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Butter Rum Pound Cake

Welcome to Day Two of the Twelve Days of Pound Cake Holiday Event!

Today’s cake is a childhood favorite of mine.

I grew up in the 80’s, Family. The rules were a bit different.

ANYWAY

Every year, a couple of weeks before Christmas, a package would arrive at my house. You could smell it before you opened it and it always put my father right into the Christmas spirit.

In that box, under a layer or three of heavy duty tin foil and a double wrapping of Saran Wrap, was my aunt’s rum cake. The rum cake. The one that was supposed to be strictly forbidden for anyone who was less than double the drinking age. The cake that had essentially cured and preserved in rum for the two weeks before it even hit the First Class U.S. Postal Mail.

That rum cake. It was squishy and rummy and spicy and its arrival was always the unofficial start of the holidays. Thinking about that rum cake will forever make me nostalgic for those bitter cold Midwestern holiday seasons of my youth.

So, of course I had to add a rum cake to the lineup.

About this Butter Rum Pound Cake

This recipe, as written, isn’t nearly as rummy as my aunt’s recipe, though you can definitely increase or decrease the rum to your liking. There are instructions in the recipe that should get you to the ::chef’s kiss:: rum flavor of your choice.

Within reason, folks. You can increase the rum within reason.

This recipe, as written, has an unbelievably amazing rum flavor, which is balanced extremely well with a luscious butteriness that you have to experience to understand in order to believe. While the cake batter is, of course, the leading lady in this cake, the butter rum simple syrup is a proverbial force to be reckoned with as a costar. And the glaze? THE GLAZE?

If rum cake is a must-have for you during the holidays, then this rum cake recipe is perfect for you.

Beginners Start Here

If you’re new to baking, or if your stand mixer is covered in dust, here are a couple of articles from the BwB site that will help you get off to a great start with this recipe!

These resources are never mandatory reading, but they are super useful to help you understand the techniques that you’ll need to successfully execute this amazing cake. Happy Reading!

Important Tools Used in this Recipe:

There are some products that I use and love on a regular basis. They’re especially useful for the pound cakes that are featured in this event. **I get paid a small commission if you purchase directly from some of these links, but they are truly amazing products that you’ll find in my home kitchen.**

If you have them already, great! Think of this as a checklist to help you build the confidence that you’ll need to execute this recipe!

And now…the Butter Rum Pound Cake recipe of your dreams awaits!

Print
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Butter Rum Pound Cake

This beautifully rummy cake always reminds me of the start of the holiday season.  The rum levels can be customized to your taste as well, though as written, the balance between butter and rum is perfection!

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Cake Batter:

  • 384 g flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 345 g butter
  • 250 g granulated sugar
  • 250 g brown sugar (1 1/4 cups, NOT 1 3/4 cups)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp rum extract (optional)
  • 125 g buttermilk
  • 125 g rum

For the Butter Rum Simple Syrup:

  • 84 g water
  • 67 g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp rum
  • 2 tsp butter

For the Final Glaze:

  • 240 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp rum
  • .5-1 tbsp heavy cream or whole milk

Instructions

To Make the Batter in a Stand Mixer:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  It is highly recommended to use an oven thermometer for this recipe, since proper oven temperature can impact the finished product.
  2. Combine the buttermilk and rum in a two-cup liquid measuring cup.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt (if using kosher salt, omit it from this step).
  4. Sift the flour/baking soda mixture into a large bowl.  If using kosher salt, add it at this time.
  5. Place the room temperature butter in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Mix on low speed until smooth.  (30 seconds)
  6. Slowly add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.  (7-10 minutes)
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least 45 seconds after each addition.  Scrape the bowl as needed (I usually scrape the bowl after the third and fifth egg).  This step is extremely important because eggs help with cake rise!  (6 minutes)
  8. Add vanilla extract and rum extract (if using) and mix until thoroughly combined.  (1 minute)
  9. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined. (30-45 seconds)
  10. Add all of the buttermilk/rum mixture and mix on low speed until well combined.  (~1 minute)
  11. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until almost combined.  Stop mixing just before the mixture is fully together. (1-2 minutes)
  12. Using a rubber spatula, fully scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  Keep mixing until the batter is smooth and consistent.  Make sure to get the entire bottom of the bowl!
  13. Grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan with butter and flour and place the batter in the pan.

