Italian Rum and Peaches Cake

This week we had a small party to celebrate my sister, Milana’s engagement and as it turns out, my future brother-in-law loves the flavor of rum in desserts. Score! I didn’t even know that when I was making this cake! Isn’t it great when you make such a great guess? Welcome to the family, Andrey! We are so happy for the two of you. We also had Raspberry “Piece of Cake” Cake, and when we took a vote, the table was split down the middle. It’ll be up to you to decide.

I couldn’t agree with him more. This cake is incredibly moist and flavorful, and with the addition of a rum syrup soaked into the light and fluffy sponge cake layers, it also has peaches, and all comes together in a feather-light cake packed with summery flavors. (My husband’s and mine wedding cake was a cannoli cake with peaches:)).

With layers of vanilla and chocolate pastry cream in between the cake, it’s also topped with a cream cheese frosting. I also think that it just wouldn’t be the same without toasted almonds. It gives the cake a crunchy texture and adds to the combination of all the other flavors.  

Yields: 1 cake

Ingredients:

Cake:

2 Sponge Cakes

Italian Pastry Cream:

6 egg yolks

6 Tablespoons sugar

6 Tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups milk

2 Tablespoons butter

2 oz baking chocolate, for the chocolate pastry cream

1/2 Tablespoon chocolate liquer, optional, for the chocolate pastry cream

Rum Syrup:

1/4 cup rum

1/3 cup peach syrup, from canned peaches

2 Tablespoons sugar

Frosting:

1/2 package cream cheese, 4 oz., softened

1/2 can condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup heavy cream

You will also need about a cup of chopped canned peaches. 1 (15 oz) can is perfect.

To decorate, you will need about 1 cup of toasted almonds and some chocolate to melt for piping on top of the cake. I usually use chocolate chips and a tiny bit of shortening.

To make the pastry cream, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and flour until they are an even consistency. It will be pretty stiff, so don’t panic and think you did something wrong. Scald the milk, heating it just before it boils. You will see tiny little bubbles on the surface of the milk. This picture isn’t that great, but you’ll get the idea. Slowly pour in a little bit of the hot milk into the yolk mixture, whisking vigorously as you pour, to loosen it up a little. Continue adding the hot milk to the yolk mixture, whisking the whole time. This will prevent the egg from curdling and also from having lumps in the pastry cream. Add the rest of the milk. Pour the whole mixture back in the pot and heat over medium low heat, stirring frequently until it thickens. Add the butter, mixing it in until it melts completely.

If you do get lumps, it’s not the end of the world, just pour the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve. No problem – no more lumps. (I don’t like washing the seive, so I try to avoid it as much as possible.) Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pastry cream.

Chop the chocolate or grate it on a box grater. Add the chocolate and chocolate liquer to the 1 1/2 cups of pastry cream and mix until the chocolate has melted. Cool both pastry creams. You can cool slightly and place in the refrigerator, or set it in a bowl of ice water to make it faster. Make sure to cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap right on top of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming on the surface.

Meanwhile, heat the rum, peach syrup and sugar in a small saucepan, just until the sugar dissolves. Set aside and cool also, either in the refrigerator or over ice water. Chop the peaches.  To make the  frosting, cream the cream cheese, condensed milk and vanilla in a bowl using a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer until smooth. Set aside. In another bowl and a whisk attachment (chill both in the freezer for about 10 minutes first), whip up the very cold heavy cream until peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture with a rubber spatula.  To assemble the cake: Prepare a cake pan by lining all the edges with aluminum foil. (This will make clean-up a breeze later). Cut each sponge cake in half horizontally.  Brush the top and bottom of each layer with the syrup. Top with about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of the vanilla pastry cream. Sprinkle with about 1/4 – 1/3 cup of chopped peaches.  Top with another sponge cake layer, brushed on the top and bottom with syrup. Spread about half of the chocolate pastry cream on top of the cake layer.  The next layer of cake is spread with more vanilla pastry cream and the rest of the peaches. Top with the last cake layer, brushed with the remaining syrup on the top and bottom. If you have pastry cream oozing out of the sides like I did, take of off with a spoon or spatula:).

By the way, you will have extra pastry cream left over. There is enough to bake another cake layer and make this a extra large and beautiful cake, or you can use the leftover pastry cream to fill cream puffs:).

Spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cake and on the sides of the cake. Decorate the sides of the cake with toasted almonds and pipe melted chocolate on top of the cake. Or decorate however you wish:).

 

