Joy the Baker

Mocha Rum Cake

July 31, 2008

So sneaky!  This cake is nothing but sneaky.   It may not have the looks of a world class chocolate cake, but please don’t underestimate me when I tell you that this is one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever experiences.

If this chocolate cake were your blind date, you might think to yourself, well…. he’s not as tall as guys I usually date, and he’s a little dorky.  But by the end of the night, you’re both laughing hysterically, he’s taken off his glasses to reveal quite a handsome man, and you’re already thinking about the cute pair of flats you’re going to buy so you’re not taller than him.

This is that cake.  It’ll surprise you.  It might seem a little short, and a little dorky, but trust me when I say it’s worth the leap of faith.

With the flavors of chocolate, coffee and rum, this cake tastes like it’s loaded with all the good things in the world.  I topped mine with a simple rum glaze, but if served slightly warm, I think lightly sweetened whipped cream would be divine.

This Mocha Rum Cake is impossibly moist, and dense without being heavy.  Let yourself be surprised by this little gem.

Mocha Rum Cake

adapted from Gourmet, January 1994

Print this Recipe!

cocoa powder for dusting
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup dark rum
1 1/3 cups strong brewed coffee
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
confectioners’ sugar for dusting

lightly sweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter a 4 1/2-inch-deep (12-cup) Kugelhupf or bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder, knocking out excess.

In a bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove chocolate from heat and stir in rum, coffee, and granulated sugar. With an electric mixer beat in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down side, and beat in eggs and vanilla until batter is combined well.  The batter may seem very loose.  That’s perfect!  Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake cake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Let cake cool completely in pan on a rack and turn it out onto rack. Cake may be made 3 days in advance and kept wrapped well and chilled.

Dust cake with confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream.

I made a simple rum glaze with 2 cups powdered sugar and 2-3 Tablespoons of rum.

61 Comments Add A Comment

  • Also, are you concerned I’ll die of heat stroke if I bake this is my tiny-ass apartment in Queens this weekend?


  • Joy,

    Question…if I make this cake for our Movie Night extravaganza in Bryant Park, do you think I would be the most popular girl at the party? Chrissy says you have to tell me…


  • The first picture of this cake makes me want to lounge in the middle of it and get sticky with all of the drippy icing, I love it!
    I have a question though. Do you think using a flavored rum would work just as well with this? I just thought maybe it could add another level of flavor perhaps?

    Thank you.

  • Mmm, I love these pictures…so moist and delicious looking!! Perfect description, too!
    P.S. That blind date guy you described?….I’m married to him!! Hahaha! Geeks make the best husbands! ;-)

  • Hehehe..I giggled for five minutes when I read this. It looks delicious! Funny girl.

  • This seems like the kind of secret cake that you never knew had the potential to make you want to eat the entire thing, but then you look back at the cake the next day and voila! it’s gone :) ps. those slightly dorky guys that aren’t the hunks are my FAVORITE.

  • this sounds (and looks) wonderful–and your description is hysterical! :)

  • Hi Yogi- The recipe calls for dark rum but I didn’t have that on hand. Go ahead and use any rum, dark or light, that you have around. And a tube pan would be fine. Just make sure it’s large enough to hold all the batter- a 12 cup pan.

    Hi Rachel- Definitely cool the Bundt cake for a few hours before you pyt a glaze on. Make sure the cake is completely cool or the glaze will just run off. I always use a pretty thick glaze because gravity always pulls it down the cake and thins it out. Happy baking!

    Thanks for everyone’s comments! I always love to hear from you!

  • Good morning Joy…I have been reading your blog for a few months now and it is outstanding. I love every single thing you bake and I have made a few things so far that have always been the talk of the party. I have a problem though whenever I bake a bundt cake. When I put the glaze on it, it doesnt ever look right. Definitely doesn’t look anywhere close to yours! Do you wait a few hours before you put the glaze on? And should the glaze be super thick?

  • Look at that moist slice! I loved that you compared it to a blind date! But hey who needs dates with this kind of cake arround?

  • All I need now is a tall glass of milk! (and a slice of the cake – if u will be so kind as to fedex it to moi) :P

  • This looks delicious! It has some of my very favorite flavors. Your glaze looks so pretty!

  • This looks so divine and I was thinking how to marry chocolate with something other than khalua. Thank you for the recipe. I will try it out. Since I am new to baking, a few questions. If I can’t find the rum that you shown here, will any rum do or must it be dark rum? Is there dark or light rum? Sorry, I don’t drink alcohol. 2nd question: I only have a tube pan. Will it work?

    I love how you describe this cake in the posting. :)

  • Gorgeous cake!! I love the flavors too – I’ll have to try this one!

  • This looks delicious! I love your description too. Your blog is always fun to read.

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