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Coconut Rum Cake

This super moist coconut rum cake is soaked in a coconut rum syrup and has all-purpose, gluten-free, whole grain and dairy-free options.

For the gluten-free version, I used this 1-to-1 baking flour. Hot from the oven, you can notice a textural difference but nobody could tell a difference between the two versions once the gluten-free version had cooled!

This coconut rum cake recipe is totally different. Except for the syrup, which I adapted to use less sugar and coconut rum in place of regular rum. In contrast to the rum cake, you can’t taste the alcohol all that much. It’s much more subtle here! If you want more of a boozy taste, perhaps you could try a mix of coconut rum and regular rum. If you only use rum, you won’t be able to taste much coconut at all (I know because I’ve tried!).

The coconut rum syrup uses butter, but for the dairy-free option, you can use dairy-free / vegan butter or coconut oil. I have to admit that I preferred the butter version over the coconut oil version. There’s already so much coconut flavor so the butter was a nice addition! If you want you could skip the syrup all together. While the cupcakes were nice and moist without the syrup, I haven’t tried the Bundt cake without it but I’m assuming and hoping it’d also be nice and moist.


    For the cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups (281 grams) white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour or 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated sugar or raw sugar
  • 9 tablespoons (126 grams) coconut oil, melted
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (177 milliliters) canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) coconut rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 2 cups (170 grams) coconut flakes (I used sweetened but unsweetened should be fine)
  • For the coconut rum syrup:

  • 1/2 cup (112 grams) unsalted butter (for dairy-free, use vegan / dairy-free butter or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) water
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar or raw sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) coconut rum


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 °F (176°C). Brush the pan with solid vegetable shortening and dust with flour or use baking spray with flour in it to grease the pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set this aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, melted coconut oil, eggs, coconut milk, coconut rum, vanilla and coconut extracts until well combined. Fold in the flour mixture, just until no more streaks of flour remain. Fold in the coconut flakes.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. The cake will crack around the top - stick the toothpick into this area to test.
  5. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack. While the cake is cooling, prepare the coconut rum syrup. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter, water, sugar and salt until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the coconut rum (it'll bubble).
  6. Wash and dry the Bundt pan and place the cake back into the pan. Poke holes into the cake (I used a meat thermometer to do this), about every 3/4" or so. If using the Crown Bundt, make sure to poke your holes at an angle instead of poking straight down. Pour the syrup slowly over the cake. It will look like WAY too much syrup but don't stop pouring! It will get absorbed. Let soak for 2 hours and then invert the cake back onto a serving platter. Cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. General tip: if you have issues with the syrup-drenched cake not coming out of its pan, place the Bundt pan in a large bowl or pot. Very carefully fill with very hot water, but make sure that no water gets in the pan. Or you can fill a pot with hot water and submerge 2/3 of the pan in the water and hold it there for 30 seconds. The heat and steam will help loosen the cake from the pan. If it doesn't plop right out, give the top of the pan a good whack.
  7. Let the cake cool completely. Cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.


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