Rum cake or death? Ummm, rum cake, please.

Once upon a time, there was a fair maiden named Picco. Now Picco had a bit of an obsession with alcohol in her food, but don’t be so fast to ship her off to AA, for said alcoholic beverages were always cooked and therefore wouldn’t make her tipsy. With that in mind, she felt less guilty making and devouring dishes with rum and kahlua in them. And then she married Joseph Gordon-Levitt and they lived happily ever after. The end.

Wasn’t that a great story? I’ll tell it again later.

I guess the real story that goes along with this cake is that I had a friend who was absolutely obsessed with it. We made it together all the time, and she demanded that it be her 17th birthday cake. It’s that good. But then life got in the way of things. We stopped being friends, I stopped making this cake, and my jeans started fitting again. So the recipe went back in the front of my mom’s Joy of Cooking with all the other random recipes, and I forgot all about it.

Then the other day, my sister with Celiac was craving cake, and I was about to make her a sour cream coffee cake, when my subconscious said, “Hey, Picco, I have two things to tell you. First, remember that delicious cake with booze in it? And also, what the heck are you wearing? As attractive as those unflattering tan capris (that make you look even shorter than you already are) look with that boys v-neck shirt and your purple hightops, please never wear them together. Ever again.” I pretty much hate my subconscious. And then I remembered rum cake. So I quickly ran over to the Joy of Cooking, grabbed the recipe, and proceeded to weep over it and begged its forgiveness because I had neglected it for far too long. That’s pretty much how things went down.

My favorite part about this cake is that you get to poke a bunch of holes in it. It’s quite entertaining, actually. It really doesn’t take much to entertain me.

If I had to pick one dessert to eat for the rest of my life, this would be it. I’m not sure what makes it so good. I think it’s the rum. Or maybe it’s the extra love I put into it…nope, it’s the rum. Because not only is there rum in the batter, but the glaze is made out of (wait for it) sugar, rum, maybe a little water?, and butter. Why is the rum always gone? (Tia, that one’s for you.)

So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go eat some rum cake for breakfast, and then cry into it (I do a lot of crying into/over food…) because I have to wait another 31 hours until I see Dark Knight Rises. It’s times like these that makes me wish the alcohol didn’t cook off. Ok, not really. There’s something seriously wrong with me. I’m so sorry you have to put up with me…

Rum Cake

I attempted to make this gluten-free and it turned out…ok. My sister loved it, but it was a little denser than it usually is with regular flour. Next time I’ll mess with the proportions a bit. Whoops, guess I’ll have to make it again. Darn. So here’s the recipe with regular flour. If you want my gluten-free version, email me. True story.

1 box yellow cake mix
1 package (I think it was about 5 ounces) instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1/2 cup water+1/2 cup rum (I usually do 1/4 water+3/4 rum, because that makes it that much more delicious).
Touch of orange juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 water (or rum)
1 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease and flour and 10″ Bundt pan. Who came up with the word Bundt? I seriously can never get any baking done because I just sit back and laugh at the word Bundt.

Combine all ingredients and beat for 2 minutes (this is seriously the easiest recipe ever). Pour batter into pan.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, checking at 45 minutes. Cake is done with tooth pick inserted about 2 inches from edge comes out cleaner than a Raffi song. Does that even make any sense? Why did I just mention Raffi?

Cool in pan for about 20-30 minutes. Take a knife around the edges to loosen the cake, and then transfer to a plate.


Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup rum (or water) in a small pot. Boil for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Seriously, don’t let this stuff burn. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the hot syrup and stir to combine.

Poke holes in the top of the cake so glaze can run into it. Drizzle over cake.

Enjoy immensely.


18 thoughts on “Rum cake or death? Ummm, rum cake, please.

  1. Your Rum Cake looks great and am sure that it was devoured rather quickly. I have had some very good Rum Cake; it being prepared by someone other than Picco.

    There is another rum concoction that I also seem to like. I substitute regular Coca Cola for all of the other ingredients listed in your Rum Cake recipe.

    I liked the attached video. I think you know of at least one person (90 years old), who is living longer, better and fuller.

  2. I like your style of writing. Not only was your Rum Cake or Death funny, but it looks and sounds delicious. I think I will definitely try this recipe! Diet….forget about it!

  3. Not only does that cake sound amazingly easy, but it sounds utterly delicious. I am going to have to try this…like, today. Thank you for that pick-up line! :D I was totally thinking about that quote every time you mentioned rum, and then you mentioned me, and it just made my day.

    Seriously, though, I really want to try this cake. I have no idea when I’m going to see the Dark Knight Rises (after the mass shooting in Colorado, I’m a little nervous) but it’ll probably be later this week…or next week.


    • Every time I typed rum, I was like “Pirates of the Caribbean. I need to mention Tia…”

      Yeah, my mom was a little apprehensive about letting me see it, so I’m going with a friend. If I die, *sniff*, it was nice knowing you. I’m sad we never got to have our Johnny Depp party together. :( Soooo, I’ll try not to die, ok?

      • I’ll be sending you telepathic thoughts of survival. I bet I’d go insane or something if you died, considering how connected our brains are. Let me know what you think of the movie! I still can’t wait to see it.


  4. Hahaha! Oh, this cake looks so good. If I wasn’t being good about what I ate, I would totally make it right now. Except for the fact that I’m at work and I don’t have an oven. or the ingredients…
    You get to see Dark Knight before I do? Sigh. I’ll be the last one ever to see it.

  5. I made this cake many years ago, using a recipe from a Bacardi cookbook. I was a newlywed and also a newlycook. Is that a word? I guess it is now. Anyhoo, in that recipe, or in my interpretation of that recipe, the alcohol did not cook away in the glaze. So, I took the cake to a family dinner, and watched my grandma and aunt have their first ever buzz, well into their 80’s. I must say it made their usual old-lady-sisters bickering a lot more fun. I may have to dig out this recipe now myself, and see if it will topple my NEW husband’s favorite for the prize, Paula Deen’s Caramel Cake. Looks yummy!

  6. Soon as I saw the title of this post, I said to myself, “I wonder when the Jack Sparrow quote will happen. Because it’s going to happen.”

    I love rum. And I love your posts and your humour. :) What I do not love is that you ate rum cake recently and I did not. *sigh* But I suppose I should be content with my very-cheating-Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies.

    • What can I say? I’m predictable.

      My humor (oh excuse me, HUMOUR. Let’s be posh.) and rum say thanks. Well, if you close your eyes and stop your taste buds from working, Pillsbury cookies almost taste like rum cake…right?

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