cream.
    55. 55
      Cover and refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
    56. 56
      Refrigerate any leftovers.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on March 21, 2011

      25

      The cake came out awesome. My family loved it. However, it took 6 hours to make it. The pudding mixtures were too watery for the cake. I had to transport the cake & knew that the pudding mixture would be everywhere. I added 2 Tbsp. extra of flour and added 1 tsp of knox gelatin. I also thought, too many steps for a cake. Boiling a separate pan of milk was not nescessary. Also, two TBSP. of cold water for the gelatin mixture to put in the whipped creme made it more difficult. two TBSP. of hot water would be better.

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on September 26, 2010

      55

      I made this for my brother's birthday and he could not have been happier. I read all the comments and followed the recipe and it was nothing but perfection! This is not a cake to tackle in one day. Doing it in stages is much simpler and allowed me to concentrate on each component of the cake. I was somewhat frightened making the sponge cake! I beat the sugar and yolks for 20 min, no problem. Whipped egg whites, again no problem. It was when I combined the yolk and sugar with the flour that I became scared. It came together like cookie dough and I though how am I going to get the egg whites mixed in? I persevered and it came out beautifully. I baked two cakes in springform pans that were greased well and I also used parchment on the bottoms. This cake is not like a traditional American/genoise sponge cake. It is heavier and has a denseness to it to absorb the rum. I will certainly be making this cake again and again. Thank you to whomever posted this recipe : ) I took some pics and will add those as well...

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on April 19, 2007

      35

      I made this cake, and I don't see how anyone got good results with the method directed to make the sponge cake. Mixing the eggs with the sugar AND the flour (which should be CAKE flour, by the way, not PASTRY flour) makes a heavy sticky paste which cannot be folded into the egg whites while retaining their volume. I went ahead and gamely tried, but the cake came out tough and did not rise properly. I tried again using this method and it worked beautifully: Beat egg yolks with 1T lemon juice. Add 3/4 c. sugar and beat til well blended. Beat whites to soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar to the whites and beat until stiff, not dry. Stir 1/4 of the whites mixture into the egg mixture to lighten it, then spoon remaining egg whites over egg mixture. Sift cake flour on top, and gently fold all together to blend. This mixing method will give you a lighter sponge cake. Also, I found that making ONE recipe of the Pasticciera Cream is more than sufficient to fill the cake. Make the vanilla recipe, and after you add the butter, divide the mixture in half, and add 1 oz. chocolate to one-half the mixture. Lots less trouble! Other than those changes, this recipe makes a wonderful traditional cake that is perfect for any celebration! My daughter loved the one I made for her birthday! It's worth the effort.

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No

    Read All Reviews (22)

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    Nutritional Facts for Italian Rum Cake

    Serving Size: 1 (270 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 12

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 657.9
     
    Calories from Fat 362
    55%
    Total Fat 40.3 g
    62%
    Saturated Fat 23.9 g
    119%
    Cholesterol 274.0 mg
    91%
    Sodium 115.0 mg
    4%
    Total Carbohydrate 64.0 g
    21%
    Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
    4%
    Sugars 45.5 g
    182%
    Protein 10.2 g
    20%

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