My Chocolate Rum Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

By Marcus Samuelsson |

In Ethiopian tradition, there is no such thing as “dessert,” but all the pastry shops sell gorgeous frosted cakes. The grandest of them all – the chocolate cake. This recipe was inspired by those cakes I saw in the Addis Ababa shops, as well as the spice farm I visited in Zanzibar where I tasted freshly harvested canela for the first time.

Prep Details

Servings: 16



4 oz semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped

3/4 lb (3 sticks) unsalted butter , cut into small pieces

1/2 cup strong brewed coffee

1/2 cup dark rum

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking sode

1/2 cup buttermilk

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp dark rum


Photo by Alpha

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans, and set aside.

2. Combine the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over gently simmering water, and stir frequently until melted. Remove from the heat. Stir in the coffee, rum, and sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

3. Transfer to a large bowl and beat in the eggs, then stir in the flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and mix until well combined and slightly thickened.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.

5. Remove the cakes from the pans and let cool. Slice and serve with whipped cream.

For the whipped cream:

1. Toast the cinnamon in a small saute pan over medium heat until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from the heat and let cool.

2. Combine the cream sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl and beat to semi-stiff peaks. Fold in the cinnamon and rum.