Pecan Rum Cake with a Satsuma Variation

Every year my mother-in-law sends “gelt” (a.k.a. money) for Hanukkah rather than presents. I like to save the gelt for something really special; something I might not otherwise indulge in. This year an old-fashioned Bundt cake pan caught my attention. I love to bake and this seemed like a fitting use for her generosity. The first cake I made was “Pecan Rum Cake.” It is festive for the all the holidays — both Hannukah and Christmas. I liked it so much I also made a variation, “Satsuma Rum Cake.”

Pecan Rum Cake is an elegant dessert for the holidays. A bit of rum in the cake and icing gives a tipsy flavor. Pecans sprinkled in the bottom of the Bundt cake pan before the batter is added become toasty and aromatic during the baking. And it made a great birthday cake for our grandson this year.

The recipe is adapted from one that I found in a Rouses Markets grocery magazine. Rouses Markets is a long-standing New Orleans grocery store chain. The family owned chain recently expanded into our town and one of their stores is located close by. I was excited to see the Rouses Markets arrive — I like the friendly atmosphere and now have a source for my favorite New Orleans’ French bread.

Their bi-monthly supermarket magazine in October-November included a recipe for a  homemade cake with satsuma and lemon zest in the batter. Rum, sugar and the juice from the fruits made the glaze. Thought I’d try their recipe exactly as shown (with added pecans). I took this cake to a Christmas party buffet — it was a hit!

Rouses’ recipe includes satsumas which is a variety of mandarin oranges grown in Louisiana and throughout the South. If these are not available then substitute either tangerines or clementines. In any means, don’t skip the fruit — they add an interesting twist to the cake recipe.

I added Louisiana pecans to the cake batter which are not in the original recipe. I love pecans and the crunchy, nutty flavor really made the cake special.

This recipe is for a buttermilk cake made from scratch. The buttermilk gives a soft texture and real butter adds to the flavor. I like using real butter in the recipe although the recipe says you can use either butter or margarine. There are plenty of recipes for rum cakes made with a cake mix, pudding mix and rum in the batter (these are good, too) — but I wanted to make a special cake and there is nothing better than a homemade dessert.  

Making a cake from scratch really isn’t that difficult. I first look through the recipe ingredients and instructions and get each step organized  — sift the flour, baking powder, soda, salt together; zest the satsumas and lemon; oil the cake pan, chop the pecans and place them in the bottom of the cake pan, etc. etc. Then everything is ready to go, just mix things together.

When making a cake from scratch — remember a couple of general tips. First cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until they are well blended, light and airy.  This may take several minutes but this adds air to the cake batter and makes the cake tender and light.
Next add the eggs and beat further until the batter is creamy. But once you start adding the flour mixture — alternating with the buttermilk — beat only until the flour is just mixed in — don’t over-beat or the cake may become tough. Spoon the batter into the cake pan and bake just until the cake is set  — I only baked this cake for 40 minutes, not an hour as the instructions show.

Most recipes for rum cakes include a step where a rum glaze is poured over the cake. This makes the cake a little tipsy and definitely adds rum flavor. Rouses’ recipe is different; the glaze is poured over the cake while it is still in the pan. My goal here was to follow the cake instructions exactly as written (except for the pecans). The result is a moist and sweet cake. Yum.

The instructions say that you can leave the cake in the pan for several days. I didn’t wait that long — just an hour. This makes a beautiful presentation. I hated to cut the cake but was eager to taste it, too!

Thanks to my mother-in-law for her generosity over all these years — I am very lucky to have such a great family, especially during the  holidays.  I am sure the old-fashioned Bundt cake pan will get plenty of use. Enjoy!

Listed here are both the recipes for Rouses Markets Satsuma Rum Cake which includes rum in the glaze and also for my variation of Pecan Rum Cake which includes pecans and rum in the cake batter. Both are delicious!

Rouses Markets Satsuma Rum Cake

  • Servings: 10-12 slices
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients for cake:

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Zest (grated rind) of 1 lemon
  • Zest (grated rind) of 2 satsumas
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Satsuma rum Glaze (recipe follows)

Ingredients for glaze:

  • Juice of 2 large satsumas
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp rum

Method and Steps for cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan well.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter until light. Add sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs and zest of lemon and satsumas. Beat until the mixture is very light.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, sift or mix together well the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. When the batter is well blended spoon it into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. while the cake is still hot and still in the pan, pour on the glaze. Cake can be left in the pan for several days before serving. (I baked my cake for only 40 minutes.)

Method and Steps for glaze:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. When mixture boils and sugar is dissolved, pour evenly over the hot cake.

VARIATION: Sprinkle 1 cup of coarsely chopped pecans in bottom of the Bundt cake pan after it is oiled but before the batter is added. No need to toast the pecans first; they become toasted as the cake bakes..

SOURCE: “My Rouses Everyday Magazine” September/October 2018.

https://www.rouses.com/cooking/recipes/satsuma-rum-cake/

 

Pecan Rum Cake

  • Servings: 10-12 slices
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients for cake:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup rum

Ingredients for glaze:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp rum (optional) or 1 tsp rum extract

Method and Steps for cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil 10″ Bundt pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter until light. Add sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add approximately one-third of flour mixture to the batter then 1/2 cup of buttermilk, then next third of flour, followed by the reminder of buttermilk and the rum; ending with last third of flour mixture. Beat as little as possibly; only enough to combine the ingredients.
  5. Spoon batter it into the oiled Bundt pan.
  6. Bake for 35 to  40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  7. Let cool so cake can be handled, and then run a knife around both outer and inner edges to loosen cake. Invert onto cake plate. Slowly pour on hot glaze.

Method and Steps for glaze:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. When mixture boils and sugar is dissolved, pour evenly over the cake.

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