Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dirty Little Secrets...

After writing up last week’s Caribbean “Destination of the Week,” I found myself craving Tortuga Rum Cake. This rum cake is the number one export from the Cayman Islands, and after tasting one it becomes clear why! This moist and buttery bundt cake is soaked in Tortuga Rum, which until very recently, could only be bought in the Caribbean. The secret recipe for this delectable dessert combines a family coffee cake recipe that was handed down four generations, and the trademark ingredient is a generous amount of premium five-year old, oak barrel aged Tortuga Gold Rum, which is not available to the public. Since its first tasting in 1987, this little cake, which really weighs 2 lbs (.91 Kgs), has garnered worldwide fame and attention. The rich flavor of the specially blended rum adds to the sweet golden quality of the cake, and imported walnuts give it a perfect bit of crunch. Each cake is hand glazed before being vacuum packed, to maintain freshness. Tortuga Rum Cake is made with high quality ingredients, like New Zealand Anchor butter, and without any preservatives, making every last bite taste as fresh and delicious as the first! There is nothing that quite matches the smell of the Tortuga Rum Cake factory on Grand Cayman Island, and the free samples handed out to visitors, but the below recipe will give you an idea of what all the fuss is about. Or, if you want the real thing, just click the link to order a cake by mail!


2 cups cake flour

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, cut into bits

3 tablespoons vegetable oil


1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 (3 1/2 ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix

1/2 cup milk

4 eggs

1/2 cup whaler vanilla rum (Hawaiian-style rum)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1/2 cup butter (do not substitute)

1/4 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup whaler vanilla rum (Hawaiian-style rum)


Basic Cake Mix: In a large mixing bowl, combine basic cake mix ingredients.

On low speed combine ingredients until the mix is the consistency of fine gravel, and all particles are about the same size.

This mix may be contained and stored for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spray a large Bundt pan (12 cup) with nonstick cooking spray.

Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on the bottom.

Place Basic Cake Mix, pudding mix, milk, eggs, rum, oil, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and combine on medium speed with electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes, scrape down the bowl halfway through.

Batter should be very smooth.

Pour into Bundt pan.

Bake for about 55 minutes- until fully golden and tester comes out clean and cake springs back.

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack while making the soaking glaze.


Combine butter, water and sugar in a small saucepan.

Bring to a boil carefully as mixture boils over very easily.

Reduce to a simmer and cook until sugar is dissolved and syrup is well combined and a little thicker.

Remove from the heat and add the rum, mix to combine.

While cake is still cooling, pour some of the hot syrup on top of the cake, allowing it time to soak in (this may take a few minutes as there will be a lot of syrup) continue to add syrup until all of the syrup is added.

Allow cake to cool completely in pan before turning out onto serving platter.

This cake is delicate, so once it is turned out, it cannot be moved around easily.

Can be eaten when fully cool, but even better the next day!


*Photo from

*Recipe from

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