Summer, summer, summertime! It’s that wonderful time of the year where the beach and a tropical drink are calling my name. I’m not going to lie, living in L.A. leaves me with this feeling the majority time of the year. The land of eternal sunshine is more synonymous with smoothies now but summertime is different. People want to be outside and enjoying the best parts of life even more, including me.
Last month before it was officially summer I was able to enjoy an incredible vacation in the Caribbean. I had the opportunity to delve into Antigua, land of 365 beaches. This beautiful country is not only known for its array of beaches, it’s also known for its rum. (See my Antiguan Travel Guide.) Rum, of course derived from all the cropped sugarcane, is a staple in Antiguan cuisine. I was able to sample some great rum while I was there and of course bring some home.
I actually created this tropical cake recipe 10 years ago after visiting another Caribbean paradise. I decided to slightly remix my original recipe to make it even more flavorful and satisfactory for summer. Check out my upgraded recipe for coconut rum cake below. It’s the perfect cake to bake ahead of time and take to the beach.
Antiguan Coconut Cake
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. rum extract (optional)
2 ¾ cup AP flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup of rum ( I used my Antiguan rum of course)
1 cup coconut milk
¾ cup shredded coconut
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
½ cup coconut milk
¼ cup rum
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup half and half
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
2 cups confectioners sugar
Shredded coconut for topping
Butter and flour bundt pan.
In a large sized bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment cream together butter, oil, sugars until light, fluffy and double in size (approximately 10 minutes. ) Add eggs one at a time to the creamed mixture. Add vanilla and rum extract. Add half of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Add rum. Combine last of the flour mixture. Add coconut milk. Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated. Fold in shredded coconut.
Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Transfer to unheated oven. Bake at 325F for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. (Bake until tester comes out clean). Let cake cool on wire rack until slightly above room temperature.
While cake is baking make the filling. In a small saucepan melt 4 tbsp. of butter and coconut milk. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
Poke cooled cake with fork or skewer, pour butter/ coconut milk mixture over cake. Allow mixture to soak into the cake at least one hour (overnight preferably). Invert cake onto wired rack.
For Glaze: Stir all ingredients together, except confectioners sugar, in a small saucepan over medium-heat heat until brown sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add confectioners sugar. Whisk until glaze is smooth, about one minute. Remove from heat. Allow glaze to cool to room temperature. Pour glaze onto cooled cake. Top with shredded coconut.
Devour and enjoy!