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This cake was so nice I made it twice – in three days! It has a deliciously soft and buttery crumb with a crunchy caramelised crust and a good soaking of boozy rum sauce. 

Ever since my order from Sugar Baron rum arrived a few weeks ago, I’ve been dreaming about making this cake. It appeared rather demurely on a recipe card included with my rum – with no picture or description. Yet, something told me that the recipe was special. My gut feeling was right – man, is this a delicious cake and that’s exactly why I’m sharing the recipe here – to make sure it never gets lost! 

As you can see my rum stash has taken quite the beating after making this cake twice in three days (and also because I love a glass or two while baking!). But this beautiful barrel-aged rum by Sugar Baron is the real hero in this recipe. Poured into the cake batter it makes the cake extra light and splashed into the sauce it adds a delicious vanilla-butterscotch flavour. The fact that it’s made in KwaZulu Natal is just yet another reason to love it. Supporting local while eating cake? Sounds like a win-win!


Original recipe by Sugar Baron


For the cake:

50g fine demerara sugar, for lining

125g salted butter, plus extra for lining

45ml vegetable or sunflower oil

125ml buttermilk or amasi

125ml Sugar Baron barrel-aged rum

15ml vanilla extract

6 large egg yolks, at room temperature

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

60 + 340g fine demerara sugar 

320g cake flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp fine salt

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda


For the sauce:

120g fine demerara sugar

60ml water

110g salted butter

60ml Sugar Baron barrel-aged rum


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius or 160 if you have a fan-forced oven. Position the oven rack so that the cake will be in the middle of the oven – for me, that meant moving the rack to the lower third of the oven. 

To make the cake, prepare a bundt mould by brushing with butter and coating the inside well with the fine demerara sugar. Set aside. 

Place the butter in a large measuring jug and melt in the microwave. Add the oil, buttermilk, rum, vanilla and egg yolks and whisk to combine. 

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk until soft peaks form. Gradually add 60g of the sugar to form a thick glossy meringue. Transfer to a separate bowl. 

In the same bowl as you whipped the meringue, place the flour, baking powder, salt, bicarbonate of soda and remaining 340g sugar. With the whisk attachment running on medium speed gradually add the combined wet ingredients until just combined. Don’t overmix. 

Stir in a third of the meringue with a spatula then fold the rest of the meringue in carefully. Pour into the prepared mould. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. 

While the cake is baking prepare the sauce; place the sugar and water in a saucepan and simmer until dissolved. Add the butter and stir to combine. Finally, add the rum.

As soon as the cake comes out the oven, pierce it all over using a toothpick or skewer. Pour half of the warm sauce over the cake and allow to soak. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then carefully unmould the cake and pour the remaining sauce over the top. Serve warm (or at room temperature) with double cream, creme fraiche or real homemade vanilla ice cream.