Rum Cake

Rum cake has been a holiday tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas it is served as a dessert. It is definitely one of my favorites! I mean, who can resist booze AND cake? I even ate it as a kid because my mom says the alcohol gets cooked out, but I’m not sure that’s entirely true. I’ll let my son have some but only a couple bites. If I was able to have some, he can too. Gotta keep the tradition alive! So… let’s go bake a rum cake (and drink some, too) 😉

What you will need:

1 Bundt pan, greased

For the cake:

1 cup chopped pecans
1 box of yellow cake mix (I like Duncan Hines)
1 package (3.5 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
4 large eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup rum (dark is best)

For the glaze:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup rum (again, dark is best)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly over the bottom of the pan, then set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the rest of the cake ingredients together. Easy right? Pour into the pan over the chopped nuts. Bake for 50-60 minutes.

When the cake has about 10 minutes left to bake, start the glaze. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Pour in the water and sugar and boil for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Next, turn down the heat and pour in the rum. Stir for about 30 seconds over low heat.

Remove cake from oven and immediately pour 1/3 of the glaze on top. Allow the cake to cool and the drizzle to seep into the cake for about 10 minutes. The, prick with the tines of a fork and slowly pour the rest of the glaze over the cake. Let rest for another 10 minutes and then invert onto serving plate. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Tip: I usually make this the night before serving because all the flavors come together over time and that let’s the glaze really soak in. Store in an airtight container.

Rum Balls

Yep, that’s right. Rum is in these beautiful candied balls (that sounds so funny but I’m going with it). They are so easy to make and no oven is needed! Just a bowl and a refrigerator. Simple simple. Another great thing about rum balls is that they last a long time so if you have a lot of holiday baking, you can do these like a week before and they will still taste delicious. They also make a great gift, so find a cute, festive box to put them in and you have homemade chocolates to give somebody (adults only). So let’s get to it…

What you will need:

1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans (you can also use walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts)
1 1/4 cups crushed vanilla wafer cookies
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup rum

For the topping/coating:

You can roll the balls in cocoa, powdered sugar or chopped nuts. But I like to cover them in melted chocolate:

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
Crushed nuts
1 oz melted white chocolate
Note: I used 8 oz of chocolate and 4 tablespoons of butter because I covered all of mine, but I’ll explain more later.

To make the balls:

In a large bowl, mix together nuts, cookies, sugar and cocoa. Add in corn syrup and rum and mix until everything sticks together. Cover and refrigerate about an hour (or overnight).

Once chilled, make 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

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To make the chocolate:

Place 4 ounces of chocolate and 2 tablespoons of butter in a heat proof bowl. Over a pot of simmering water, stir until melted. Pour into shallow bowl and dip balls into chocolate. Place back on cookie sheet.Tip: If you need more chocolate, melt another 4 ounces and 2 tablespoons of butter. Once you have all the balls you want covered in chocolate, you may want to sprinkle some chopped nuts on some of them like I did. Then, stick in refrigerator until hardened. 

Once hardened, melt some white chocolate and drizzle over some of the balls. I like to do this because it makes them look fancy and they all look different 🙂 Enjoy!