I’ve actually had a Bermudian rum cake in Bermuda, but I’d never made my own until now. This one is from The Greyston Bakery Cookbook. It’s similar to a holiday cake that gets soaked in a liquor-filled glaze only this is much simpler. In this case, you only apply the glaze once rather than several times over days or weeks, and the cake batter is one of the easiest ever to whisk together. The rum and orange juice and zest in the cake and the finely chopped pecans that end up coating it give it fantastic flavor before the rum glaze is even applied. Rum cakes that are soaked multiple times can end up tasting very boozy and I do quite like the taste of rum, but it’s not overwhelming here. In the glaze, the rum melds with melted butter and brown sugar into a lovely butterscotch with just a hint of rum. Soaking the cake with the glaze also extends the life of the cake. It gets better as it sits, and it lasts a few days longer than it would otherwise. To gild each serving a bit more, I whipped cream with Grand Marnier to top the cut pieces.
This simple whisked batter started with flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt being combined in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, milk, orange juice, vegetable oil, eggs, orange zest, and rum were whisked together and then added to the dry ingredients. The batter was stirred to combine and then carefully poured into a bundt pan that had been buttered and sprinkled with toasted and chopped pecans. You want to pour the batter slowly to as not to dislodge the pecans. The cake baked for about an hour, was left to cool, and was placed on a serving platter, and that’s where I learned a lesson. You should place the cake on a rimmed platter. I somehow believed that the cake would absorb every single bit of the glaze, and I foolishly chose a flat platter. The glaze was made by melting butter in a saucepan, adding sugar and water and stirring while simmering for five minutes. The rum was added off the heat. The cooled cake, on a platter with a rim, is then pierced all over with a wooden skewer before you slowly spoon the glaze over top. Most of the glaze will be absorbed, but some does collect around the base of the cake and that could work its way to the edge of a platter without a rim and dribble all over your dining room table. Whip some cream with a little sugar and Grand Marnier to serve with the cake.
The finely chopped pecans held their place on the surface of the cake and gave it some crunch, and the Grand Marnier whipped cream added more orange flavor. Certainly, a rum cake in Bermuda comes with a much better view, but this homemade rum cake was fresher, lighter, and even more delicious. Obviously, the best solution would be to pack up a homemade cake and go back for another visit to Bermuda.