Recently I posted on Facebook a link to an Epicurious article on crunchy cake crusts. The gist: use sugar to line a cake pan instead of flour. It works!
In general using sugar to line a cake pan is best for only a few types of cakes. Realistically it is best for they cakes you don't frost: upsidedown, bundt, loaf, but especially rum cake.
It gives the cake the BEST crust ever. The crunchy texture pairs especially well with the moist cake.
I also use powdered sugar for all the other cakes. Works the same as flour, but I prefer it. Sometimes flour leaves a grainy texture on the outside of a cake, but powdered sugar never does. It's brilliant!
Today I tried out a new recipe. I liked the simplicity of it and wanted to see how it'd work out. Turns out great!
If you want a rumless rum cake replace the half cup of rum with a cup of water and 2 tablespoons rum flavoring. Enjoy!
as adapted from King Arthur Flour
for the cake
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups sugar + extra for lining the cake pan
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup instant vanilla pudding mix, dry
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
4 large eggs
1/2 cup golden rum
2 teaspoons vanilla
for the syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup golden rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spritz a 10 to 12 cup bundt pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle in some sugar and turn the pan to coat evenly. Set aside.
Place all of the dry cake ingredients into the stand mixer. Mix lightly just to incorporate. Add the liquid ingredients, except the rum and vanilla, in the bowl of your stand mixer and blend on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down one or twice during those two minutes.
Add the rum and vanilla to the batter and blend for another minute. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread level with a spatula.
Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes. When done, the cake will test clean on a cake tester. If you don't have one, I have used metal chopsticks and butter knifes in the past. King Arthur also recommends a piece of dry spaghetti.
Leave the cake in the pan to cool slightly while you make the soaking syrup.
In a medium-sized saucepan combine the syrup ingredients, except vanilla. Bring to a rapid boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the syrup thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Use a long skewer to poke holes all over the cake. Pour about 1/4 of the syrup over the cake (still in the pan). I like to make sure it dribbles around the sides as well. Allow the syrup to soak in, then repeat again and again until all the syrup is used. I typically wait about half an hour in between additions.
Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow the cake to sit out overnight to cool completely and soak in the syrup.
When ready to serve, invert on to your serving plate. The crunchy crust will ensure no sticking!