Rum Cake: A Turks & Caicos Holiday Treat

Celebrate the holidays with one of the popular and flavorful island desserts

We are now merely days away from the start of a new year and the islands are buzzing with a festive spirit. Despite the challenging year, there is an evident sense of gratitude and good cheer among the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands. 

Similar to other cultures, the holidays are spent surrounded by family and loved ones who celebrate together while sharing delicious, flavorful food. Even during this period of social distancing, kitchens throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands are a flurry of activity during this time of year. Dinner tables throughout our sister islands are prepared featuring turkey with lobster stuffing paired with “fully loaded” okra and rice and desserts of rum cake, pudding and homemade ice-cream. 

Since we’re in the holiday season, I’m sharing a rum cake recipe slightly adapted from Baker’s Spotlight to add to your family’s celebration this year.  

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3.4-ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup Bambarra Rum (or any other dark rum)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • Cooking/baking spray

Glaze Ingredients:

  • ½ stick of unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup Bambarra Rum (or any other dark rum)

Cake Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking powder, salt, butter, and vegetable oil in a mixing bowl, and mix at medium speed until everything is thoroughly combined and the mixture is sandy looking.
  • Beat in the milk, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape the bowl thoroughly, and beat briefly to recombine any sticky residue. Stir in the rum and vanilla extract
  • Grease 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan with baking spray. If using nuts, sprinkle the inside of the pan with light brown sugar and walnuts/pecans evenly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread level with a spatula.
  • Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes. When done, a long toothpick will come out clean when inserted into the center. Remove the cake from the oven.
  • Leave the cake in the pan to cool slightly while you make the glaze.

Glaze Instructions:

  • In a medium-sized saucepan melt together butter and sugar mix well, then add water mix well. Bring to a rapid boil then reduce to a simmer and cook (without stirring) for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the syrup thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum.
  • Use a long skewer to poke holes all over the cake. Pour about 1/4 cup of the syrup over the cake (still in the pan). Allow the syrup to soak in, then repeat again and again until all the syrup is used. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow the cake to sit overnight at room temperature to cool completely and soak in the syrup. Wrap securely (or place under a cake cover) and store at room temperature for several days. 

I’ll be enjoying my slice of rum cake with a scoop of Aunty Nann’s Homemade Delights Bambarra Rum and raisins ice-cream during my family’s staycation in Grand Turk.

Wishing all our readers a joyful and memorable holiday season and I look forward to sharing more of the ‘Beautiful by Nature’ Turks & Caicos Islands with you in the New Year!

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