I am head over heels for winter holidays. I love colder temperatures, I get the warm fuzzies thinking about how much I love and appreciate my family and friends, I like shiny things like lights and sequins, and the food is just fantastic. So many luscious sweets and treats that feel way too heavy any other time of the year.
I also adore making my annual holiday cards – it’s one of the few creative projects I do each year that’s completely indulgent and exactly what I want. Every year, my pets are featured, and this time around I imagined what would happen if Cheeto, my Jack Russell Terrier mix, ever ran into Santa.
Poor Santa. Maybe next year, he’ll try bringing the cookies to her.
Anyway – the big problem with this time of year is that I am always pressed for time. Work is busy, the social calendar is full, and there’s whole lot of effort going into pulling off holiday decorating, preparing gifts, and clean clean cleaning for hosting holiday parties. As much as I love the festive food, there isn’t always much time to pull it off.
That’s why I love this rum cake recipe so very much. It’s quite tasty and uses a cake mix as a base to save precious time.
Vanilla pudding mix helps keep it moist, as does the rum glaze it gets soaked in. Mmm, rum glaze.
We served it alongside a bunch of other goodies at a holiday movie party last weekend. Check out the spread here:
There were cookies, chocolate covered strawberries, gingerbread cupcakes, sugar coated roasted pecans, kettle corn, regular popcorn, hot chocolate, and spiced apple cider. We showed these holiday cartoons/shorts (a few are a little risqué, so probably don’t watch them at work) before diving into the main feature – White Christmas.
Yes, we made the shelves in the background into a second tree. Our first tree is in the living room, and her name is Carlotta. I’m not entirely sure why I started naming our Christmas trees, but if we’re going to display their slowly drying corpses in the living room for a whole month, I think they, at the very least, deserve a name.
Whoops, got a little dark on you, didn’t I? To make up for it, here’s a puppy in a bowl:
Anyway, the night was a grand ole time and the cake was, as usual, a hit. Let’s dive into how to make it, shall we?
- A few Tablespoons of flour for coating the bundt pan
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 pox instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup rum (I use Meyers)
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup white sugar
- Thoroughly coat your bundt pan with PAM and a light layer of flour. Sprinkle bottom of pan with chopped walnuts. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- In a big bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and ½ cup of rum. Mix well.
- Bake for about 60 minutes, or until a tester (toothpick, butter knife, etc.) comes out clean.
- Combine butter, ¼ cup water, 1 cup sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for about 5-7 minutes while stirring constantly. Add remaining ½ cup rum and stir for an additional minute. Remove from heat.
- This next part takes a little finesse! Carefully remove the cake from the cake pan to make sure the top doesn't stick. Then, even more carefully, slide it back into the cake pan.
- Poke several holes in the base of the cake and pour about 75% of the glaze into the pan. Allow it to soak in fully, then turn the cake out onto a serving dish.
- Pour the remaining glaze over the top of the cake and serve.
She lives in the Bay Area and cites her diverse background as her biggest influence: her visual artist mom is half-Chinese, half-Greek, and from Hawai’i; her film-loving, world-music curating dad is from Montana; and she lived in both California and Montana while growing up. She loves at least a little bit about virtually everything (Pokémon Snap included) and aims to be a Jane of all trades. By day Cat is a multiple-hat-wearing media person.
She is also allergic to felines.