I’ve been baking more cakes lately than I have in years. It seems the more time pressure I am under with writing deadlines, the more baking cakes I do! I just finished writing my cookbook and it’s been sent to the printers. To celebrate: a cake! Just a little something to keep my body and soul together until the next deadline.

This one is a moist vanilla rum cake with a rum frosting sprinkled with shaved dark chocolate.

Vanilla Rum Cake


  • 1 1/4 cups
  • 2 1/4 cups
    cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon
  • 3 teaspoons
    baking powder
  • dash
  • 1/2 cup
    unsalted butter, soft
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons
    vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup
    dark rum
  • 1/2 cup
  • 4
    egg whites, room temperature

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Put the butter and vanilla in a food processor and process for 30 seconds. Add the rum and milk and process for 15 seconds.
  4. Pour in the dry ingredients and pulse until combined.
  5. Beat the egg whites until almost stiff. Add to the food processor and pulse just until combined.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans until ready to frost.



  • 1/2 cup
    unsalted butter, soft
  • 3 3/4 cups
    confectioners’ sugar, plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 4 tablespoons, plus 1/4 cup
    dark rum
  • 2 ounces
    semi-sweet chocolate

Cooking Directions

  1. Beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar, vanilla and 4 tablespoons rum and beat until fluffy.
  3. Pour 1/8 cup rum over one layer of the cake. Frost the top.
  4. Place the 2nd layer on top. Pour 1/8 cup rum over that layer, then frost the entire cake.
  5. Grate the chocolate on a box grater over the top to decorate.


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4 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Adri April 4, 2013 at 11:00 am -

    Hello Hillary!
    You must be thrilled that your book is off, although it must be a bit of an “empty nest!” I wish you the best with it. This cake looks wonderful. Isn’t it something what a bit of rum can do for a cake!

  2. Hillary Davis April 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm -

    Rum is the cure all for so many desserts…..try it in a sweet omelet…..:))

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