Mom would have loved this cake!

While I was putting it together, I kept thinking of her making cakes, poking holes in them, pouring syrupy goodness over them… she had a lot of fun in the kitchen baking cakes and making desserts. It’s obvious, considering her “Dessert” cook book is twice as thick as her cook book for everything else!

She baked a lot of cakes in her time and one memory will always be the missing little tiny corner of the 9×13 cakes. She had a habit if nicking a teensy corner – about a half-inch square – of the cake for herself. She would have killed one of us for doing it – but… she baked it!

I’m more of a batter-eater/beater-licker, m’self. And I don’t usually go for teeny corners. I go large.

And large I went, today!

I just got a copy of David Lebovitz’ book “Ready for Dessert.” I am always ready for dessert, so I had to get it. David worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley and has become my go-to for great baking ideas. I love that his recipes are goodnot fussy. He uses real ingredients that most people have access to and explains what he does while also explaining that it’s what he did – you can actually change things and it’s okay.

I saw this particular cake and immediately thought of a Tortuga Rum Cake I made right after we got back from the Cayman Islands. That was one sad cake compared to this one. But then, that’s why he baked at Chez Panisse and I baked on an aircraft carrier.

But even an old salt like myself couldn’t screw up this perfect recipe.


There’s a goodly amount of sugar in this but it never comes off as cloyingly sweet. Perfect crumb and a perfect sweet balance.

This is a three-part recipe. The 2nd and 3rd parts – both syrups – can be accomplished while the cake is baking

Bahamian Rum Cake

adapted from  Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz

The Cake:

  • 3 cups flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup good-quality canned coconut milk

Preheat your oven to 350°.  Butter a 10-cup bundt pan and dust it with flour, tapping out the excess.  Set aside.

n a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, beat together the butter and sugars, slowly increasing the speed to medium – allowing the batter to become light and fluffy (approximately 5 minutes).

In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla.  Slowly drizzle the mixture into the creamed butter, scraping the sides as needed.  Once the eggs are completely incorporated, gently stir-in one-third of the flour mixture, then about half of the coconut milk.

Mix in another third of the flour mixture, the rest of the coconut milk, and the remaining third of the flour; until just combined.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake about 55 minutes or until cake is set.

While the cake is baking, make the coconut rum syrup.

Coconut Rum Syrup

  • 3/4 cup coconut milk – the rest of the can you used for the cake
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum – like Meyers

In a medium sauce-pan , warm the remainder of the coconut milk, and the sugar , stirring until the sugar dissolves.   Remove the syrup from heat and add the dark rum.  Mix well and set aside until the cake comes out of the oven.

When the cake comes out of the oven – while hot – poke about 60 holes in it with a skewer. Slowly spoon about 2/3 of the syrup over the cake, letting it soak in. Cool completely in the pan.

When cool, invert onto a cake plate and brush with the remaining coconut syrup and then cover with the coconut glaze.

Coconut Glaze

  • 4 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
  • 6 tbsp heavy cream
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp dark rum
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut, toasted

Toast the coconut flakes either in the oven or in a small skillet on the stove.

Combine the butter, cream, salt and sugar together in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.  Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar.  Remove from the heat, whisk in the rum and toasted coconut.

Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides.

This was one awesome cake!


I’m thinking it will make a great breakfast cake, too. I know mom would approve.