Rum Punch Cake

Active time: 20 min. Total time: 5 hours, 10 min., including 4 hours standing
Yield: Serves 10 (serving size: 1 slice) 

Our Rum Punch Cake is a cross between a Jamaican rum cake and a hummingbird cake. It’s got the good qualities of fruitcake, and makes a great fruitcake alternative. There’s tons of moisture, and the pineapple and orange segments add some jewel-toned touches of beauty—plus, adding grenadine gives the cake a fun pink hue. Although the rum flavor is definitely there, this cake isn’t boozy—but you can certainly change that if you want. If you let this soak overnight, there’s a chance it’ll be hard to get it out of the pan, so place it in 350° oven for 3 minutes. Once the sticky syrup is loosened from the cake pan, it should slide right out.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 1/4 cups (about 9 5/8 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (from 1 navel orange)
  • 1(8 1/4-oz.) can mandarin oranges in light syrup
  • 1/2 cup drained canned pineapple tidbits (from 1 [8-oz.] can)
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons grenadine
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Orange peel twists

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 10-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, 1 cup of the granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, oil, and zest until just combined. Drain mandarin oranges, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid from can. Fold mandarin oranges, pineapple tidbits, and reserved orange liquid into batter until just combined. Spoon batter into prepared Bundt pan.  

Step 2

Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer cake in pan to a wire rack. 

Step 3

Bring butter, rum, water, grenadine, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.

Step 4

Poke holes all over cake in pan using a long skewer. Pour 1/2 cup rum syrup all over cake, letting syrup sink into cake and holes. Cover cake with plastic wrap; let stand at room temperature 4 hours. Loosen edges of cake from pan using an offset spatula; invert cake onto a serving platter. Brush with remaining rum syrup. If desired, garnish with cherries and orange peel twists. 

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