Active time: 20 minutesTotal time:1 hour, 50 min.

Pound cake is easy to make and infinitely variable. When plain, you can almost defend it as a breakfast or afternoon snack. But dressed up with any manner of fruit or cream or ice cream or other garnish, it can hang at everything from a backyard barbecue to an elegant dinner party. So, it occurred to me that perhaps I might mash-up one of my go-to summer desserts with one of my go-to summer drinks!

This rum and Coke pound cake benefits from the same attention to detail as my version of the cocktail. European-style butter (I like Kerrygold or Plugra for this), light brown sugar to pick up the caramel notes in the cola and the rum, and vanilla paste which has all those lovely vanilla seeds in it and is closer to using fresh vanilla pod than extract. 



  • 12 ounces unsalted European-style butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups cups light brown sugar
  • 8 ounces Coca-Cola (definitely not Diet Coke and not flat)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 2 ounces amber or dark rum
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5large eggs


  • Zest and juice of one large lime
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4teaspoon sea salt

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350. Place softened butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with your hand mixer and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat until well mixed. Add the cola, vanilla and rum and blend.

Step 2

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients to blend and break up any clumps and add to the bowl and mix until smooth.  

Step 3

Line a large loaf pan with a sheet of parchment paper and spray with cooking spray, or spray a nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray, and add your batter, smoothing the top.

Step 4

Bake for 75-90 minutes, or until the top has risen and cracked a bit and a skewer in the middle comes out clean. 

Step 5

While the cake is baking, mix the zest and juice of one large lime with 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Then drizzle or spread 2 tablespoons of the glaze over the top, where it will melt in and help seal the cake, then cool in the pan for another 15 minutes. Gently remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack. When cooled, drizzle as much of the glaze over as you like.

Chef’s Notes

This is a dense cake and no one’s oven is the same. You want a deeply cracked, well-browned top crust, and the skewer must come out clean or the cake will be doughy and taste of raw flour.

Since every lime is different, you might need more sugar if the glaze is too liquid. I like some thickness, about the consistency of pancake batter, so that it will still drizzle, but slowly like lava. I like a full coating on top with some waterfall over the sides, but some prefer a lighter drizzle and some like to spread evenly over the whole cake.

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