For the cake

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) box Vanilla instant pudding
  • 2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt 
  • ½ cup (1 stick) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups C&H Granulated Sugar
  • 4 large Eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup Vegetable oil
  • ½ cup Whole milk
  • ¼ cup Rum 
  • 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract

For the syrup

  • 1 cup C&H Granulated Sugar
  • ½ cup Water
  • ½ cup Rum

For the pastry cream

  • 1 cup Whole milk
  • 1/3 cup C&H Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt 
  • 3 tablespoons Cornstarch 
  • 4 large Egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoon Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon Pure vanilla extract

For the meringue

  • 4 large Egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup C&H Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch 
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt 
  • ½ teaspoon Cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, vanilla pudding, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, at medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. In a medium measuring cup, mix the oil, milk, rum, and vanilla.
  6. Add flour mixture and oil mixture alternating the mixtures in each addition. Beat until just combined starting and finishing with the flour mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Prepare the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from the heat. Add rum. Set aside.
  9. Using a toothpick, poke holes all over the cakes. Pour half of the syrup in one layer, and half in the other. Allow the syrup to soak into the cakes for about 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cover cakes with plastic wrap and set aside.
  10. Prepare the pastry cream. In a medium saucepan mix together milk, sugar, and salt. Bring mixture to a simmer. Stir until the sugar dissolves. In a large bowl whisk together cornstarch and egg yolks. Mix a little of the hot milk mixture with egg yolk mixture, whisk constantly as you pour the hot milk to prevent eggs from turning into scrambled eggs. Add a little more milk mixture and continue mixing. Add all the milk and mix. Return mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens.
  11. Remove from heat and transfer to a heat-resistant bowl. Allow the cream to rest for 10 minutes. Add butter and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Strain cream into a bowl. Cover the cream with plastic wrap making sure it touches the surface of the cream so it does not form a skin. Refrigerate for about one hour.
  12. Assemble the cake. Using a serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally, as even as possible. Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Evenly add pastry cream. Top with the rest of the layer cakes and pastry cream. Refrigerate cake while you prepare the meringue.
  13. In a stainless steel bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Place the bowl over simmering water and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until all sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reached a temperature of 130-150°F. Remove from heat and add cornstarch, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla to the mixture. Beat the mixture at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
  14. Frost the cake with meringue. Make peak of meringue using a spatula or the back of a spoon. Using a kitchen gas torch, brown the meringue. Serve.

Recipe courtesy of C&H Sugar