There’s Always Room For Dessert! Delicious and Easy Summer Desserts

This past weekend, I made a few of my most requested desserts for a party I was having, plus I threw in a chocolate pudding when I needed another dessert at the last minute.  All were delicious and so easy.

Aunt Rachel’s Rum Cake

My Aunt Rachel used to make this cake all the time when I was growing up and I would devour it.  It is so sweet and salty at the same time and deliciously moist.  You really do need to use a dark rum to make it taste best.  The recipe originally came from Bacardi, so if you can, use their dark rum, 80 proof.  Here is the recipe from Bacardi:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 package  yellow cake mix **
  • 1 (3 3/4-oz.) package vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Bacardi dark rum (80 proof )


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Bacardi dark rum ( 80 proof )

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease and flour 10-inch tube or 12-cup Bundt pan.

Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan.

Mix all cake ingredients together.

Pour batter over nuts.

Bake 1 hour.

Cool; invert onto serving plate. Prick top with fork.

Spoon and brush glaze evenly over top and sides.


Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in water and sugar.
Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, and remove from heat.
Stir in rum. You may decorate with whipped cream before serving.
** If using yellow cake mix with pudding already in the mix, omit the instant pudding, using 3 eggs instead of 4 and 1/3 cup oil instead of 1/2.

Banana Pie for Kevin

My boyfriend Kevin loves Banana pudding, like the one he gets sometimes from Magnolia Cupcakes in New York.  I made him that dish once, but I wasn’t that interested in the flavors of boring old vanilla pudding, bananas and wafers.  I also refuse to use any sort of banana flavored pudding so I decided to come up with my short cut version of a Banana Cream Pie, ready in no time.  This was adapted from  I wish they would show me who created this recipe originally because whomever it is is a genius!


  • 1 graham cracker crust or make your own:
  • a full sleeve of cinnamon graham crackers
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 brick softened cream cheese
  • 5 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 4 bananas, not too soft
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar


Preheat oven to 350F

If making your own crust, grind the crackers in a food processor along with the extra cinnamon, two tablespoons of brown sugar and a pinch of salt until smooth.  Pour into a bowl and work the melted butter into the mixture with a fork until completely combined.  Press up the sides and all around a pie plate until evenly covered and bake for 10 minutes.  When done, remove and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, in one bowl, beat whipping cream, rum, vanilla and confectioner’s sugar until firm peaks form.  In another bowl, beat together cream cheese and the rest of the brown sugar.  Fold these two mixtures together.

When the crust is cool, slice bananas right into the plate and spread out evenly.  Add the cream topping and spread out to fully cover.  Stick in the fridge overnight to set.

Chocolate Pudding

I needed one more dessert as my crowd of guests was ever expanding.  I wanted to make something quick and I don’t know why but my mind went to Chocolate Pudding.  Maybe because I had just bought some decadently rich cream and milk from the farmer’s market and I always have really fine chocolate on hand, exceptionally dark I might add.  This recipe could not be easier and it is a total crowd pleaser when also served with fresh whipped cream on top and a little extra shaved chocolate.

Makes 6 servings


  • 8 egg yolks, make sure they are the best quality you can find and organic
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 6 tablespoons raw, organic, unsweetened cacao powder
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3 ounces chopped dark chocolate (not chips as they have wax and don’t melt as well)
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream


Bring the milk to a low boil on the stove in a medium sized sauce pan. As this is heating up, start your next step but keep an eye on the milk and whisk frequently so it doesn’t burn or boil over. Meanwhile, beat in a bowl the egg yolks and sugar until light in color.  Add the corn starch and cacao and mix.  Once the milk boils, whisk the egg-sugar mixture into the milk, constantly whisking until smooth.  After a few minutes, it will start to thicken.

Once thickened, remove from heat and while still hot, add the chopped chocolate, the butter, the vanilla and the cream and stir with a wooden spoon until everything has melted and is well combined.  Then pour into individual ramekins and cover with plastic wrap so a skin doesn’t form.  Stick in the fridge over night.

Rosemary Maggiore is our Last Minute Lady. A single mom of two kids plus a full time job (she runs this website!) keep her busy and usually pushing things to the last minute. Somehow she manages to keep her cool and her sanity while she enjoys good food, wine, friends and most importantly, family.

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