Bahamian Rum Cake

I’m cheating.  I’m supposed to be posting my free choice from my Heavenly Cake Baker club.

This is not it.

Instead, I have wanted to make this cake for a while now.  It has been marked in the cookbook for ages and been passed over and over again and again, because of my other baking commitments.  But, this weekend I wanted a boozy cake.  And if you only knew the type of shit stuff I have been dealing with the last couple of weeks, I REALLY NEEDED a boozy cake. 

The more boozy the better.

This one was it.

It has rum in the syrup and rum in the glaze.  To the tune of almost ¾ of a cup.

Boozy enough for you?

Because that is boozy enough for me.

Unlike my savory cooking which I live to change things around and experimenting all over the place with ingredients and techniques.  Baking is a bit sacred and I tend to stick with the recipe as noted the first time around – just to get the feel of it, and then I make the changes on the second round, if they make the cut.

If I love chocolate cakes, I adore boozy cakes and rum cakes are my all time favorites, I think I have tried a lot of rum cakes in my time, some I have made and some others have made.  But, I’m in search for the ultimate rum cake.  I thought I had come close to it when I made Dorie Greenspan Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cake.

But this one took it a step up.

So whom do I owe this recipe to?

None other than David Lebovitz’s from his Ready for Dessert cookbook.  I had his book in my amazon wish list for almost a year, then I visited the now closed Border store in town and found it at 70% off – CHA-CHIN people!

Do you have this book? Good for you, you know that what I’m going to say next is the truth… if you don’t, I HIGHLY recommend that you run and spend the bucks and get it, (and if you use sweetbites store even better - win-win!) it’s THAT good people.  I have pretty much given up marking all of the recipes I want to try out of this book, because its all marked with colorful tabs - I’m pretty close to starting a bake along of this book, so I have the excuse to make every single one of them, especially after tasting this cake.


  • 3 cups (420 g) All Purpose flour
  • ½  teaspoon baking powder
  • ½  teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾  teaspoon salt
  • ¼  teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 c (8 oz/225 g) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 2 c (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temp
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temp
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾  cup (180 mL) canned Thai coconut milk

Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Spray a bundt pan with baking spray with flour. (Or the usual butter, coated with flour bit)

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.  And bake for 55 to 60 minutes – until the cake is set in the middle.

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


  • ¾  cup canned coconut milk (actually … just use the rest of the canned coconut milk)
  • 6 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup dark rum (did I not tell you BOOZY MEETER!) 

In a medium saucepan 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 – lesson learned.

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


  • 4 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
  • 6 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoon brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted 

Toast the coconut flakes on an ungreased pan over medium-low heat or oven (I actually did this after I took out the cake from the oven, in order to already use the hot oven before I turned it off).  Which even method you end up using a HUGE TIP: Coconut flakes don’t take long to toast – so keep an eye on them.  Toss them around as they are toasting.  Once they are golden, remove from heat/oven and set them aside.

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. 

Tom and I ate a piece, after it sat for about 5 hours.  And it packed quite a punch!  WOZZA!  In fact we wonder how in the world we did not get drunk on the piece we ate.

So lesson learned (even thought it is CLEARLY noted in the recipe that the cake is better the NEXT day) so I second David’s recommendation (and it’s a pretty strong one), to allow it to sit overnight (NOT IN THE FRIDGE), at room temperature, under a cake dome.  The rum will continue to be soaked up and distribute around the cake – making it the perfect treat … either for breakfast or lunch, maybe a bit dinner, or just go crazy and eat it as a treat throughout the day.

This is a truly good cake.