Serves a Crowd

Buttered Rum Cake

November 30, 2020
0 Ratings
Photo by ButterSugarFlowers
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • makes a 9 x 13" cake
Author Notes

Relaxed, warming and buttery, this cake is a nod to a hot buttered rum that soothed me on a chilly evening. Delightfully crispy on one side and subtly gooey on the other, the soft sheet cake offers not only an incredible symphony of textures, but also a whisper of citrus and spice. Its warm rum imparts a undertone of spirits that’s both calming and captivating, with just enough presence that some tasters won’t quite distinguish it, while others will relish in recognizing it. One part rich indulgence, one part casual treat, buttered rum snacking cake is the best of many worlds in one. This recipe first appeared on my web site, —ButterSugarFlowers

What You'll Need
  • For the cake
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened; plus more to grease pan
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum or spiced rum
  • finely grated zest of one orange
  • For the rum soak
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup dark rum or spiced rum
  • 2 - 3 dashes salt (omit if butter is salted)
  1. Place one oven rack on the lowest rung, and one at the center or a little higher. (The partial baking time on the lower rung helps create a crisp sugar layer.) Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13″ pan, then line the bottom with parchment, and grease the top of the parchment. Sprinkle the buttered parchment evenly with the turbinado sugar, being sure to get it all the way to the edges. Set pan aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cup of butter and the sugars until pale and fluffy. Keep beating as you add the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Over the butter mixture, sift: flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and cinnamon. Begin to mix, gradually adding buttermilk and rum as you stir, stopping and scraping down sides of bowl with spatula very often. Just when batter is smooth and even, fold in the zest until evenly distributed.
  3. Gently spread batter into sugared pan, without pulling upward (you don’t want to move the turbinado sugar much). Set filled pan on the low rack in oven and bake for 20 minutes, then quickly and carefully move cake to upper rung (at center or a little higher); bake for about 12-15 minutes. Check cake’s center with a toothpick; when cake is done, toothpick will come out free of wet batter (a few moist crumbs are OK). Cake will be golden, domed and fragrant. Remove from oven.
  4. Immediately make the buttered rum soak. In a small saucepan, heat all ingredients over low/medium heat, stirring occasionally and heating just until the sugar dissolves and butter is melted. Do not boil or overheat.
  5. Use a skewer to poke numerous holes evenly all over the warm cake, being sure to go to edges. Use a pastry brush to generously paint the rum soak all over the cake. It might seem like too much sauce, but after three or four rounds of brushing and occasionally re-poking with the skewer, the sauce will be all used up and the cake will not get soggy. Let cake cool in pan at room temperature until no longer warm to the touch.
  6. When ready to serve, loosen sides of cake with a knife, then invert it onto a cookie sheet or large cutting board, and carefully remove the parchment. If you wish, feel free to carefully transfer cake back into the 9 x 13 pan. Slice and enjoy each crackly-topped, gooey-bottomed bite. It's excellent when gently heated. Store cooled cake tightly covered at room temperature; do not chill.
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