How to Make Rum and Coke Pound Cake
Combine a go-to summer dessert with a go-to summer cocktail.
When the weather turns warm, we get a little more creative with our cocktails chez us. After a long winter of the warming but somewhat staid beverages, suddenly we feel a bit more fanciful, and whether it is a fun and fruity tipple, a refreshing spritz or something “and tonic”, the ability to end the day on our porch with a grown-up beverage is a delight.
One such summer favorite is the classic rum and Coke. Not the generic tipsy-making sneaky drink of our youth, but a very adult cocktail with serious attention paid. I’m talking Mexican Coke (which is made with cane sugar and not corn syrup), poured out of glass bottles over super clear slow-melting cocktail ice cubes with a seriously good amber or dark rum like Havana Club or Mount Gay, and garnished with a fresh wedge of lime. A lovely balance of sweet and tart and boozy and bubbly.
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Also in the summer, I become a fan of a pound cake. Easy to make, infinitely variable. When plain, you can almost defend it as a breakfast or afternoon snack. But dressed up with any manner of fruit or cream or ice cream or other garnish, it can hang at everything from a backyard barbecue to an elegant dinner party. So, it occurred to mem that perhaps I might mash-up one of my go-to summer desserts with one of my go-to summer drinks.
This rum and Coke pound cake benefits from the same attention to detail about ingredients as my version of the cocktail. European-style butter (I like Kerrygold or Plugra for this), light brown sugar to pick up the caramel notes in the cola and the rum, and vanilla paste which has all those lovely vanilla seeds in it and is closer to using fresh vanilla pod than extract.
Preheat oven to 350. Place softened butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with your hand mixer and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat until well mixed. Add the cola, vanilla and rum and blend. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients to blend and break up any clumps and add to the bowl and mix well, watching your curdled mess become a velvety smooth batter.
Line a large loaf pan with a sheet of parchment paper and spray with cooking spray, or spray a nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray, and add your batter, smoothing the top. Bake for 75-90 minutes, or until the top has risen and cracked a bit and a skewer in the middle comes out clean. This is a dense cake and no one’s oven is the same. You want a deeply cracked, well-browned top crust, and the skewer must come out clean or the cake will be doughy and taste of raw flour.
While the cake is baking, mix the zest and juice of one large lime with 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Since every lime is different, you might need more sugar if the glaze is too liquid. I like some thickness, about the consistency of pancake batter, so that it will still drizzle, but slowly like lava. Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Then drizzle or spread 2 tablespoons of the glaze over the top, where it will melt in and help seal the cake, then cool in the pan for another 15 minutes. Gently remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack. When cooled, drizzle as much of the glaze over as you like. I like a full coating on top with some waterfall over the sides, but some prefer a lighter drizzle and some like to spread evenly over the whole cake.