Last Updated on November 19, 2019 by Chef Mireille
Caribbean Rum Cake – This from scratch version of Caribbean Rum Cake is super soft and moist and drunk with rum – as it should be!
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I hope you have been enjoying all of the Caribbean Dessert Recipes this week. Caribbean people love lots of spices, coconut and rum. Most of our desserts have at least one and sometimes all of these ingredients in them.
This last Caribbean Dessert Recipe for the week usually makes an appearance only around the holidays. By the way, are you hosting the family holiday dinner this year? Don’t forget to download my FREE PARTY PLANNING GUIDE at the bottom of this post to help you have a stress free holiday event!
Rum in the Caribbean
Although rum is also produced in India & the Philippines, most rum is produced in the Caribbean. Every island has it’s own brand with the locals being extremely loyal to their country’s brand. Some of the larger islands even have 2 or 3 brands.
All Caribbean islands have large sugarcane plantations. Sugar is one of the major GDP in most of the Caribbean except on islands like Aruba, which is a tropical desert.
Distilled from sugarcane, rum began to be produced in the 17th century when the slaves discovered that molasses, a by product of sugar refining, could be fermented into alcohol.
Since then, it is a vital part of our culture and cuisine. From this type of rum cake to Black Cake to Rum Punch to Kremas (eggless eggnog), no party is complete without some food or drink made with rum. My mom never made a single cake without adding 1-2 tablespoons of rum.
The first alcoholic drink I ever had was Rum Punch. When we were kids maybe around age 12 or 13, they started letting us have very small portions of Rum Punch for special occasions, although diluted with a lot of ice.
Tortuga Rum Cake
Today’s rum cake is totally different. This cake is not simply infused with rum flavor so that you just get a slight aftertaste. This cake is drunk with rum, literally, as the methodology involves feeding the cake with a rum glaze after it has been baked.
If you have ever travelled to the Caribbean, you may have purchased a Tortuga Rum Cake from the duty free shop prior to departing. It is quite famous, although to be honest, I have never had one.
When I visit the Caribbean, I am usually so filled with delicious home cooking from my family that I am not usually looking for cakes when I am getting ready to leave.
However, I was at a food festival a few weeks ago when I tasted this type of Rum Cake and I knew I had to figure out how to replicate it. The vendor was so nice and explained to me how she made it.
You will find many versions of this cake recipe online and in Caribbean cookbooks, however most of them use vanilla pudding mix in the batter. I always try to cook with natural products whenever possible, so I wanted to come up with a from scratch version but that would still have the moist and tender crumb.
I think I succeeded as the people I shared this cake with couldn’t stop raving about it and now I have been requested to make this for a few people for Christmas.
This cake is so soft and moist and drunk with rum. It is like a rum cocktail in cake form!
TYPES OF RUM
There are basically three types of rum, depending on how long it has been aged – white, amber or dark. I used amber rum in this recipe, but you can use whichever you have about. Some people also mix and may use half white and half dark when making it.
Don’t drink alcohol?
You can use this same methodology, but use juice instead to make intensely flavored fruit cakes. Use mango juice or papaya or guava to at least keep it along the tropical themes from the Caribbean!
Travel to the Caribbean
I hope with all this talk of rum and the delicious recipes you saw this week, you have been inspired to plan your next vacation to the Caribbean. Looking for ideas? How about Dominica? With its unspoiled beauty, it is a great destination for nature lovers!
Now let’s get to this delicious recipe! Here are some tips to make sure you achieve the perfect Caribbean Rum Cake (no pudding version)
Caribbean Rum Cake Cooking Tips
Don’t be afraid when you see the feeding glaze go almost to the top of the cake pan.
Within 2-3 minutes, the cake will have absorbed all of the liquid.
After the glaze has been absorbed, wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Don’t cut the cake until the next day. This will seal in all of the rum flavor.
The next day the cake will be so soft and spongy!
If you like the flavor of rum, you will LOVE THIS CAKE!
Caribbean Rum Cake (no pudding version)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a springform pan with non stick spray.
- Sprinkle chopped nuts on bottom of pan (if using).
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, milk powder, baking powder, cornstarch, salt and sugars. Mix to combine.
- In a small bowl, combine oil, eggs, rum and vanilla extract.
- Add to dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
- Transfer to prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Turn off oven and leave cake in oven for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine butter, salt, sugar and water.
- Cook on medium high heat until the butter melts. Boil for 2 minutes.
- Add rum and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Let cake rest for 5 minutes.
- With a rubber spatula, go around the perimeter of the cake, making sure it is not sticking anywhere.
- Pierce cake all over with a toothpick.
- Pour rum glaze over cake and wait 2-3 minutes until the cake has absorbed all of the liquid.
- Remove the sides of the springform pan.
- Flip cake over onto a plate.
- Using a rubber spatula, carefully remove the bottom of the cake pan.
- Wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, using 2 plates to flip the cake back and forth until it is properly wrapped.
- On the next day, unwrap and cake, slice and enjoy!
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