Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mixed Berry Upside Down Rum Cake

My great-aunt Gene used to make this killer rum cake that I used to dream about. It is still a favorite in my family, although we don't make it as often anymore, and I have wanted to try a gluten-free version lately (actually, ever since my cousin brought a rum cake to a gathering over July 4th weekend - I had already gone gluten-free and was only able to smell it and imagine eating it!). I decided to try it using a Gluten-free Pantry cake mix, since I've heard good things about that brand, and to infuse even more flavor by adding some mixed berries. The result was an incredibly moist and delicious cake that my family seemed to genuinely enjoy, despite its being gluten-free. I ended up using only about 2/3 of the rum glaze recipe below, but my cake also did not turn out to taste overly rummy; you could definitely add the whole amount and have a more potent glaze flavor in your cake. I'm don't see how more butter-rum flavor could be anything but fantastic.


Mixed Berry Upside Down Rum Cake

For the cake:

1 box Gluten-free Pantry Old-fashioned Cake and Cookie Mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. + 1/4 lb. (for glaze - see below) Soy Garden Buttery Spread
1/2 cup rice/soy milk or water
8 - 10 oz. mixed berries (I used Fit&Active Frozen Mixed Berries from Aldi)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the rum glaze:

1/4 lb. Soy Garden Buttery Spread
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup Rum (80 proof)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a 9" springform pan by lining the bottom with wax paper, and then using the 2 tbsp. Soy Garden Buttery Spread to grease the wax paper and the sides of the springform pan.

Mix together the 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 - 1 tsp. cinnamon, then use it to coat the inside of the springform pan (as you would with flour). Arrange the mixed berries across the bottom of the pan on top of the brown sugar.

Mix the cake ingredients according to the instructions on the package: beat 1/2 cup Soy Garden Buttery Spread until fluffy, then add the cake mix a little at a time, beating constantly. Add the two eggs and vanilla, and continue to beat the mixture. Then stir in the 1/2 cup rice milk gently, folding it into the rest of the batter. When the batter is well mixed (but don't overmix!), pour it into the prepared pan and spread the top to make sure it is even. Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 28-40 minutes (mine took 40 minutes, but the box said 28, so I leave it up to you), or until a knife comes out without big clumps of still-moist dough when you stick it in the middle. (The knife I stuck in was not completely clean, but I think that just made the cake that much more moist later on.)

Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for 5 - 15 minutes, or, if you get impatient like me, immediately remove the sides of the springform pan, invert the cake onto a large plate, remove the bottom of the spring form pan, and slowly and carefully peel away the wax paper so the bottom of the cake is now the top.

To make the glaze, melt the 1/4 lb. Soy Garden Buttery Spread in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the water and sugar. Stir and bring to a boil, then continue to boil for 5-8 more minutes, stirring constantly, until it becomes thick and very bubbly. Remove from the heat and pour in the 1/3 cup rum and stir into the mixture. Immediately spoon/drizzle it all over the top of the cake. I couldn't use all of it and had at least 1/3 of the drizzle left over, but then, the rum flavor wasn't particularly potent when I ate my piece of cake. Use your own judgment and taste to decide how much you'd like to spread over it. Another idea is to wait to invert the cake until you've made the drizzle and pour some of it onto the cake before you invert it, so over what will become the bottom of the cake. That way, the flavor would remain a little more separate from the berries on top. Let cool and serve! This cake turned out to be very moist and flavorful and would not really need ice cream to accompany it, and the flavor might even be overshadowed with it. Oh, and watch out, because you might run into someone like this who tries to steal a bite before it's cooled! :)

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