Buttermilk Rum Cakes with Olive Oil Gelato

buttermilk rum cake with olive oil ice cream

Buttermilk rum cakes. Served with olive oil gelato. Finished with more olive oil, and orange zest, and sea salt.

You guys, this was RIDICULOUS.

The rum-soaked cakes were sweetened with orange marmalade, but stayed tangy and soft thanks to buttermilk. And the olive oil gelato was sooooo creamy and pure-tasting. The textures and flavors together were spot on.

Do you like how I just casually said “olive oil gelato” like it was no big deal, like it was something I always have in my freezer like my favorite strawberry Haagen-Dazs ice cream?

I wish I could have olive oil gelato every day but I do not know how to use liquid nitrogen. That’s right, folks, liquid nitrogen. My friend Dan over at The Food in my Beard has all the details for Olive Oil Gelato, but you’re going to have to stay with me for cake.

As always.

buttermilk cake with olive oil gelato

When Dan and I first started talking about a dessert we can make together for Supper Club, he had the brilliant idea to make olive oil ice cream and for me to make a cake with a citrusy flavor profile. I was originally going to bake a lemon cake, but that little blizzard Juno happened and I panicked at the grocery store and forgot to buy lemons. Whoops, so that was a setback.

But as my favorite philosopher/life guru Lululemon said in a manifesto, “life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.”

And good golly, everyone knows I handle setbacks with alcohol!

I also always have oranges on hand, so I decided to make these cute little orange pound cakes instead, and boozed them up real good. I tweaked the recipe very slightly, swapping buttermilk for sour cream, using less eggs, adding more rum. I didn’t reduce the rum this time, and I doubled the orange juice and orange marmalade. Most importantly, I let these cakes rest in their rum baths for two days, adding half of the rum mixture immediately after baking, and the other half after an overnight stay in the fridge.

rum cakes with ice cream

The resulting cakes were more rum cakes than pound cakes, and definitely more dinner dessert-fare than breakfast. It could pass for a snack though. Especially if you’re stuck at home during a snow storm, and you just want a little sliver in the morning. That’s totally acceptable.

Yield: 3 mini cakes

Buttermilk Rum Cake



1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour

Rum Syrup

juice of 2 orange
1 cup rum
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter and flour three mini loaf pans, set aside.
  3. Make the cakes. In a big mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, and buttermilk together until light and fluffy. Add eggs separately, beating thoroughly after each. Add vanilla, orange zest, and salt. Gradually add in flour, mixing just until incorporated. Be careful not to overmix.
  4. Pour into a loaf pans and bake for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean. Let cool in pans for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Make the syrup. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  6. Using a toothpick, poke holes in pound cakes. Divide syrup in half, store half for use later and use half now and and pour over cake tops. Wrap cakes tightly in saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Take remaining rum syrup and pour over cake tops again. Refrigerate again overnight.
  8. Serve chilled, preferably with Olive Oil Gelato.

Take note that these cakes need two days to absorb the rum syrup.

Recipe for Olive Oil Gelato can be found at The Food in My Beard.

orange rum cakes

Head over to The Food in My Beard for the Olive Oil Gelato!


24 Responses to “Buttermilk Rum Cakes with Olive Oil Gelato”

  1. #
    Eva @ Eva Bakes posted February 9, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Oh man, these rum cakes look phenomenal! I’ve always wanted to try making my own olive oil gelato, so maybe that’s next on the list?

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted February 9, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      Yes, do it! It’s so perfect.

  2. #
    Sues posted February 9, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    I love everything about this dessert! Except the fact that I’m too cold to eat gelato right now :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted February 9, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      I just put on an extra thick hoodie and extra plush socks, crank up my heat, and I’m good to go ;)

  3. #
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor posted February 9, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    I love anything soaked in rum :) These little cakes look perfect, especially topped with the olive oil gelato.

  4. #
    Ashley posted February 9, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    I mean, soaked in rum and with all that citrus?? How could you go wrong! And that olive oil gelato … gah so good!

  5. #
    Marta @petiteraisin.ca posted February 9, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    OH EM GEE. I was sold before rum syrup, but giddy up…Imma saddle up and ride that rodeo of goodness!


  6. #
    Monica posted February 10, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Aside from chocolate desserts, I love things with citrus and a good moist cake. Throw in some gelato and we have a perfect after dinner treat. Looks and sounds sensational, Bianca.

  7. #
    Daisy posted February 10, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    this dessert sounds fabulous.

  8. #
    Meghan posted February 10, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    I love how bright and sunny this dish is. We need that right now!

  9. #
    Juliana posted February 10, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Wow, the buttermilk rum cake just look amazing and so nicely paired with the olive oil gelato…what a treat!
    Enjoy your week Bianca :)

  10. #
    The Squishy Monster posted February 11, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    You’re right. This is a crazy beautiful pairing. Personally, I love a dark chocolate gelato drizzled with citrus olive oil so this is definitely something I know I’d love!

  11. #
    dixya | food, pleasure, and health posted February 11, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    the idea of rum with olive oil sounds weird but in a great way.

  12. #
    Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures posted February 12, 2015 at 10:03 am

    So chic! I think this is appropriate breakfast food :)

  13. #
    ATasteOfMadness posted February 12, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Oh wow! This looks so good!

  14. #
    Jess @ Sweet Menu posted February 13, 2015 at 5:08 am

    Oh boy! I have never had a rum cake but I can see that I have clearly been missing out! These cakes look delicious!

  15. #
    Jess @ whatjessicabakednext posted February 13, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    These rum cakes look delicious! Love the olive oil gelato – incredibly good! Divine recipe, Bianca! x

  16. #
    Mike@TheIronYou posted February 13, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Rum and citrus: a marriage made in heaven. That looks REALLY amazing Bianca, double thumbs up!

  17. #
    Choc Chip Uru posted February 14, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    What warm and crumby cakes, they look absolutely delicious :D
    Olive oil gelato? That is crazy!

    Choc Chip Uru

  18. #
    Joanne posted February 15, 2015 at 6:54 am

    I’ve had olive oil gelato before and it is SOOO good. A little weird…but GOOD. I love pairing it with citrus IN cakes, so why not pair the ice cream with a citrus cake! Genius.

  19. #
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert posted February 26, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    love buttermilk cake – and topped with olive oil gelato is brilliant – heading over now to check out this beautiful recipe!

  20. #
    Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings posted February 26, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    oooh! I’m interested in that olive oil gelato also! Must taste really good with your buttermilk rum cake. That’s my idea of a perfect dessert after dinner.

  21. #
    grace posted March 1, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    the gelato sounds yummy, but i’m more about that cake, for sure! rum is my friend. :)

  22. #
    Chris @ Shared Appetite posted March 4, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    You should have a disclaimer on this post… “warning, do not attempt to read while eating your lame lunch. It will result in extreme dessert envy.” Hahaha, this looks SO incredible! Sadly, I’ll sit here and finish my banana.

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