MARY ANN’S RUM CAKE

Mary Ann and I go way back to grammar school. We were library buddies and would walk together to the very old library that was located in a very old house. We both loved the musty smell and loved finding a new “treasure” to read. As adults, we ended up working at the same place for a while, and Mary Ann would make this cake for all the Christmas parties. It was a big hit, and you’ll see why!

CAKE:
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1-18 oz. pkg. yellow cake mix
1-3.75 oz. pkg Jello instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
½ cup cold water
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup dark rum (80 proof)

GLAZE:
¼ lb. butter
¼ cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark rum (80 proof)

DIRECTIONS:
Peheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease and flour 10” tube or 12 cup Bundt pan.
Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan.
Mix all cake ingredients together.
Pour batter over nuts.
Bake 1 hour. Cool.

Later: Invert on serving plate. Prick top.
Drizzle and smooth glaze evenly over top and sides of cake.
Allow cake to absorb glaze. Repeat until all glaze is used.

FOR GLAZE:
Melt butter in saucepan.
Stir in water and sugar.
Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat.
Stir in rum.

OPTIONAL: Decorate with whole maraschino cherries and a border of sugar frosting or whipped cream. Serve with seedless green grapes dusted in powdered sugar.