Cakes are a big deal around our house. Any shape, any size…and ALL flavors. We even had a cake buffet at our wedding so that we would not have to choose just one flavor! One of our favorite memories while dating was coming home from a camping trip to make cake and ice cream for dinner. Oh so good!
Our birthdays are only 10 days apart, so that mean a LOT of cake in a short amount of time. Last year, Matt made me an epic German Chocolate Cake with my wonderful homemade chocolate cake recipe, and I made him a green funfetti cake. And that is where the story begins. We do almost all our cooking and baking from scratch. No mixes, no canned soups. One major challenge we have found though is replicating that irresistibly good flavor and texture of a boxed cake mix cake. Like I said, we have found an awesome from-scratch chocolate cake recipe that is our go-to…but we have not found a replacement for plain ol’ yellow cake (or funfetti for that matter). The boxed version is still our go-to.
Enter: my request for a Cruzan Rum Cake for my 26th birthday cake. This cake was our favorite from the line-up of cakes at our wedding (made by a true Cruzan herself, Beth), and I was still craving it. We did not have her exact recpie, so we started searching online and in cookbooks.
Search after search pulled up EXACTLY the same recipe. To the T. All of them involving boxed yellow cake mix and vanilla pudding. After about 20 minutes of reading both online and in a collection of Caribbean locals cookbooks (borrowed from Beth as well) we did find one from-scratch version. Verdict? The reviews were lackluster. Boxed cake it was. Our one change was replacing the vegetable oil with coconut oil…one of our household preferences. There are two versions of the glaze below…both are good but it is really up to you on how “soaked” you like your cake. Result: excellent birthday cake. It was soaked and decadent…not too rummy, not too sweet. Rich. Matt said it reminded him of rum mixed with butter pecan.
And why do I keep calling this Cruzan Rum Cake and not just plain old Rum Cake? You can really use any dark (not white or spiced) rum for this cake, but as a girl who grew up on St. Croix, I am loyal to the bottles produced on that island. Therefore, for me, this will always be Cruzan Rum Cake made with Cruzan Rum.
Cruzan Rum Cake
- 1 boxed yellow cake mix
- eggs, water and oil per cake mix directions, substituting 1/2 the water for rum and coconut oil for vegetable oil
- 1 – 4.5 oz box vanilla stovetop pudding mix (we used a large box)
- 1/2 to 1 cup crushed pecan pieces
- Real vanilla extract
– Mix together cake mix, pudding, rum, water, eggs, vanilla and oil, beat until smooth
– Grease and flour a bunt pan. Preheat oven to temp recommended on cake box.
– Evenly sprinkle crushed nuts in cake pan, pour batter over nuts
– Bake for ~45 minutes or until golden-brown and toothpick comes out clean (ours took about 55 mins)
– Allow cake to cool until edges separate from the pan
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup Cruzan rum
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Real vanilla extract
– melt butter over low heat
– increase heat to med/high and add rum, sugar and water
– bring to boil, then reduce heat to low
– simmer 5 min, add vanilla at very end, cool slightly before glazing cake
To glaze cake:
While cake is still in the pan, ladle glaze generously over entire cake, allowing glaze to seep down the sides of the pan to fully saturate. Let cake cool another 20 – 30 minutes, and invert onto a cake plate. If you can, wait at least a day to eat…it gets better with age!