Butter Rum Cake

Ciambellone al Rum

I made this moist Butter Rum Cake for a girls’ night in. It was deliciously moist with a hint of rum. It makes a large bundt cake and looked beautiful on my etched glass cake platter.

If you want a substantial cake (serves 10-12) to have with coffee that isn’t overly sweet, try this recipe. It would go equally well served with some fresh berries and a dollop of Mascarpone.

From Lidia’s Italy in America cookbook. Recipe from Carol Scialo Gaeta
of Scialo’s Bakery in Providence, Rhode Island.


Makes: 1 large bundt cake that serves 10-12 people
Prep Time: 20 minutes plus baking time

For the cake:
Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 6 ounces of sliced almonds, finely ground, plus 2 ounces of toasted sliced almonds
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 6 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Zest of 1 large lemon

For the rum syrup:
Rum Syrup Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 2 cups water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Brush the inside of a bundt pan (12 cup capacity) with softened butter.

Coat the inside of the pan with 2 ounces of toasted almonds slices by rolling them around in the pan like you would when you grease and flour a cake pan.

In a small bowl, combine flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with a mixer (medium- or medium-high setting) until light and fluffy (approx. 2-3 minutes).

Add the eggs and yolks a few at a time incorporating well before each addition.

When eggs are incorporated, add lemon zest and beat on high for 1 minute.

Mix in half of the flour on low speed.

Once flour is incorporated, add milk.

Finish adding the remaining flour and mix just until batter is smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean.

Cool cake on a cooling rack for 15 minutes.

Loosen the sides gently with a knife and invert onto the rack.


For the rum syrup: Make the syrup while the cake is still warm.

In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar and rum.

Bring to a boil and cook down so that it reduces by approx. 1/4 until you have a thin syrup.

Transfer cake to a large plate or baking sheet and brush with the syrup, letting the cake absorb syrup between brushings. Keep brushing until all syrup is used.
(Mine seemed well soaked before I used all the syrup. Not sure if I didn’t reduce it enough or if it was just a lot of syrup. I had some left over.)

Serve this yummy Butter Rum Cake for any occasion – it’s sure to please!

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