A moist, boozy upside-down rum cake, infused with everything coconut, and crowned with a pineapple halo and toasted coconut caramel sauce.
So, this Pina Colada Rum Cake. It’s like a fluffy coconut. With rum. And pineapple on top. And then more coconut. And caramel.
Do you know what that means?!
Yep. Double workout tomorrow at the gym for me.
BUT IT’S SO WORTH IT!
Rum cake has a special place in the hearts and home of Mr. Crumby and I.
It all started back on our first vacation together, a cruise to the Bahamas back in 2007. We’d been together a year, so we grabbed some friends and hopped a Royal Caribbean ship for a weekend getaway. I had never been out of the country, much less somewhere as “exotic” as the Bahamas, so I was pretty pumped to explore.
In Nassau, we found a little shop called the Tortuga Rum Company, where we proceeded to spend obscene amounts of money on bottles of rum, rum balls, and every flavor rum cake they carried.
Of course, we didn’t see any of it again until we got off the ship. Cue my sad-face.
But when we got home and tore into my first rum cake, I fell in love. I just couldn’t get over the yummy cake, marinated in that classic rum bite. Whenever I came upon a Tortuga cake after that trip, I made sure to grab a few.
Of course, I’ve made my own over the years, but you never forget your first.
Fast forward to 2012.
Mr. Crumby and I were in the midst of wedding planning. Of course, the perfect 4-tier cake was a huge deal for me, and when we finally settled on a pretty well-known and loved bakery, our hardest decision was cake flavors.
Except of course, for the 2 rum cake tiers, filled with pineapple. Those were a given. (We finally settled on Red Velvet and Vanilla-Chocolate with raspberry filling for the other two – it was all delicious!)
The cake was a hit! It was even more gorgeous than I could have imagined, and the flavors were out of this world! We had almost an entire tier left over to enjoy the following week!
We opted not to save our top tier (frozen pineapple filling? ew), and instead went to the same bakery and had them redo a small rum cake for our first anniversary.
Upon inspection on the way to Disney (where we spent our anniversary), we noticed that the cake had been pretty laughably decorated, but we thought nothing of it.
Cutting into it after dinner that night…that was a different story.
While the two tiers of our wedding cake were moist and had absolutely been soaked with rum, our anniversary cake…there was no rum to speak of. It was vanilla with a bit of pineapple.
We still polished off the whole thing that week, but we were disappointed that we couldn’t relive the happiest day of our lives through our cake. That day, I vowed to make our anniversary cakes for year two and beyond. No more store-bought!
This past Saturday was our 2nd anniversary, which we spent in St. Augustine (our favorite city). We arrived in the middle of the Greek Festival, which was a pleasant surprise. Of course, we ate! Spanakopita and Pastes and Souvlaki…and that was our pre-dinner appetizer!
Then we headed down St. George Street toward the best pizza in town at Pizzalley’s Chianti Room. A glass of wine and a slice of Garbage Can pizza later, we were off to downtown, requisite leftovers in hand.
We strolled to the Lightner Museum, where we caught a freshly married couple getting their formal portraits done before their reception.
Not going to lie, we had a serious discussion about playing out Wedding Crashers in real life.
St. Augustine bustles on Saturday nights, especially when the weather is nice, so we stayed out a little later than normal before grabbing our Kilwin’s ice cream and heading home.
And, following through with my vow, I made a variation of our wedding cake – the beautiful Pina Colada Rum Cake you see here.
I began with the Bahamian Rum Cake recipe from David Lebovitz and adapted it to include my beloved pineapple, and ended up hitting it out of the park, turning my favorite cake into a sort of boozy, pineapple upside down coconut extravaganza!
Mr. Crumby loved it, but said “It could use more rum.”
To be honest, we didn’t let the cake sit and marinate overnight in the rum before digging into it. We couldn’t wait!
The second (and third and fourth) piece we had, however, was supremely moist, and oh so yummy!! Not overly sweet, in spite of the rum caramel coconut sauce on top.
It may not taste like a Tortuga, but it’s definitely delicious enough to be a keeper!
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup canned coconut milk
- ¾ cup canned coconut milk
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup coconut rum
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut rum
- ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a bundt pan liberally. Sprinkle pan with brown sugar, then spread the pineapple over it evenly. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugars, slowly increasing the speed to medium and beating about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Drizzle mixture into the creamed butter, scraping the sides as needed. Once the eggs are completely incorporated (it should resemble moist icing), gently mix in ⅓ of the flour mixture, then half of the coconut milk. Repeat a second time. Add the remaining flour and stir until just combined.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan (it will be very thick). Bake for 35-45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- In a small saucepan, warm the remainder of the coconut milk, and the sugar over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Be careful not to bring it to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in rum.
- When cake comes out of the oven: Using a wooden skewer, poke numerous holes in the warm cake - the more holes, the more rum soaks in!
- Pour ¾ of the syrup over the cake slowly, allowing it to soak in before adding more.
- Let cake cool in the bundt pan, then invert on plate.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the top with the remaining syrup.
- Combine the butter, cream, salt and sugar together in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring the mixture to dissolve the sugar (about 2 minutes).
- Remove from heat and whisk in the rum. Cool, then whisk in the toasted coconut.
- Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake. For stronger rum flavor, allow cake to rest overnight under a covered dome.
- Garnish as desired, serve, and enjoy!
How do you celebrate your anniversaries?