One day I was browsing through food articles on Flipboard and came across a recipe for Jamaican Rum Cake. Oh, and what’s this? I already have a bottle of dark rum in the cupboard. Great! So what do I need to make this cake? The first ingredient in the recipe was “1 box of yellow cake mix”. Wow, you can’t turn me off from a recipe faster than that. What followed was a rather extensive search for a from-scratch Jamaican/Caribbean Rum Cake recipe. It was shocking how many Caribbean Rum Cake recipes have yellow cake mix or vanilla pudding mix in it. So finally, I stumbled upon this recipe from the Savory Simple food blog. She even notes in the title of the recipe, “From Scratch!” Normally that shouldn’t be a big deal, but strangely with Caribbean Rum Cakes, it is.
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This recipe is basically a pound cake with rum in it. I’ve never had authentic Caribbean Rum Cake in the Caribbean so I can’t tell if this is the real stuff, but it sure tasted good! Pictured with the rum cake is a scoop of my favorite strawberry sour cream ice cream from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. This ice cream was the first ice cream I ever made and it still remains my favorite.
For the rum, the recipe recommends Goslings or Bacardi Black Rum, but I used one called Rhum Barbancourt (a Haitian rum). The guy working at the liquor store recommended it so I bought it on a whim, and it turned out to be pretty good. I think it worked well with this cake.
Now, let’s address the bundt pan. First of all, a “fluted cake pan” is the same thing as a “bundt pan”. Turns out “bundt” is a patented name used by Nordic Ware. I assumed all bundt pans are about the same because they look to be about the same size, just the decorations are sometimes different. Well, clearly I was wrong and this is where I messed up–I used the wrong size pan. The cake overflowed and spilled through the middle so the middle became clogged, blocking the airflow and leading to uneven baking. The inner side ended up being far whiter than the outer side of the cake. This is not the fault of the recipe because it specifically says to use a “12-cup bundt pan”. In my defense, if bundt pans aren’t all the same (I’m talking all the non-mini ones) then they should all say on their packaging and product information what their capacity is. Some do tell you what the capacity is in cups, but some just tell you what the diameter is in inches. And some don’t say anything at all. I am terrible at math, so there is no way I can tell the capacity of a pan just by looking at its diameter.
Take the pan I used for example. It is the Trudeau Structure Silicone Pro Fluted Cake Pan. As you can see from the packaging and from the product description, it does not tell you much in terms of measurement. It says “Round 11.5″” but the product dimensions tell you 10″ x 11.4″ x 3.9″. So the diameter is actually 10″ but where the handle is the length is about 11.4″. Only after visiting the Trudeau website I found out that the capacity is 10 cups (and on their website it does not mention the dimensions). Now take the official Nordic Ware 12-cup Bundt Pan. It tells you off the bat that its capacity is 12 cups, but the product dimensions are 10.2″ x 10.2″ x 3.62″. So are you telling me that 0.2″ more in diameter but 0.28″ less in height gives you 2 cups more in capacity? Boy, I should have paid more attention in math class. And finally let’s look at the popular Wilton Perfect Results Nonstick Fluted Tube Pan. This one doesn’t even tell you capacity or diameter–just that it’s “Standard” and the item dimensions are 3.58″ x 12.05″ x 10.82″. So at a shorter height but wider diameter than both the Trudeau and the Nordic Ware, will the capacity then be right for the recipe? All this confusion is just too much for me. I just want cake!