bahamian rum cake

Ok.  Actually it’s not a Bahamian rum cake.  It’s a Trinidadian rum cake (are you surprised that I didn’t use Sailor Jerry’s rum?).   It’s ridiculous.  As in amazing.  As in … perfect for the holiday season.  Perfect for tomorrow and the day after that.  This is the kind of cake that gets better with age … so make it today and allow it to sit and soak up the rum syrup and glaze.  You won’t be sorry that you waited.

I found this recipe in David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert.  I actually got giddy when I saw it.  I was that excited.

This cake is my gift to my sister.  Anne loves visiting the Islands.  She loves the spiciness of rum.  She loves coconut.  This is a match made in heaven.  And the perfect Christmas treat to offer her.

This cake is made in three-stages.  All super easy – but please remember to allow for the time.  If you are making it the same-day as you want to eat it – it’ll still be good.  So don’t worry – but if there are any leftovers – enjoy them for breakfast.  You won’t regret that either.

Trinidadian rum cake


3 c. flour, sifted

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1 c. butter, room temperature

1 c. white sugar

1 c. brown sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

2 egg yolks, room temperature

1 tbsp vanilla

3/4 c. canned coconut milk

Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray, dust it with flour, tapping out the excess.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, beat together the butter and sugars, slowly increasing the speed to medium – allowing the batter to become light and fluffy (approximately 5 minutes).

In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla.  Slowly drizzle the mixture into the creamed butter, scraping the sides as needed.  Once the eggs are completely incorporated, gently stir-in one-third of the flour mixture, then about half of the coconut milk. 

Mix in another third of the flour mixture, the rest of the coconut milk, and the remaining third of the flour; until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. 

Bake for 55 minutes – the cake will be set in the centre.

While the cake is baking – open that bottle of rum and start working on the syrup …

coconut-rum syrup


3/4 c. canned coconut milk (actually … just use the rest of the canned coconut milk)

6 tbsp sugar

1/2 c. dark rum

In a medium sauce-pan over medium heat, warm the remainder of the coconut milk, and the sugar , stirring until the sugar dissolves.  It shouldn’t come to a boil.  Remove the syrup from heat and add the dark rum.  Whisk everything together.  Set aside until the cake comes out of the oven.

Now – grab a wooden skewer, and poke holes in the warm (just out of the oven) cake – you really want the cake to get drenched in the syrup – so pierce the cake about 60 times. 

Spoon about two-thirds of the syrup over the cake – allowing the coconut-rum to macerate the cake.  It’ll smell pretty amazing already at this point.  It only gets better.

Leave the cake in the bundt pan and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack – the syrup will slowly disappear as it’s absorbed.

Once cooled, invert the cake onto a plate.

Brush with the remaining syrup (I spooned the syrup – and most of it didn’t end up on the cake – it ended up on the plate, so I strongly recommend brushing the syrup on the second time around).

Set the cake aside and make the third and final part. 



4 tbsp butter, cut into pieces

6 tbsp heavy cream

6 tbsp brown sugar

pinch of salt

1 tbsp dark rum

1/2 c. sweetened coconut flakes, toasted

Toast the coconut flakes on an ungreased pan over medium-low heat.  Coconut flakes don’t take long to toast – so keep an eye on them.  Toss them around with a wooden spoon as they are toasting as well.  Remove from heat.

To make the glaze, combine the butter, cream, salt and sugar together in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.  Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar – this should take about 90 seconds.  Remove from the heat, whisk in the rum, and let cool completely.  Once the syrup has cooled, whisk in the toasted coconut.

Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake.  As David Lebovitz says, “encourage it to run down the sides” – the effect is really pretty.

There you have it.  Ready to be served.  Although – my recommendation (and it’s a pretty strong one), is to allow it to sit overnight (NOT IN THE FRIDGE), at room temperature, under a cake dome (or covered by a really large Tupperware container).  The rum will continue to be soaked up – making it the perfect treat … either for breakfast or as a treat throughout the day.

This is a seriously good cake. 

bakers note:  This cake travels really well – you can wrap it in plastic wrap and then in tinfoil.  Then you can take it anywhere.  This is the kind of love you should share with the people around you.

2 thoughts on “bahamian rum cake

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