Monday, March 1, 2010


Much to my surprise, Min from The Bad Girl's Kitchen (who I already loved for making me an honorary Bad Girl) organized a surprise party with nothing but beach inspired recipes from many of my favorite bloggers! What a wonderful surprise when I stumbled across this last night. I was so surprised and thrilled, and it even made my wife cry a bit... Take a second and head over to this post and see an INCREDIBLE number of useful recipes for all those folks stuck in snow. We all need a little sunshine and beach dreams. Cook one of those and imagine a few moments in the sun. Will do your soul good.

Click HERE to get to the Our Krazy Kitchen post of all these amazing recipes! And it is not too late to play along... There is an easy way for you to attach a tropical recipe if you would like to be a part of the party!

Here's a bit of the logo from yesterday OUR KRAZY KITCHEN Blog Post

Well, Here is my contribution
to the party

Rum Cake!

Now, this recipe is more of a creation of necessity than following a recipe. I found a recipe that uses corn meal in the ingredient list. I had some left over from my Anadama Bread baking experience. Any chance to use an ingredient I already had in my pantry was going to be jumped on!

The look of the cake inspired the pineapple. I am in a temp kitchen that is sparsely stocked. Ideally, a rum cake would be in a bundt pan. I do not have a bundt pan. But, I did have a Pyrex bowl that would make a domed shaped cake. But that would not be visually appealing... How about an upside down cake, and what is more logical than a pineapple upside down cake! And, here is where I got a little break, I found a can of pineapple slices comparatively cheap (only $1.50). So, here we go...

12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1/4 cup dark rum
the juice of one fresh lime
the zest of one fresh lime
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon baking powder

1 can pineapple slices
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dark rum

And finally, another 1/2 cup dark rum!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a round domed Pyrex pan

  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I have a whisk, and no mixer or kitchenaid... A great workout.
  • beat in eggs one at a time
  • add 1/4 cup rum, lime juice and zest, stir till well mixed
  • add flour, corn meal, spices and baking powder, mix very well. Another great workout
  • Meanwhile, make a mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon of rum, mix well, until the sugar has been dissolved.
  • Coat each side of the pineapple rings in the sugar mixture and arrange in the bottom of the bowl in an attractive manor. I sliced the last few in half to make a border.
  • Pour cake batter over the pineapples and bake for @1 hour, or until a toothpick can be inserted and comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for a bit. But while the cake is still warm, insert a skewer into the cake top 100 times (don't count, just make a bunch of holes).
  • pour the final 1/2 cup rum into the holes
  • Flip the cake so the bottom is the top and listen to the oooohs and aaaahs!

OK... The verdict. I can do better.

Actually, I loved this and would think it was god's creation. BUT, recently I had a sample of an Island legend... (click on the photo to get to her website)

(she does mail order if you want to try the best)

Her's is better... Quite a bit better.

So, what was the difference???

Her's was more tender and sweeter. Her coloring was more appealing, almost a sunshine yellow.

Next time, I will not use a dark rum, I will use a sweeter flavored rum that is clear (imagine coconut rum!). Hopefully that will get me the bright yellow color.

I think I will cook just a shade less. I probably over cooked the cake. That will make it less dry.

And finally, I am going to try a tip from my Anadama Bread post that also used corn meal. I will allow the batter to sit for a few hours, and allow magic to break down the sugars in the corn meal. If you read the Bread Baker's Apprentice book, the author goes into detail about what happens when you let corn meal soak. One of which is to have a sweeter bread because the natural sugars in corn are allowed to break down.

But it tasted GREAT... Looked GREAT and feels like an island recipe.

So, a GREAT CAKE... but a cake in process. Any tips???


  1. Light or dark rum, I've never had a rum cake. Sounds wonderful. I don't follow Krazy Kitchen so didn't get involved in the party, but what a wonderful and fun idea. I'll have to head over there and take a look and join in the fun.

  2. Glad you were surprised! That cake looks so good! Its got fruit, I can have it for breakfast then! HA!
    Have fun Dave!

  3. Sorry I missed out on your party Dave! I have been a bit under the weather the past week and haven't been doing much cooking. Your cake looks fabulous, but then, everything you cook looks fabulous! Have a great party, but don't drink too much!!! lol. :)

  4. You continue to amaze and inspire me!! That cake may be in progress but it won't take long before it becomes the perfect cake!!! Rum is sooo ... "pirates of the caribbean". But wait. You ARE in the carribean!!

  5. This sounds incredible. I'd really like a slice of this for breakfast. Have a great day, Dave.

  6. Dave I am sooooooooooooooooo glad we were able to SURPRISE you and Jackie. It was hard work trying to remember NOT to use the message board to talk to everyone - we almost messed up more than once LOL and were afraid you'd see something early. We were on pins and needles all week trying to surprise you two.

    Now for the cake. I add raisins, golden raisin to be exact that have been soaked in rum, my favorite way is parrot bay coconut rum. Here's my recipe for the family fave

    Hope you're having fun at the party!

  7. Such fun! No suggestions for your cake - I'm really not a baker, but it does look good to me!

  8. Beautiful rum cake! I love pineapple, it is such an underused fruit. Nice job. And glad you were surprised by this thoughtful plan!

  9. I haven't had rum cake in a long time and I've never had pineapple upside down rum cake. What a perfect idea...very tropical. I really like your thoughts about using coconut rum next time. That'll definitely be good. A pina colada upside down cake of sorts.

    Good luck with your meal planning and grocery lists. I'm guessing there's no Kroger or Super Walmart round the corner. : )

    Per your request I did post a fish recipe last Friday. : ) Enjoy your party!

  10. i've been enjoying your party too, so many great recipes! this cake tops it all off perfectly!

  11. What a great surprise! Love your rum cake with all that gorgeous pineapple and I would love a slice about now! Interesting with the corn meal addition and lots of good rum! Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Anything for you guys, Dave! Both you and Jackie are two of the sweetest people I've encountered in the blogosphere.

    This cake looks amazing! You think you can ship a slice to NY?

  13. That looks like a real winner! Good flavors..

  14. What a nice surprise for you! I'm saving this recipe for summer camping as I think it would work really well in the Dutch oven.

  15. What a cute surprise Dave! :D I am not a very good cake maker - only carrot cake and it calls for a cup of oil AND a stick of butter!

    Happy Monday!

  16. Wait...a cake that looks great and tastes great, but still needs work? Maybe you need a few more swigs of rum! =) So glad you were surprised, it really was fun to get all your friends together in secret!

  17. Oh yummo! Wish a had a tropical recipe to add in.

  18. Min is so sweet!!! I love this rum cake with pineapple! I just bought some rum yesterday for these coconut cupcakes that are part of this weeks cupcake-baking-extravaganza (baking 4 different cupcakes for my mom's birthday)and I love me some pineapple, so there's a good change that I might make this cake someday too!

  19. Can't say I have any tips, but I do know I personally prefer cakes made with dark rum to light. It looks awesome!

  20. Yummy Dave! You really didn't have to bring anything to your own party! Besides, you'll be busy cooking for us when we come to visit. So glad you enjoyed your surprise party! :-)

  21. oh wow...i could go for some of that tonight. i think i even have all the ingredients