It wasn’t that many years ago that liqueur cakes were all the rage. They were on the shelves of upscale groceries and gourmet shops everywhere. They must have fallen out of favor because I hadn’t seen them in years…not until I was in Chicago in December and saw a fancy display of them in Pete’s Market. It reminded me how much we liked these boozy cakes and I put them on the menu for the holidays. They used to come in all sorts of flavors: Amaretto, Irish Whiskey, Grand Marnier, Bourbon, and more, but our favorite was always the rum cake. This is basically the recipe for Bacardi Rum Cake that I changed up a little bit… small loaves for gifts instead of the usual large bundt cake size. Smaller loaves soak up more of the buttery syrup that creates a sweet, crusty finish that is beyond good. Another favorite liqueur cake is the Harvey Wallbanger Cake, named after a popular cocktail in the 1970’s.
I know using cake mixes, or almost any canned or boxed ingredient, is frowned on by many, but I have no problems with a cake mix or can of cream soup from time to time. A few of my favorite recipes start with a box of cake mix and this cake is at the top of the list. It’s light and moist with a delicate flavor and texture that soaks up the rum syrup like a sponge. The syrup is very sticky when it’s poured over the cakes, but it dries quickly and forms a luscious nutty, boozy crust. Be sure to use all the syrup. That’s what makes the cake so darn good.
The recipe makes four 3″ x 5-1/2″ small loaf cakes. When they come out of the oven spoon several tablespoons of the hot syrup over the tops. Let cool for 15 minutes, remove from the pans and discard the parchment paper. Turn the cakes bottom side up and brush with the glaze on all sides until ALL the glaze is used. Let cool completely before serving.
I’ve never been a believer in the worth of making New Year’s resolutions. It seems to me that one month, January, is spent making promises of new behaviors, and eleven months are spent feeling guilty for not keeping them. The resolutions are usually about going on some kind of diet or another and from my viewpoint that never works. Two years ago today I was at a time when I wasn’t feeling particularly well, I don’t know how much of that was physical and how much was mental, and decided I had to make some changes. I had nobody to blame but myself if I let this go on…and on. I hate walking but knew I desperately needed exercise so made a commitment to myself that I would start going to the local swimming pool at least four days a week for water aerobics. The first few weeks I tried everything I could think of to make excuses so I wouldn’t have to go, but I kept at it and now, two years later, I can honestly say it changed my life. I’ve made some wonderful friends at the pool, all my age, and realize that getting older is fun, and all of us share the same concerns about aging.
I have a simple resolution I’m making today, January 1, 2016. When I think about my life I’m not going to start any more sentences with the word “someday.” I’m in that time of “someday” and if something is important enough to dream about doing it I’m going to do it now. I have limitations to be sure, but there are some things I can make happen, and I’m going to concentrate on doing them. I guess this is what everybody calls a bucket list. In the meantime, I wish all my Facebook and blogging friends a very healthy, prosperous and Happy New Year. Here’s to a great year of blogging ahead!
- ½ cup Bacardi Gold Rum
- 1 cup slivered almonds, or nuts of your choice
- 1 18-1/2 ounce box yellow cake mix
- 1 3-1/2 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup cold water
- ½ cup Golden Rum
- ½ stick butter
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and line with parchment paper 4 3"x 5-1/2" loaf pans. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of the pans. In a large mixing bowl combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, rum, oil and water. Beat on low till moistened and then on high speed for two minutes. Pour batter over nuts and bake for 25-30 minutes or until tester comes out clean.Spoon several tablespoons of glaze over the tops of the hot cakes. Cool 15 minutes, then invert onto a plate and brush the syrup on all sides of the cakes. Let cool completely.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in sugar, water and rum. Boil for 6-8 minutes till thick and syrupy. Brush on cakes while hot.