Cupcake Ranking: 4+ Cupcakes
Wow. This cake is delicious! I have never used Rum Extract before and I couldn't believe the impact of the taste. It is amazing. I used my own cream cheese frosting and the result was mouth-watering.
Cooking spray, for pans
3 3/4 C all-purpose Flour
1 1/4 tsp Baking powder
3/4 tsp Baking soda
2 1/2 tsp Coarse salt
10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted Butter, softened
2 1/2 C packed Dark-brown sugar
4 large Eggs, room temperature
1 Tbs plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp Rum, preferably golden or dark (I used 2 1/2 tsp Rum Extract)
1 1/4 C Buttermilk, room temperature
2/3 C packed dark-Brown sugar
3 ounces (6 Tbs) Butter, cut into pieces
1/2 C light Corn syrup
1/4 tsp Coarse salt
1/2 C Heavy cream
2 C Pecan halves, toasted and chopped, plus more halves for garnish
1 lb (16 ounces) Cream cheese, room temperature
2 tsp pure Vanilla extract
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted Butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
2 lb Confectioners' sugar, sifted
Make the cakes: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat three 8-by-2-inch (I used two 9 inch pans) round cake pans with cooking spray, line with parchment, and coat parchment. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then add vanilla and rum (or rum extract). Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with buttermilk. Raise speed to medium-high, and beat for 2 minutes. Divide batter among pans.
Bake cakes until golden brown and testers inserted in centers come out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks, and let cool slightly. Invert cakes onto racks. Let cool.
Make the frosting: Melt 1 stick butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until dark golden brown, about 10 minutes. After the butter is browned, combine the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Let cool.
Make the butterscotch sauce: Mix sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in cream. Return to heat, and cook for 2 minutes. Let cool slightly.
To assemble the cake: Trim tops of 2 cake layers and top and bottom of third (this will be the middle) to create flat exposed surfaces.(They really need to be flat. I found out the hard way when my cake looked like the leaning tower of Pisa). Brush 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butterscotch sauce on cut sides. Let cool. Spread 1 cup frosting on 1 layer, then place middle layer on top, sauce side down. Spread 1 cup frosting on middle layer, then place third layer on top, sauce side down. Spread 1 cup frosting on top and sides. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Using an offset spatula, spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. Press chopped pecans on sides, and garnish top with halves. Transfer cake to a serving plate or cake stand. Refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours (or up to 2 days, covered).
Rach's Review: This cake was....I can't even express words. We served it at a dinner gathering and none of us could stop eating it. The cake was moist and spongey; the frosting was carmely, and the butterscotch sauce added a geweyness (it is a word now!). I will for sure make it again.