The Bahamas have a long and colorful association with rum. Years ago, pirates sailed ashore on our islands bearing rum, and in the 1920s, The Bahamas became a hub for illegal rumrunning during the 14-year prohibition period in the United States. Most of the world’s rum is produced in the Caribbean and Latin America, and The Bahamas is no exception! Today in Nassau Paradise Island, guests love visiting John Watling’s Distillery to see how rum is made and try samples of the house product.
In addition to being a delicious cocktail ingredient, rum takes center stage in some recipes as well. One traditional Bahamian favorite is rum cake. Here’s how to prepare the decadent dessert and enjoy a taste of The Bahamas at home! It’s also great served as a snack with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
- Cooking spray
- 2 ½ cups cake flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
- ½ cup dark or light rum (not spiced)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3 large egg whites
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup white sugar
- ¼ cup rum
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a bundt pan with cooking spray, then add a few tablespoons of white sugar to the inside of the pan and gently tap and turn it around until the inside of the pan is coated in sugar. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and 1 ½ cups sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, rum, oil, vanilla, and yolks until combined. In another bowl, beat egg whites at medium-high speed until foamy. Blend in the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form and set aside. Gradually pour butter mixture into flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed until just combined. Fold in the whipped egg whites until no streaks remain. Pour the batter evenly into the bundt pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let it cool for at least 15 minutes.
Make the butter rum sauce: Whisk together the sugar, butter, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and continue to boil for five minutes. Remove from heat and carefully stir in rum.
Once the cake has cooled slightly, poke holes all over its surface with a toothpick or skewer. Pour about half of the butter rum sauce over the cake. Let it rest 5-10 minutes, until the sauce is absorbed. Carefully tip the cake onto a serving platter and drizzle the remaining sauce over the cake. Serve immediately or cover until ready to serve.