Rum Cake

filed under: Cakes · Dessert on April 8, 2022

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!

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.

Cake Server Picking up a Piece of Rum Cake

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.

Glazing Rum Cake with Rum Glaze

How to Make Rum Cake

This rum cake starts with a yellow cake that has rum added to the batter and made in a bundt pan. To make the cake, first, grease a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle the nuts over the bottom of the pan.

Next, in a mixing bowl, mix together the dry pudding mix, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. To the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add the butter and mix for 1-2 minutes. Then, add the dry ingredients to the butter and combine for about 30 seconds.

Add the oil, vanilla, and eggs, one at a time, and mix for about a minute. Finally, stir in the rum and mix until combined. Pour the batter over the nuts in the bundt pan. Spread the batter into an even layer and bake the cake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs (but no wet batter). Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest for about ten minutes before inverting it onto a large plate.

Overhead image of a Rum Cake Showing the Nuts and Glaze

Making the Rum Glaze

Yes, there is more rum in the glaze! Cheers to that! To make the glaze, add butter, water, and sugar to a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir for 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved.

Remove the glaze from the heat and stir in the rum. Before brushing the glaze over the cake, use a skewer or toothpick to poke holes over the top of the cake. Slowly, really taking your time, spoon or brush the glaze over the cake. This will allow the glaze to soak into the cake. Store the cake in the refrigerator for up to five days.

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.

Rum Cake with Pieces Cut Into it from Overhead

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!

Piece of Rum Cake on a Plate with a Bite Missing

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.

Looking for More Cake Recipes?

Vanilla Pound Cake

Death By Chocolate Bundt Cake

Apple Bundt Cake

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Filling

5 from 4 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.

Course: Dessert
Keyword: Rum Cake
Servings: 12
Calories: 551 kcal
Author: Amanda
  • 1 cup (109g) chopped pecans
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • cups (281g) all-purpose flour
  • cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick, 113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (122.5g) milk, room temperature
  • ½ cup (109g) vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup (111g) dark rum
Rum Glaze
  • ¼ cup (½ stick, 57g) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (111g) dark rum
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl add pudding mixture, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  4. Into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter. Mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes.

  5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and combine for 30 seconds.

  6. 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.

  7. Stir in the rum and mix until combined.
  8. Pour batter over nuts and spread batter in an even layer.
  9. Bake 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  10. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes.

  11. After about ten minutes, invert the cake onto a serving plate.

Rum Glaze
  1. Use a skewer or toothpick to prick holes all over the top of the cake, about an inch or two apart.

  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat add butter, water, and sugar.

  3. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar has dissolved, (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in rum.

  4. 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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  • Barbara says:

    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!

  • Kat says:

    Can I use a boxed yellow cake mix and just add rum to it?

  • Niki says:

    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.

  • Yolanda Barnhardt says:

    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.

  • Barbara Brown says:

    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.

  • Judy Rush says:

    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!!

  • Ilene says:

    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!

  • Jacqueline says:

    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!

  • Colleen says:

    I cannot wait to try this!!!

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.