Rum Cake is a nutty yellow bundt cake made with dark rum, pecans, and topped with a rum glaze for a boozy dessert. Folks were so excited about my Mississippi Mudslide Cake, I knew adding another adult cake to the mix was a great idea!

Cake Server Picking up a Piece of Rum Cake

Rum Cake

If you don’t like rum, you may want to try my Cream Cheese Pound Cake or Kentucky Butter Bundt Cake instead of this cake. There is no denying there is rum in the cake, as well as in the glaze! In fact, there is quite a strong rum flavor in every bite. So, if you love rum, you will definitely love this delicious cake.

Glazing Rum Cake with Rum Glaze

Cake Ingredients

There are two parts to this recipe–the yellow rum cake and the rum glaze.

Nuts: I added chopped nuts to the cake, but you could leave out the nuts if preferred.

Pudding Mix: Look for a package of vanilla instant pudding mix (not cook and serve).

Flour: I used all-purpose flour in the cake; we have not tested this with other kinds of flour.

Rum: There is both dark and light rum. I used dark rum in this recipe, which gives it a darker color. The darker color comes from being aged in charred oak or wooden barrels before being filtered and bottled. Dark rum will give the cake more flavor; if light rum is all you have, you could use it, but the flavor may be altered a bit.

Overhead image of a Rum Cake Showing the Nuts and Glaze

Can I Make This Cake Without Rum?

Well, not really. It is, after all, called a rum cake for a reason. However, one way to reduce the amount of rum in the recipe is to use simple syrup to top the cake rather than the rum glaze. That would tone down the rum flavor a bit.

What is the Difference Between a Bundt Cake and a Regular Cake?

This may seem like a question that is a no-brainer. The difference between a bundt cake and a regular cake is that a bundt cake is baked in a bundt pan (also known as a fluted tube pan)! Well, that is true, and part of the answer, but not the entire answer. 

Another difference is the bundt pans have a cylindrical hole in the middle, which means more of the cake will touch the sides of the pan. This results in a crustier edge. This isn’t a bad thing; it is perfect for supporting any frosting or decorating you may add to the cake.

The hole in the center of a bundt pan can also cause a drier cake since it is more exposed to the heat in the oven. To prevent this, be sure to use full-fat ingredients in the batter. This will keep the cake moist, which is what you want in a pound cake or any other dense, moist cake that is made in a bundt pan!

Rum Cake with Pieces Cut Into it from Overhead

What Size Bundt Pan Should I Use?

Size does matter when it comes to making bundt cakes. I used a 10-inch bundt pan that holds 12 cups of liquid. Generally, the size of bundt pans is determined by how many cups of liquid it holds. When adding the batter, just be sure to not add too much of it or it will overflow in the oven. A good tip would be to fill the pan about 2/3 of the way full. And, if possible, use a light, nonstick metal pan for best results.

How to Store

This cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days, or in the refrigerator for up to seven days.

Piece of Rum Cake on a Plate with a Bite Missing
5 from 5 votes

Rum Cake

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Rum Cake is a nutty yellow bundt cake made with dark rum, pecans, and topped with a rum glaze for a boozy dessert.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup (109 g) chopped pecans
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • cups (281 g) all-purpose flour
  • cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (122.5 g) whole milk, room temperature
  • ½ cup (109 g) vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup (111 g) dark rum

Rum Glaze

  • ¼ cup (½ stick / 57 g) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (111 g) dark rum

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl add pudding mixture, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter. Mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter and combine for 30 seconds.
  • Add milk, oil, vanilla, and the eggs, one at a time, and mix on medium-high for one minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Stir in the rum and mix until combined.
  • Pour batter over nuts and spread batter in an even layer.
  • Bake 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
  • After about ten minutes, invert the cake onto a serving plate.

Rum Glaze

  • Use a skewer or toothpick to prick holes all over the top of the cake, about an inch or two apart.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat add butter, water, and sugar.
  • Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar has dissolved, (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in rum.
  • Carefully spoon or brush the rum glaze evenly over the top and sides of the cake, going slowly and taking your time so the cake absorbs the glaze. Continue until all glaze is used.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I have made this cake every year at Christmas time. If you are in a hurry you can substitute a yellow cake mix when making the cake batter. Either way, it is a beautiful cake! Great for holiday parties anytime of year!

    1. I make this cake for my son’s birthday its his favorite, we use the butter recipe cake mix, probably the same, but have noticed that they are now making cake mixes at 15.8oz instead of 18oz, so the last time I made it I didn’t realize the size difference of the mix and my cake didn’t turn out so good. So be ware of the cake mix size.

  2. Your recipes are always so simple. Love those scratch recipes. I hate to even use a cake mix and add to it. Your food recipes are also so simple and tasty.

  3. I really love you dessert recepies and will be making the Rum cake as soon as I buy the rum. Thanks for sharing these with us.

  4. I have made this cake for years, but I’ve always cheated and used a box mix. I’m so excited to try your from scratch version! This cake is always a hit.

  5. I havee made this cake for many years – it’s one of my most requested recipes! Here is a tip for newbies regarding the glaze. Follow directions listed about glazing the top and sides as much as possible first. Then return cake to bundt pan and pour any remaining glaze over bottom and especially, down the sides of cake using all of it. Leave in pan, cover and let sit for a few hours or overnight. This really gets the glaze soaked into the cake! Never had any complaints!!

  6. This Rum Cake is OUTSTANDING! It’s even better than the ones I used to get in Grand Cayman. I have received rave reviews from my family and friends that I shared this with. I will 100% make this again and again. Thank you, Amanda, for the wonderful recipe!

  7. I made 2 of these in the last week. One as a gift, one for my family. I did bake mine about ten minutes longer than stated in this recipe but that might be just my oven. But let me tell you, I’ve been baking for decades and I even baked professionally for a few years and this is hands done one of the best tasting and easiest cakes to make! I’m not usually a person who likes pudding in anything as I think it tends to make things have a gummy texture but since most of your recipes look delicious I thought I’d give this a try and was I impressed! The rum slurry you add over the cake seemed like way to much at first. I even went back and double checked my amounts to make sure I did it correctly. It ended up perfect. I would highly recommend this cake to anyone who wants to treat themselves nicely or for gift giving. Perfect for both and thank you Amanda for all your hard work and sharing of your time and talent!

  8. I have made it with water substituted for rum, then using rum extract. It’s not quite the same, but works in a pinch.

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