On a snowy day up in Boulder, my friends and I were shopping in an amazing kitchen store called Peppercorn. While there, we noticed they were selling Tortuga rum cakes, and we reminisced about enjoying them on past visits to the Caribbean. With the cold weather, trading the snow for some sun and fun--with rum--sounded really good.
A rum cake had been on my must-bake list for a long while, so it was time to make it. The tropics always make people feel so relaxed, so it was the perfect dessert for a Friday night dinner party with my friends!
Because I wasn't able to find any Tortuga rum here in Colorado, I used Myer's dark rum as a substitute. The authentic Tortuga rum cake is a moist, soft golden cake with a buttery rum flavor and a hint of vanilla. I am happy to report that this recipe was a pretty close replica to the authentic Tortuga rum cake.
By using the pudding mix, this cake becomes velvety moist. By pouring a rum infused syrup over the cake, the cake develops an even deeper rum flavor. This cake gets better the longer it sits and absorbs the rum. I would recommend making this cake a day or two ahead of time.
When you need a taste of the islands, bake up this cake. It will do just the trick!
"Almost Tortuga" Rum Cake
Yields 1 cake
2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
3 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 3.4 oz package of instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup gold or dark rum
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the syrup:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 gold or dark rum
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease a large Bundt cake pan with non-stick cooking spray or with butter. If desired, evenly spread the walnuts into the bottom of the Bundt plan. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, and 3 tbsp. of coconut oil. Using an electric hand mixer, mix at medium speed until the mix is blended but chunky.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the pudding mix, milk, eggs, rum, 1/2 cup coconut oil, and vanilla extract for two to three minutes on medium speed, or until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the pudding mixture, and mix on medium speed until combined.
Next, pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Bake for approximately 55 minutes, or until the cake is a golden yellow.
While the cake bakes, prepare the syrup. In a small saucepan, heat the butter, water, and sugar to a boil. Stir frequently. Reduce heat, and simmer until the sugar dissolves to create a syrup. Turn the heat slightly up until the syrup begins to thicken (about a minute or so). After the syrup has thickened, remove from the heat and add the rum.
After removing the cake from the oven, leave the cake in the pan to cool. While the cake cools, pour some of the syrup evenly over the cake. The cake will absorb the syrup and will not be soggy. After the cake absorbs the syrup, add a bit more syrup, and allow the cake to absorb it. Continue until the syrup is gone. Cover the cake with plastic wrap, and allow it to sit overnight in the pan.
The next day, turn the cake onto a serving platter. Enjoy!
*You can substitute vegetable oil or canola oil for the coconut oil.
Source: Adapted from Food.com