spiced rum cake with caramel pearsspiced rum cake with caramel pears

It was 84 degrees in my house this weekend, but I turned my oven on and baked a cake. Call me crazy (it wouldn’t be the first time), but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do!

If the cake came out good, I was planning to recommend bookmarking it for fall or winter or a cooler day when baking a cake is a little more appropriate. Or at least buying an air conditioner first. But you know what? Never mind that. You need to to make this cake right away. Like, tonight. It’s that good.

spiced rum cake with caramel pears

So, why was I baking a cake on one of the hottest days I can remember in years? Because I made it to the final round of the Saucy Mama Sliced contest, that’s why! And all of the great ideas I had for mustard-y desserts went right out the window when they announced that the secret ingredient was booze. For some reason, nothing was coming to me! (It also didn’t help matters much that I had to use one of the three flavors of mustard they send me, which were dill, garlic, or hatch chili. Yikes!)

After lots of hemming and hawing, I decided to use the hatch chili mustard to make a spicy chocolate rum cake. And I’ll admit it: I was scared. Then I tasted the batter and it was awesome. There was definitely a bold hint of something but it was hard to place. I stuck it in the oven and it smelled SO GOOD while it baked. I cautiously took a bit and well… it was good! And not just “good for a cake with mustard in it” but actually good. Scary good. Make your own because I’m not sharing good!

Its dense and moist with a big punch of booze and a lot of spice. While you’d never be able to guess there was mustard in this if you didn’t already know, it definitely plays a leading role. Its delicious on it’s own, but the top does sink in a little, so if you’re serving it to guests go ahead and spoon on some caramelized pears. The sweetness will also cut down on some of the heat.

Now, if you’ll forgive me, I’m going to go eat another slice.

spiced rum cake with caramel pears

Spiced Rum Cake with Caramelized Pears
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 1 stik butter
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup spiced black rum
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup Saucy Mama hatch chili mustard
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Gold Medal flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup spiced black rum (optional)
  • 2 pears, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Add the butter and chocolate chips to a saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until melted. Stir in the rum and let cool. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in mustard.
  2. Add flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a mixing bowl. Stir well, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar that might have formed. Stir in half the chocolate. Mix well. Stir in remaining chocolate and mix until combined. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
  3. Bake 40-55 minutes, or until the center of the cake is set and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven. If using the additional rum, use a knife or skewer to poke several holes throughout the cake; pour remaining ¼ cup of rum over cake. Let cool until rum is completely soaked in. Invert onto a plate and remove the pan.
  4. Add the pears and sugar to a sautee pan. Cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until pears or slightly softened and sugar is golden brown. Spoon pears over cake.

Disclosure: I was provided with samples of mustard to use in the recipes that I develop for the “Sliced” contest but was not compensated in any other way.