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never 2 old to start cooking
a shared journey and learning experience


In today's health-conscious world, dessert has to be one of life's guiltiest
pleasures.  More and more I find that after a good meal, my guests will
sometimes just outright refuse dessert - and that's assuming I offer it.  If I
choose not to offer dessert after a meal that I know to be partucilarly
filling, I'll sometimes opt for a cup of coffee and a nice piece of chocolate
candy - something like a truffle.  

However, there's something gastronomically and visually satisfying about
a nice-looking dessert.  I've devoted an entire page to cheesecakes, one of
my favorites when I want to make an impression.  But there are desserts
that look equally as nice.

A favorite of mine is rum cake, which I find almost always solicits a "YUM"
response when offered.  Rum cake was one of the first desserts I attempted when I was still more into using somewhat prepared items.  Yes, it's simple, but there's a lot of bang for the bite, and it just looks good.

Lamar's Rum Cake
For the cake:

1/3 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or toasted pecans work best),
1 pkg. yellow cake mix (see, I told you),
1 pkg. vanilla pudding mix (see, again),
4 eggs,
1/2 cup water,
1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 
1/2 cup dark rum (you don't need an expessive one).

For the glaze:

1/2 cup butter,
1/4 cup water,
1 cup white sugar, and
1/2 cup dark rum.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour (or use a non-stick spray with flour) a 10-inch Bundt pan.  Sprinkle the nuts evenly over the bottom of the pan.

In a large bowl, combine the cake and pudding mixes.  Mix in the eggs, water, vegetable oil, and rum.  Pour this batter over the chopped nuts in the pan.

Bake for 60 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan, then turn it out onto a cooling rack.  KEEP THE PAN HANDY AND DON'T WASH IT YET.  You will want to use it in the glazing process.

While the cake is cooling on the rack, in a saucepan combine the butter, water and sugar called for in the glaze recipe.  Bring it to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes.  Remove it from the heat and stir in the rum (taking time to enjoy the aroma).  Then, pour the glaze into the cake pan and put the cake back into the pan.  Press the cake down so that the glaze surrounds the cake, coming up around the sides and somewhat over what will be the bottom of the cake.  Leave the cake in the pan until the glaze has soaked in.  You will probably want to periodically press the cake down to keep it fully in contact with the glaze.

Once the glaze is soaked in, turn the cake out onto a serving plate.  Enjoy!!!