Baking substitution for light rum?
September 29, 2008 9:18 AM   Subscribe

I want to whip up an applesauce cake this afternoon for Rosh Hashanah (this recipe specifically). However, I don't have light rum. What can I use as a substitute that will make my cake just as yummy?

I have lots of flavor extracts--vanilla, orange, lemon, almond, maple--and was thinking some combo of those might work. (Say, 1 tsp orange and 1 tsp maple.) I'm worried those might overpower the applesauce, though. Does anyone have any experience substituting anything for light rum? It's not the end of the world if the flavors don't quite work, but I have a reputation as a good baker and don't want to ruin it.
posted by leesh to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would go with vanilla or maple, with maple being my first choice just because it should complement the apple flavor more than the others.
posted by raisingsand at 9:23 AM on September 29, 2008

I would add a half of a teaspoon each of the extracts you choose--extracts are more concentrated in flavor than rum.

Although if I were doing this, what I'd do is add a teaspoon of maple syrup and a half teaspoon of vanilla extract.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:24 AM on September 29, 2008

For this recipe, I'd just leave out the rum. *Don't* use any of the flavor extracts you have, as any of them that's not original to the recipe (so vanilla doesn't count) will change the character too much.

Do you have any rum at all? Dark rum would be fine as a substitute. Call a neighbor?

That recipe sounds fantastic, by the way.

Happy RH!
posted by Stewriffic at 9:25 AM on September 29, 2008

I think a little regular brandy would work very nicely if you have any on hand. Or calvados if you want to emphasize the apple-ness.
posted by j-dawg at 9:30 AM on September 29, 2008

Calvados, Applejack, whiskey. You need to retain the liquid, so I'd sub out water for the most desperate substitution. I think that the extracts you mention will add too much flavor.

P.S. Now I am making this recipe, too. L'shana tovah and all that.
posted by zpousman at 9:39 AM on September 29, 2008

The volumes of light rum are so small I don't think it would make too much difference if you just left it out, especially with all the spices around. You could substitute some other wine, liqueur or plain water, but I wouldn't add anything too strongly flavored (like baking extracts).
posted by Quietgal at 9:46 AM on September 29, 2008

The only alcohol I have at home is a bottle of coconut rum, some tequila, and a couple bottles of beer. Oh, and sparkling apple cider--would a tsp of that work? I like the maple syrup idea--don't know why I didn't think of that! I guess I'll just mess around and hope for the best.

Thanks for the input and l'shana tova!
posted by leesh at 10:16 AM on September 29, 2008

I'd guess the liquor there is to add moisture without developing gluten in the flour but it's a very, very small amount. Of what you've got on hand, I'd go with a tablespoon of applesauce or the apple cider, either will likely work.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:09 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

l'shanah tovah leesh! that applesauce cake sounds wonderful :-)
posted by pinky at 4:07 PM on September 29, 2008

It's a tiny bit risky but I think the coconut rum would work. It's basically light rum, and there's not enough coconut flavor in 2 tsp to overwhelm the strong flavors (cloves, ginger, etc.) already present.
posted by mmoncur at 9:38 PM on September 29, 2008

I've been encouraged via Mefimail to post a followup--I used maple syrup and it was delicious. Thank you all for your input!
posted by leesh at 10:43 AM on October 30, 2008

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