TWD: Non-Rum Non-Drenched Vanilla-Cherry Cakes

This week’s TWD recipe was for “Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes,” described as a pound cake soaked with vanilla-rum syrup. Now that’s all well and good, but I’m not a drinker, so I had to find something to replace the rum in the recipe. We’ve had a lot of amazing cherries around the kitchen lately, and I thought a cherry-vanilla variation might be good, so I cooked down some cherries and pureed them with simple syrup and vanilla to create a cherry soaking syrup.

Everything was going according to plan, until it was time to soak the mini cakes with cherry syrup, and they went from being adorable bundts to looking like extras from Braveheart:

You guys, cherry syrup is red. Just sayin’.

So I had to reach into my usual bag of tricks and gussy them up with some glaze and fresh Rainier cherries.
Honestly, I thought the fresh cherries were the best part of this recipe. No, wait. The fact that my mini bundts CAME OUT OF THEIR PANS WITHOUT CARNAGE was the best part of this recipe. Thank you, Pampered Chef ceramic pans! You have saved my sanity.

The cake itself was pretty meh. I’ll take the blame on this one, because I put on my Dr. Frankenstein hat and made some changes, like using vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean, and omitting the rum, and–worst of all–using evaporated milk instead of heavy cream. Your honor, I’ll plead guilty with an It Was Late and I Was Too Tired To Go To The Store defense.

The crumb was a little coarse for my liking–not fine and tender like I associate with most poundcakes. And despite their shameless red coats, my little cakes didn’t have much cherry flavor. But they sure looked like knockouts, and that’s 75% of the battle right there.

What’d you guys think? Did anyone else make a teetotaler version?

15 Responses to TWD: Non-Rum Non-Drenched Vanilla-Cherry Cakes
  1. Sweet and Savory says:

    The red is part 1 of something you are making for July 4th. Waiting for the blue and white.

    I think the red is find. You could pretend, you planned it that way. Love the mini bundts. I am having a giveaway for mini bundts, if you would like to try for somemore.

  2. Katrina says:

    Love the red look to the glazed cakes. I went with just vanilla bean and a sugar top. My friends LOVED this. I think it needed chocolate. ;) Shh, I used skim milk instead of cream..

  3. shaz says:

    They look gorgeous! I'd eat them, no problems.

  4. Nickki says:

    I think the red looks fantastic! I love your presentation. I didn't add the rum either, just a plain vanilla version. We all loved it :-)

  5. Leslie says:

    Yes, but they look cute in red! And the cherries would be enough for me scarf down the whole thing. I probably won't make this one again but if I did, I'd bypass the sacrificing of two precious vanilla beans and go with vanilla paste.

    I also nixxed the alcohol and went with caramel and/or hot fudge. Nobody complained, but they did have their mouths full when I asked how it tasted.

  6. Memória says:

    Nice to hear of another non-drinker! I was beginning to think I was the only one among the food bloggers haha. These cakes look absolutely GORGEOUS!! Fantastic photos.

  7. Clivia says:

    Very funny post. Cherry is my favourite non-chocolate flavour. I would have been hugely disappointed to put that much work in and not have my sox knocked off by cherry.
    Your photos are perfect!

  8. Mary says:

    I actually doubled the rum, so I have no advice to offer there, but I did use evaporated milk instead of cream, so maybe that's why I didn't absolutely love my cakes either. Yours look gorgeous!

  9. Jaime says:

    wow those are gorgeous, even if it was only an after thought after adding the cherry syrup! i thought my crumb was too coarse b/c i used the baking soda, as other cakes looked better than mine…hmmm maybe it's just the recipe?

  10. Peggy says:

    Well they look delicious after you doctored them up with your tricks! Love the look with the drizzled glaze. I need to make this cake, but had no time left this week.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh my, those certainly look scrumptious!

  12. Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] says:

    Sorry you didn't like them, but they sure look tempting!!

  13. Susan says:

    They look so pretty! I made mine without rum…used hazelnut syrup instead and it was great!

  14. AmyRuth says:

    Yee haw for making it your own. I didn't want to buy another bottle of stuff so I used Amaretto. I thought the texture was fine and enjoyed the flavor. Although chocolate is my fav.
    AmyRuth

  15. Rosaly says:

    Nice way to implement your thought in a blog…Heads off ..connect computer to tv

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