To Make the Batter with a Hand Mixer:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  It is highly recommended to use an oven thermometer for this recipe, since proper oven temperature can impact the finished product.
  2. Combine the buttermilk and rum in a two-cup liquid measuring cup.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt (if using kosher salt, omit it from this step).
  4. Sift the flour/baking soda mixture into a large bowl.  If using kosher salt, add it at this time.
  5. Place the room temperature butter in the a large mixing bowl.  Mix on low speed until smooth.  (~1 minute)
  6. Add half of the sugar and mix until the sugar is incorporated.  (~30 seconds)
  7. Add the second half of the sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.  (9-12 minutes)
  8. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least 1 minute after each addition.  Scrape the bowl as needed (I usually scrape the bowl after the third and fifth egg).  This step is extremely important because eggs help with cake rise!  (7 minutes)
  9. Add vanilla extract and rum extract (if using) and mix until thoroughly combined.  (1 minute)
  10. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined. (~1 minute)
  11. Add all of the buttermilk/rum mixture and mix on low speed until well combined.  (~1 minute)
  12. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until almost combined.  Stop mixing just before the mixture is fully together. (1-2 minutes)
  13. Using a rubber spatula, fully scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  Keep mixing until the batter is smooth and consistent.  Make sure to get the entire bottom of the bowl!
  14. Grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan with butter and flour and place the batter in the pan.

To Bake the Cake:

  1. Bake the cake at a true 325°F for 60-75 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 210°F-215°F.  My preferred internal temperature is 212°F on the nose.  Alternately, the cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
  2. Allow the cake to rest for ten minutes while you make the simple syrup.

To Make the Butter Rum Simple Syrup:

  1. Combine water, sugar, vanilla and salt in a small sauce pan.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then whisk occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Remove from the heat and add rum and butter.   Stir gently until the butter is completely melted.  This recipe makes enough butter rum simple syrup to brush the cake one time.
  4. After allowing the cake to rest for ten minutes, invert it on a cooling rack and carefully remove the bundt pan.
  5. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the butter rum simple syrup over the entire cake.  This step can be repeated multiple times while the cake is warm.  It’s recommended to wait about ten minutes between simple syrup layers.
  6. If you’re trying to make a more boozy rum cake, you can poke holes in the top of the cake and pour the butter rum simple syrup directly over the holes.  I would only recommend doing this once though.
  7. Allow the cake to cool completely. (3-5 hours)

To Make the Final Glaze:

  1. Combine confectioner’s sugar, salt, vanilla, and rum in a medium bowl.
  2. Combine the mixture and stir until combined but lumpy.
  3. Add heavy cream and stir until smooth.  The mixture should just be pourable.  If it is still too thick to pour once it’s combined, add heavy cream, 1 tsp at a time until it is smooth enough to pour.
  4. Final glaze should have the consistency of thick honey.
  5. Using a spouted measuring cup, spoon, or squeeze bottle, pour final glaze over the cake.  If necessary, use a spoon to help the glaze fall over the sides of the cake.

Notes

  • I always place a sheet pan underneath my bundt pan.  It gives me extra comfort to know that there’s something there in case of a slight overspill.  Proper measuring will help you avoid this mishap as well!
  • I can’t say this enough, but please, please please take your time creaming the butter and sugar.  Pound cakes don’t use a lot of leavening, which means they are very dependent on proper creaming technique.  The article about creaming butter and sugar will help you with this daunting step!
  • Author: Shani

This rum cake really took me home, Family. It was a delight to develop this beautiful cake for you all. I hope you make lots of memories as you make and eat this cake this holiday season.

See you on Day Three!


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