Easy Rum Cake
1 pkg. (18 1/4 oz.) yellow cake mix
1 pkg. (3 1/2 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 tbsp. imitation rum extract
1 cup chopped pecans
Butter Rum Glaze (recipe follows)
Beat all ingredients, except pecans and glaze, in large bowl with mixer on low just to moisten. Beat on medium 4 minutes.
Bake in 325-degree oven 1 hour or until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool in pan 15 minutes. (1 hour was just about right; the cake was light and fluffy and a nice golden color.)
Meanwhile, prepare glaze (see recipe below). Invert cake onto serving plate. (Before I inverted it, I also brushed some glaze on what would be the bottom of the cake.)
Here's a photo of the inverted cake. I was paranoid that it was going to stick to the bottom of the pan, but it came out perfectly (cue sound of choirs singing). The culinary gods are really looking out for me today.
Pierce cake with fork. Spoon warm glaze over warm cake. Cool. (It's important to pour the glaze on while it's still runny, so it will really soak into the cake.)
Butter Rum Glaze
Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 2 tbsp. water. Stirring constantly, bring to boil on medium heat and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 tsp. rum extract.
Baking this cake made the house smell amazing all day. If the aroma is any indication, it should be dee-lish! Normally I'd taste test it before I let other people eat it, but it looks so pretty that I don't want to slice into it yet. So I'll have to let you know how it turned out tomorrow. Here's the finished product in all its rummy, yummy glory.
By the way, I felt that there wasn't enough glaze on top of the cake, so I made another 1/2 batch to drizzle over the top. Hopefully that wasn't overkill. Next time I make this cake, I'd like to try it with real rum - I just didn't have the right kind on hand.
Oh, and just in case you're wondering what I'll be wearing to the party... I'm going to pair this sparkly red turtleneck (which is not that offensive in itself) with this lovely vest -- both scored at Goodwill. It was about all they had left as far as Christmas attire; apparently, holiday sweater parties are all the rage. I still think the vest is lacking something, though, so I plan on adding some white pom-poms and red sequins (from Hob Lob, natch) for extra flair. Maybe I'll even wear my santa hat to top it all off.
Do you have any fun office parties or holiday sweater parties to attend this season?