In Alice Hoffman’s The Rules of Magic, Aunt Isabelle’s chocolate tipsy cake has been handed down for generations. The tipsy comes from rum; the magic comes from the baking. You might want to try it for breakfast, as the aunts did in the book.
Here’s the recipe:
Aunt Isabelle’s Chocolate Tipsy Cake
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting the pan
- 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate Rum Icing
- 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons half and half
- 2 tablespoons dark rum (plus more as needed)
Preheat the oven to 325. Grease a large Bundt pan;dust with cocoa powder. Warm coffee, dark rum, butter, and cocoa powder over medium heat and stir gently until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Set aside to cool. Combine dry ingredients. In another bowl combine eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. When the chocolate mixture is cool, stir in egg mixture. Add flour mixture a little at a time until well combined.
Bake 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
Prepare the chocolate rum icing by melting chocolate, then adding butter and rum; simmer 5 minutes. Add milk or rum to thin the sauce. Cool slightly. Drizzle over cooled cake.
Review of The Rules of Magic
I just finished the book and was curious about the cake. Sounds delish! How did you find this or did you create it?
It sounds a lot like a rum cake I’ve made, but I cannot take credit for this recipe. I read about it in the Cosco newsletter.
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That is so AWESOME! I was reading the book and was just dying for a piece-it sounded too good! I’m going to try to make this next weekend. Thanks!
Chocolate cake is my favorite but this one is really magical.
I know I’m two years late, but do you have any advice for baking this at a high elevation? It sounds wonderful but I don’t want to ruin it with the elevation haha
Found this online (Denver Post)- hope it helps
For higher altitudes, add up to 2 tablespoons more flour per cup called for in the recipe. For each cup of sugar, cup of liquid and teaspoon of baking powder or baking soda in the recipe (keep in mind that larger/more eggs can serve as liquid, too):
3,500 to 6,500 feet: Reduce sugar up to 1 tablespoon, increase liquid 1 to 2 tablespoons, reduce baking powder/soda 1/8 teaspoon.
6,500 to 8,500 feet: Reduce sugar up to 2 tablespoons, increase liquid 2 to 4 tablespoons, reduce baking powder/soda 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon.
8,500 to 10,000 feet: Reduce sugar 1 to 3 tablespoons, increase liquid 3 to 4 tablespoons, reduce baking powder/soda 1/4 teaspoon.
Another option: If a recipe uses both baking soda and baking powder in conjunction with something acidic such as buttermilk or sour cream, KAF says you can try switching to just baking powder and regular milk, for a less powerful rising reaction.