The Autumn Cake Ree Drummond Is Probably Thinking About Right Now

Ree Drummond's Twitter bio calls her "Wife of a cowboy. Mother of four. Lover of butter. Amen" and those descriptions are totally in sync with her approach to cooking. A lover of rich, down-home foods that satisfy body and soul (and lots of hungry mouths), Drummond is beloved for her decadent baked goods and meaty, hearty meals.  Drummond's homey aesthetic blends perfectly with her cozy dishes, and her love for American things and Americana is evident in the warm and inviting space she cooks in and invites viewers to share. Family is very important to Drummond, and she is quite the romantic as well:  her relocation from Los Angeles to rural Oklahoma happened as a result of falling in love and marrying "The Marlboro Man" — her husband, Ladd Drummond (via Biography). 

The Pioneer Woman's mother-in-law has been a culinary inspiration, at least when it comes to cakes. Drummond noted that the first time she tried Nan Drummond's holiday rum cake, it was the best thing she'd ever tasted (via Twitter). That cake isn't too fancy — it starts with boxed cake mix and instant pudding — but Drummond doesn't care, it's that good. 

The trouble with rum cake, though, is that it's hard to fit it into the Thanksgiving menu, on a table already chock-full of traditional American favorites. That's one of the reasons Drummond loves Friendsgiving: it provides an opportunity to push the culinary envelope a little, and hang out with her girlfriends. Plus, it's a chance to make Pumpkin Rum Cake. 

Pumpkin and rum: a match made in holiday heaven

Pumpkin Rum Cake is a rich, pumpkin-spice-flavored bundt cake doused in rum syrup. Drummond demonstrates the recipe in a video on Twitter, and while it's a relatively straightforward process, it requires several steps. 

Drummond mixes up her dry ingredients and then two different bowls of wet: eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla, and maple extracts go in one bowl, while the other contains the pumpkin, butter, and pumpkin pie spice. The pumpkin stuff goes into a saucepan with water and gets cooked down a bit. After folding both bowls of wet ingredients into the dry, Drummond puts them in a (well-greased and floured) bundt pan (per Sweets and Thank You). She bakes and cools the cake and then makes the rum syrup by making a simple syrup and adding a whole cup of spiced rum at the end of the process so all the alcohol doesn't boil off. 

Drummond's genius move? To let the rum syrup really soak in, she pokes holes in the cake and returns it to the cooled bundt pan, dousing the whole thing in syrup (which can't leak out).  More holes and the rest of the syrup go on top, so the cake can soak up all that rummy goodness. When it's ready, she inverts the cake onto a platter, and voilà: dessert is served. 

Honestly, this sounds perfect for both our Friendsgiving and our Thanksgiving table. Or our any-time table, really.