Italian Rum and Peaches Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 1 cake
Ingredients
Cake:
  • 2 Sponge Cakes
Italian Pastry Cream:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 oz baking chocolate, for the chocolate pastry cream
  • ½ Tablespoon chocolate liquer, optional, for the chocolate pastry cream
Rum Syrup:
  • ¼ cup rum
  • ⅓ cup peach syrup, from canned peaches
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
Frosting:
  • ½ package cream cheese, 4 oz., softened
  • ½ can condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • You will also need about a cup of chopped canned peaches. 1 (15 oz) can is perfect.
  • To decorate, you will need about 1 cup of toasted almonds and some chocolate to melt for piping on top of the cake. I usually use chocolate chips and a tiny bit of shortening.
Instructions
  1. To make the pastry cream, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and flour until they are an even consistency. It will be pretty stiff, so don't panic and think you did something wrong.
  2. Scald the milk, heating it just before it boils. You will see tiny little bubbles on the surface of the milk.
  3. Slowly pour in a little bit of the hot milk into the yolk mixture, whisking vigorously as you pour, to loosen it up a little. Continue adding the hot milk to the yolk mixture, whisking the whole time. This will prevent the egg from curdling and also from having lumps in the pastry cream. Add the rest of the milk.
  4. Pour the whole mixture back in the pot and heat over medium low heat, stirring frequently until it thickens. Add the butter, mixing it in until it melts completely.
  5. If you do get lumps, it's not the end of the world, just pour the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve. No problem - no more lumps. (I don't like washing the seive, so I try to avoid it as much as possible.) Set aside 1½ cups of the pastry cream.
  6. Chop the chocolate or grate it on a box grater. Add the chocolate and chocolate liquer to the 1½ cups of pastry cream and mix until the chocolate has melted. Cool both pastry creams. You can cool slightly and place in the refrigerator, or set it in a bowl of ice water to make it faster. Make sure to cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap right on top of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming on the surface.
  7. Meanwhile, heat the rum, peach syrup and sugar in a small saucepan, just until the sugar dissolves. Set aside and cool also, either in the refrigerator or over ice water. Chop the peaches.
  8. To make the frosting, cream the cream cheese, condensed milk and vanilla in a bowl using a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer until smooth. Set aside.
  9. In another bowl and a whisk attachment (chill both in the freezer for about 10 minutes first), whip up the very cold heavy cream until peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture with a rubber spatula.
  10. To assemble the cake:
  11. Prepare a cake pan by lining all the edges with aluminum foil. (This will make clean-up a breeze later). Cut each sponge cake in half horizontally. Brush the top and bottom of each layer with the syrup. Top with about ⅓ - ½ cup of the vanilla pastry cream. Sprinkle with about ¼ - ⅓ cup of chopped peaches.
  12. Top with another sponge cake layer, brushed on the top and bottom with syrup. Spread about half of the chocolate pastry cream on top of the cake layer.
  13. The next layer of cake is spread with more vanilla pastry cream and the rest of the peaches.
  14. Top with the last cake layer, brushed with the remaining syrup on the top and bottom. If you have pastry cream oozing out of the sides like I did, take of off with a spoon or spatula:).
  15. By the way, you will have extra pastry cream left over. There is enough to bake another cake layer and make this a extra large and beautiful cake, or you can use the leftover pastry cream to fill cream puffs:).
  16. Spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cake and on the sides of the cake. Decorate the sides of the cake with toasted almonds and pipe melted chocolate on top of the cake. Or decorate however you wish:).

 
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Comments

  1. Natasha says

    This cake looks amazing. Thank you so much for all the amazing recipes. Every single recipe we tried so far is absolutely delicious.

    • olgak7 says

      Thank you, Natasha!
      I’m so glad to hear that the recipe turned out well for you too. It’s one thing to make the recipe myself, but it’s very reassuring when it works in other kitchens and for other cooks too:).

  2. Andrey says

    Ruuuuum rum rum rum! This cake was one of the best rum cakes I have ever tried! Thanks for the experience! i love coming over to your place every time!

    Blessings!

    • olgak7 says

      Thanks Andrey!
      We love having you too:). I’m glad I made such a great guess and made a cake just for your tastebuds.

  3. angela says

    Olga, we were honored to be a part of that special night. Thank you so much for inviting us into your home. We are thrilled that we will soon all be family! All the food, and especially this rum cake was amazing, I’m glad you posted the recipe, because I was going to ask for it :)

    • olgak7 says

      It was a lot of fun. I am so glad we will be spending more time together in the future and share some awesome memories! Thanks for being part of our mutual celebration.

    • olgak7 says

      You’re welcome, olviya! I always thought that step-by-step photos are so helpful for me. I like seeing the process:).

  4. Natasha says

    Hi Olga,

    I want to make this cake this weekend and I don’t have the rum. I want to go buy it but I don’t know what brand to buy best. Which one would you recommend?
    Thanks

    • olgak7 says

      Natasha, I usually buy Bacardi Gold, because that is what they have at the store. There might be something better, but that’s the only one I used.

  5. Ilona says

    Olga, i am planning to make this cake this weekend, but i have ?. It calls for two sponge cakes, so do you use 10 eggs, or 5 eggs and divide the batter in half? 5 eggs seem like too little for two sponge cakes, and your layers look pretty tall here..

    • says

      Hi Ilona!
      You will get 2 cake layers from one batch, so only 5 eggs total. The cake is a typical round cake size of 8 inches. If you’re making the cake for a big group, I would probably make two cakes. One cake is enough for a small group.

  6. Ilona says

    So i ended up making this cake for a bday party and have to say that this probably became my favorite cake. I loved it.. Thank you so much for the recipe

  7. Alena says

    I’m making this cake tonigh for our thanksgiving dinner tomorrow:) hope it will come out good :) can’t wait to try it:)

  8. Tatyana says

    Olya, I might have missed it, but I didn’t see in which step was vanilla added. Would you mind clarifying that for me please?

    • says

      Tatyana,
      Add the vanilla right after you cook the pastry cream. You can add it at any time after that, really. It doesn’t really matter at that point. The main thing is not to add it when cooking the pastry cream, or the vanilla flavor will cook out. In the recipe instructions, I wrote to add it in with the cream cheese, but it really doesn’t matter.

  9. Yuliya says

    Hi Olga! This was my first recipe I made from your blog. Everything was perfect and good, but my pastry cream was kinda runny, did i have to cook it longer or what? Thanks for your wonderful recipies and easy to follow instructions!

  10. Irina says

    This cake was so good! My pastry cream was runny as well, next time I will cook it longer. But overall the taste was great, I like that its not too sweet, it was just perfect for my taste buds. Will definitely make again. Thank You.

    • says

      I don’t like when desserts are too sweet. That’s one of my favorite aspects of this cake, Irina.
      Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

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