The Naughty Senator Cake


I am a sucker for any recipe with history or any interesting background story. So when I heard about the Naughty Senator Cake, I was intrigued immediately. Why such a title and what is so naughty about it?

Apparently, Melissa Gray, producer for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and author of All Cakes Considered, came up with the idea for her Naughty Senator pound cake after two sex scandals involving members of Congress. “I settled on peppermint, chocolate and rum,” she writes. “Peppermint, because the senators and congresspeople I’ve met over the years at NPR always seem to smell of mint. It’s a public speaking thing. … Chocolate, because it’s rich and so are most senators. Rum, because, well, rum means debauchery to me. Or at least a sizeable impairment of judgment.”

Was this story true or not, I don’t know for sure, but it definitely made me want to make this cake. If you like the classic Marble Cake and the mint flavour, you are going to love this cake. The light and slightly crumbly texture is perfect without even being frosted. Rum gives the cake an extra kick and the minty flavour is my favourite part. It is even better the next morning paired with a cup of mint tea.

Another reason why I made this cake because it was my Mum’s Birthday today,(Happy Birthday Mum) and although sometimes because of the distance, we cannot meet up so often, we have this tradition when for any member of the family for their Birthdays we make a cake in their honour and celebrate with them this way. She will get a picture of the cake, but we will get to eat it ; )

To be honest, with this cake I always stick to the original recipe, the only change I always make I reduce the amount of sugar. (I tend to do this for most recipes I try)



300 white sugar

25 cocoa

225 g butter, soft

large eggs 

375 g plain flour

teaspoons baking powder 

½ tablespoon salt 

250 ml milk 

teaspoons peppermint essence (or extract)

½ teaspoon green food colouring 

teaspoons rum (or rum extract)


1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Coat a bundt pan heavily with butter or cooking spray.

2. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the sugar and all of the cocoa. Set aside.

3. Cream butter with a mixer at medium speed, gradually adding the remaining sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.

5. With the mixer on low speed, add 125 g of the flour mixture; beat, then add 1/3 cup (80 ml) of the milk and beat again. Repeat until all of the flour mixture and milk are blended into batter. Beat on medium-high speed for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Pour half of the batter into a clean medium bowl. Add the peppermint flavouring and a couple drops of green food colouring (just enough to turn the batter pastel green) to one bowl of batter. Pour two-thirds of the green batter into the bottom of the cake pan. Set aside the remaining green batter.

7. Clean off your mixer beaters, dry, and return them to the mixer. Add the cocoa-sugar mixture to the yellow batter and add the rum. Beat until smooth.

8. Using a spatula, pour the chocolate-flavoured batter over the green batter in the cake pan. Layer the remaining third of green batter over the chocolate batter. Marble by taking a small rubber spatula or plastic knife and cutting through the middle of the batter ring to the bottom of the pan. Bring the spatula or knife toward you and then up toward the side of the pan. Rotate the cake pan with your other hand and repeat. You’ll do 2 rotations total, no more.

9. Bake for 1 hour. When the cake tests done (an inserted toothpick comes out clean), cool for 15 to 30 minutes in the pan, then removed onto a cake rack.




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