Rum cakes are a favorite in my family and they can always be found on our table at Christmas. They are usually decorated with piped whipped cream, maraschino cherries, peeled grapes, and dusted in powdered sugar. They can be made to look like Christmas wreaths and they almost always have nuts. This recipe is inspired by my mom, who absolutely loves rum cakes. This is one of the baked goods I remember her making the most when I was a kid. The rum flavor didn't really appeal to me back then so I always avoided it. What a shame.
I wanted to add a little twist to the traditional rum cake so I added the ingredients you would find in a Cuban cocktail, the Mojito. This drink is made with rum, mint, club soda, sugar and lime juice. Even if you don't like rum cakes you should give this a try. The cake portion of the recipe does not taste boozy once it's been baked. The glaze tastes a little rumy but you could always substitute water for rum if you don't like the taste of alcohol in your food. Matt prefers this cake without the glaze, and it is certainly moist enough without the glaze if you want to skip that part all together.
There's something about the very bottom of this cake, the part that you slice off so it will sit flat on the cooling rack, that just tastes incredible. Trust me, it's the best part.
For the cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- juice and zest of two limes
- 10 fresh mint leaves, chopped finely
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp, plus more for pan
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup white rum
For the glaze
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp white rum (optional - you can substitute with water here)
- juice from 1/2 lime
Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter and flour a nonstick Bundt pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, lime zest, mint, baking soda and salt, set aside. Using a stand or electric mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar together until well combined. Add eggs one at a time to the mixture then the vanilla and lime juice. Beat in the mixer for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture no longer looks grainy.
In a separate bowl, stir the rum and sour cream together. With the mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture in three parts and sour cream/rum mixture in two to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated, otherwise your batter will be over mixed and your cake will be tough. Pour mixture into the floured Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick in the center of the cake that comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes and gently invert the cake onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Gently prick all over with a skewer or fork so it can absorb some of the glaze.
To make the glaze, heat the powdered sugar and rum to dissolve the sugar and tame the rum flavor a bit. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and allow to cool slightly. Drizzle the glaze over the cake, garnish with mint leaves and lime zest and serve.