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Key West Rum Cake

Key West Rum Cake (Source: Maida Heatter's Cakes (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 2011 ed., pg. 37).

Well, this did not turn out to be one  of the most attractive cakes but oh my gosh, is it good! I made it almost two weeks ago, and it is still divine, the remainder wrapped in plastic wrap. If we didn't have a hundred other desserts lying about, I'm sure it would have been long gone. It is still moist but then again, I suppose it should be with almost 1/2 cup of rum soaked into it. 

The cake is also known as "Pirate's Cake". It is similar to a pound cake. After it has baked, you drench it with 2/3 cup of rum. The rum and 2 cups of pecans make the cake very heavy.  I slightly under baked the bake which probably made it even moister but it was done. It didn't slice well though and was a tad messy. A fork (or spoon!) was definitely needed. Now we are just pinching off pieces of it. One bite will satisfy any sweet craving. The combination of the chocolate with the rum and lime juice mixture is divine.

I used a Bundt pan for this but a tube pan might work even better. She says to use a tube pan and I'm not sure why I didn't do that.


2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups toasted pecans

Rum Syrup

1/2 cup water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light rum
1 TBS. lime juice

Preheat the oven to 325. Butter or spray a large tube pan (13-14 cup capacity) and dust with bread crumbs.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Melt both the semi-sweet and the unsweetened chocolate in a double-boiler over hot water. Set aside.

Beat the butter until soft and add the vanilla and almond extracts. 

Add the sugar...

Add the eggs, one at a time, until mixed.

Add the sifted dry ingredients on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Remove one cup of the batter and place it in a separate bowl -

To this batter, add the baking soda -

and the melted chocolate - mix well

Using a spoon, place dollops of the batter you just mixed into the prepared pan -

Smooth it out with the back of the spoon -

Now, return to the remaining batter and add the pecans to it -

Spread the second batter over the chocolate batter and smooth it out -

Bake for 1 hour or until a tester comes out clean from the center. 

While the cake is baking, prepare the rum syrup:

Stir the water and sugar in a saucepan, bringing it to a boil over medium heat. Let it boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely. Then stir in the rum and the lime juice.

When the cake is done, leave it in the pan and brush the hot syrup over the cake until it is all absorbed.

Invert the cake onto a cooling rack and remove it from the pan while it is still warm.

Cool completely before cutting.

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