Rum and Coconut Cake

My Uncle Bob has been sending a coconut rum cake to my family for years during the holiday season. This cake is coveted by the whole family. It is moist, covered in coconut and pecans and AMAZING. For years – years – only my mother knew about the cake. She would get the package, eat the coconut rum cake, and then share the remaining items with the family. Only recently have we been able to partake in the glory that is the coconut rum cake. Bob won’t share his recipe – and this isn’t exactly the same, but it is pretty close!


Rum and Coconut Cake

for the cake:

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, unsalted

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons oil, separated

1 3/4 cup gluten-free flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 3.4 oz package coconut pudding mix

3/4 cup whole milk

4 large eggs

3/4 cup rum*

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup shredded coconut plus 1/2 cup coconut

for the soak:

1/2 cup butter, unsalted

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup rum*

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Prepare two 9 inch loaf pans. Pour a little oil into each pan and wipe with a cloth to evenly distribute the oil.

Cream the butter and the sugar. Add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and 3 tablespoons of oil and mix until combined. The mixture will look like crumbs. Add the pudding mix, and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, rum, vanilla, and remaining oil. Add the wet ingredients slowly to the flour mixture until combined. The mixture should be pourable. Hand mix one cup of coconut into the batter.

Pour the batter into the two pans and tap them on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Top the pans with the remaining 1/2 cup coconut. Bake the cakes for about 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.

While the cake cooks, make the soak. Combine the butter, water, sugar in a saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolves. Let the mixture cook until slightly reduced, then remove from the heat and add the rum. Be careful when adding the rum! The mixture will bubble!

When the cakes are done, remove from the oven and place on the counter. Pour the warm soak over both cakes. Let the cake soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. Slice and serve.

*Do not use spiced rum. Use dark rum.


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