For me, the best edible gift, and maybe a most popular one, is a rum cake. Some make it using a cake mix (it is delicious), and some buy it (example, Tortuga Rum cakes). But here is my from scratch rum cake that all my friends ask me to make over and over. You can make it either in one 12 cup bundt pan (or an angel tube pan), or in two 6 cup bundt pans, or in about 12 mini bundt pans. You can wrap cake(s) with a transparent cellophane gift wrapping paper and tie with a colorful ribbon. The post office has made a lot of money with this cake which I have mailed to various friends within and outside the United States. —Regine
all purpose flour (not cake flour)
baking powder (equivalent to 1 tbsp)
1 1/2 cups
package (about 3 3/4 oz) Jello vanilla or French Vanilla pudding mix – but I have, by the way, made this cake a few times and with success without the pudding mix because I noticed last minute I did not have any.
milk (regular or 2%)
rum (My favorite is Haitian Barbancourt but is is also good with Appleton or Diplomatico)
vanilla extract (equivalent to 1 tbsp)
unsalted butter (equivalent to 1 stick, or 4 oz, or 8 tbsp). Use only real butter.
Preheat oven to 325°. Spray (I used a Baking Spray) one 12 cup bundt pan, or two 6 cup bundt pans, or twelve mini bundt pans.
In bowl (stand alone mixer), place all ingredients for cake and start mixing by hand; then continue beating with a stand alone cake mixer until all ingredients are well mixed (maybe 1 to 2 minutes). You may, however, choose to first beat the eggs separately before you dump all ingredients into bowl.
Pour batter into 12 cup bundt pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick/skewer inserted around the middle comes out clean. If using two 6 cup Bundt pans, it will take about 40 minutes. If using 12 mini Bundt pans, it will take less about 30 minutes or less. Cool for 15 minutes and invert cake onto a rack. Wash pan and place pan back on top of the cake by making sure the indented sides of the pan coincide with the cake's. Turn pan over so cake fits in nicely and then slowly pour the syrup all over the cake’s surface - on top of and around the cake. Leave cake in pan for about 1 hour or until all syrup is absorbed into cake and the top has dried up a bit. Unmold and serve (even better one day after) or wrap as an edible gift. See pictures. Note: If using 2 6 cup Bundt pans, or 12 mini Bundt pans, you will of course need to split the syrup accordingly.
For the Glaze:
Melt butter, sugar, and water in saucepan. Make sure sugar is totally dissolved (see SybilC’s review). Remove from heat and add rum. I like to use microwave instead but be careful because the mixture can easily boil and flow all over the microwave..