sliced slice

Getting drunk AND eating cake? It’s the best of all possible desserts!

dry ingredients

Of course it is, because it’s a David Lebovitz dessert: Bahamian rum cake from Ready for Dessert. David is already my ice cream guru, so why not also a rum cake guru? Not a bad title to have.

I was having trouble deciding whether to make brownies (easier and quicker but not so exciting) or rum cake (longer and more involved but filled with liquor), so I turned to my Facebookers. My Facebookers are a greedy bunch who would not deign to answer my question, instead agitating for rum brownies. Gluttons.

I decided to leave the rum brownies to David and went with the rum cake (thank you, Jane, for being decisive!).


The batter was a pretty standard affair: cream butter and sugar, add eggs, then alternate wet and dry ingredients until smooth batterage is achieved. In this case, the “wet” was coconut milk, producing a rich, delicately scented, pale yellow batter. It also tasted good, which I might know because I accidentally on purpose left a lot of batter clinging to the mixing bowl that had to be eaten.

The most trying part of the whole thing was probably preparing the bundt pan for the batter. Buttering and flouring pans is my most hated step in baking, and trying to evenly flour the inside of a bundt pan is a DAMN NIGHTMARE. And that is NOT hyperbole.

bundt batter

Into the oven it went, because the weather was only in the mid-80s today so it was high time to crank up the range.


Toward the end of the baking time, I threw together the rum syrup in which the finished cake would soak: sugar, coconut milk, apply heat, whisk whisk whisk, add rum.

The liquor store only had big bottles of dark rum, so I guess I’ll be making a lot of rum cake from now on. There are worse problems to have.

three sheets to the wind

The cake came out about an hour and ten minutes after going in, beautifully risen and browned, and I poked it full of holes to welcome the coconut-rum syrup. I must confess that I strayed from the directions a bit, which instructed me to poke approximately 60 holes; I got a little poke-happy and went closer to 80.

I think it’s completely adorable that the number of pokes was specified, because who counts the pokes? David Lebovitz, that’s who. Which makes him a man after my own heart, because that’s totally the kind of thing I would do. I once spent an hour of my life figuring out exactly how many licks it DOES take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop

It’s 957, by the way. That owl was a fucking liar. Never trust a talking bird.


I turned the cooled cake out – I’d been afeared that the syrup would cause it to stick to the pan, but it fell out easily with a satisfying plop – and doused it with the remaining rum-coconut mixture.

I managed to wait entire nanoseconds for the syrup to sink in before I cut into it.

The recipe also includes an optional coconutty glaze, but David gives permission to omit it if it’s bathing suit season. Which it conveniently is, giving a nice out to people like myself who are too lazy to do it and don’t give two shits about bathing suit season.

a slice

The cake was golden, with a perfect crumb and a subtle coconut flavor. If I may voice a small complaint (and you have no idea how loathe I am to complain about a David Lebovitz recipe), it’s lack of rum. Some bites were moistly redolent with it, others had the merest hint.

This may have been my fault for not waiting long enough for the rum to fully soak in. Yes, it was probably my fault. David Lebovitz is blameless.

Is it wrong to eat rum cake for breakfast? Because I’m gonna.