This passion fruit cake recipe is incredibly moist with bold flavors. Passion Fruit Rum Bundt is soaked with a tropical syrup with golden rum for true island flavor! It’s not your Momma’s bundt cake!
I distinctly remember my Mom making rum cake when I was a kid. She baked it in a tube pan and drowned it in rum infused simple syrup. She would poke holes in the cake and pour the syrup over the top to soak into the cake like a sponge. I loved it with its crunchy crown of toasted pecans, but sometimes the rum flavor was just a little too much for my 12-year-old tastebuds (not the case today). This Passion Fruit Rum Bundt is a nod to Mom’s spiked cake, with the singular taste of passion fruit.
If you’ve never had passion fruit before, its probably better that you don’t start now. It’s a flavor that hits the pleasure zone in your brain like a jackhammer and once you’ve experienced it, you’re doomed. You will return again and again to its siren call. So if you haven’t already been sucked in, check out this cake or these cookies or maybe this ice cream or here’s a whiskey soaked bundt cake. If you’re still reading — well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
To make the cake batter, I start by browning a stick of butter until it’s a deep golden brown, then mixing it with the dry ingredients (including a box of instant pudding – don’t judge) until it’s crumbly. Next come the eggs and the wet ingredients.
Rum, vanilla and passion fruit nectar give this bundt cake a lovely tropical aroma – that will remind you of your last Caribbean vacation and will likely prompt the booking of another…. again, you’ve been warned…
I found a method of preparing the pan by coating it with nut flour instead of the typical “grease and flour” instructions and I thought I’d give it a try for this cake. I would say, it worked about 90% – because despite my liberal spritz of vegetable spray and a hefty coating of crushed pecans, I still had a small insistent chunk of cake that appeared to be happier in the pan than with the rest of my bundt. No matter, I pryed it out after the fact and used a little passion fruit syrup to cement it (more or less) back in place.
While the cake cools, poke holes over the top and pour in about half of the rum passion fruit syrup, saving the rest for the final garnish, the next day. Cover the cake (still in the bundt pan) with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. The next day, turn the cake out onto the platter and spoon the rest of the rum-passion fruit syrup over the bundt, followed by a drizzle of simple white glaze. Oh-ma-GAWD! This will hit you like a Mack truck — in a good way!
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Passion Fruit Rum Bundt
Eyes rolling back in your head, good!
- 1 1/4 cup pecans divided
- 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 instant vanilla pudding mix small package
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup rum
- 1/3 cup passion fruit nectar
For The Syrup
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup white or golden rum
- 1/3 cup passion fruit nectar
For The Glaze
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
- Preheat the oven to 325°.
- Place 1/4 cup pecans in a food processor and pulse until very fine. Spray a bundt pan liberally with vegetable spray. Add the pecan crumbs to the pan and dust over the sides, center and bottom of the pan until well coated. Set aside.
- Spread the remaining pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant and lightly browned, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven and roughly chop pecans. Sprinkle the chopped pecans into the bottom of the bundt pan. Set aside.
- Brown the butter in a small saucepan: add one stick of butter and cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes swirling occasionally, until milk solids start to turn a golden to golden brown color, remove from heat and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the browned butter to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until crumbly. Add the eggs, oil and milk. Start on low and increase to medium to medium high, beating for about 2 minutes. Add the rum and passion fruit juice and beat for one more minute.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake for 50-60 minutes in the center of the oven. Use a skewer to test for doneness... if it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- While the cake is baking, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the sugar and water, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the rum and passion fruit near and simmer for a few minutes until it becomes syrupy. Remove from heat and set aside.
- While the cake remains in the pan, use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake. Pour the syrup over the cake, dabbing with a pastry brush until it's been absorbed. Place the cake (in the pan) into the refrigerator overnight. The next day, use a sharp knife to ensure the sides won't stick to the pan, then carefully invert the cake onto a serving plate. Don't worry if it sticks initially (mine did) it just needs a few good shakes to dislodge.
- In a small bowl mix the powdered sugar with the milk and stir until smooth. Drizzle glaze over the cake and serve.
I served this as a dessert, but when my Mom tried it, she thought it would be a good coffee cake.
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