"This is the best cake, literally, I have ever had!" my eldest daughter said the first time I made this, and it is now my mom's favorite cake. I first heard of Rum Bundt Cake in A Threadbare Heart, a novel by Jennie Nash where the cake is pretty much one of the main characters. She didn't include the recipe but I was intrigued enough to start a search for it. I didn't have to go far; a multitude of variations immediately surfaced (allrecipes.com, The Cake Mix Doctor cookbook by Anne Byrn and on several blogs). And the version my mom first had was not a Bundt cake at all, but was baked in a 9 x 13 dish. Obviously, this is a very popular recipe AND I HAD NEVER HEARD OF IT BEFORE. The story is that the Bacardi company president hosted a party in Miami in 1976 where a neighbor brought a version of this cake for dessert. The corporate chef began making it for executive lunches, and then an ad campaign was launched that was very successful -it just didn't reach me until now. It definitely has a pronounced rum flavor throughout. The crunch and flavor of the nut layer contrasts with the softness of the cake with the buttery sweet and slightly sticky glaze wrapping around it all. It is quite rich, so I like to make the smaller 6 cup size Bundt for just the family, but the mondo 12 cup size is better for groups. Here's my version. This is a good cake for family reunions, funerals (as in the novel), hostess gifts, potlucks, and family dinners....anytime is a good time to bake this cake.
Bacardi Rum Bundt Cake
Grease and flour a 6-cup Bundt pan (or double recipe for a 12-cup)
Sprinkle 1/2 c. chopped pecans (or walnuts) over the bottom of the pan.
Mix together and halve, saving second half for another cake, a yellow cake mix and a 3 3/4 oz. Jell-O Instant Vanilla Pudding mix.
2 T. cold water
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. Bacardi Dark Rum
Mix batter for 2 minutes. Pour over nuts in pan. Bake 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes (45-50 minutes if you double the recipe for a 12 cup pan) or until toothpick tests clean. Cool 15 minutes in pan on rack, invert cake, remove pan and set aside (don't wash it). Make the glaze in a small saucepan.
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. water
Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1/4 c. Bacardi Dark Rum. Pour half of glaze into Bundt pan, then reinsert cake into pan. With a toothpick, prick holes all over cake top then carefully pour or spoon second half of glaze on cake top allowing it time to soak in. Leave cake to sit and absorb glaze for several hours before inverting onto a plate to serve.