Homemade Rum Cake
Rich and tender cake soaked in a homemade rum syrup makes this decadent rum cake recipe the perfect addition to your next extra-special dinner or holiday gathering. Drenched in rum flavor without being overpowering, this moist rum cake recipe pairs perfectly with a warm cup of coffee, a dollop of fresh whipped cream, or an extra drizzle of rum syrup!
Rum cake. A dessert that is nostalgic and old-school, and one for which just about everyone has a family recipe.
Rum cake was one of a small rotation of desserts that showed up at my grandma’s house on Sunday afternoons. You could usually count on one of the following: rum cake, icebox cake, angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream, or poor man’s cookies. There were some weeks that we made do with Klondike bars from the freezer, but for the most part, we got to indulge in one of those four desserts.
My great aunt made a killer rum cake that I could appreciate even as a kid. I remember it being so thick and moist, and of course, packed with rum. The problem I ran into is that my aunt always used a box cake mix, and all of the recipes I found online were the same, and I wanted a homemade cake. I finally found a recipe that I tweaked to rum-soaked perfection.
What is Rum Cake?
If you’ve never had the pleasure of sinking your fork into a fresh slice of rum cake, let me share with you a little bit more about this decadent dessert.
Typically served during the holidays, rum cake originated in the Caribbean as a dessert similar to fruit cake or steamed puddings. Dried fruit soaked for months in rum before being added to a cake batter and baked into this holiday dessert. While you can find many varieties of commercially made rum cakes traveling in the tropics, there is nothing better than a homemade rum Bundt cake drenched in rum syrup.
Ingredients for the Rum Cake
This decadent cake can easily be broken down into two main parts, the rum bundt cake and the rum sauce that soaks and glazes the cake.
- Walnuts: Optional, but highly encouraged, they are used as a topping for the rum cake.
- Dry ingredients: All-purpose flour, cornstarch baking powder, and salt make the dry base of the rum cake.
- Butter: Unsalted butter at room temperature gives the cake batter an ultra-buttery finish.
- Sugar: Sweetens the rum cake.
- Oil: I use canola oil to help keep the cake moist.
- Vanilla Pudding Mix: You can use your own DIY vanilla pudding mix or a 3.4-ounce package of instant vanilla pudding.
- Eggs: Gives structure and moisture to the cake.
- Milk: Activates the instant vanilla pudding and keeps the cake moist and tender.
- Rum: You can use a dark or white rum for this recipe.
- Vanilla: Flavor, flavor, flavor.
- Rum Syrup: Used to soak and glaze the cake. This homemade syrup is made from a mixture of butter, sugar, water, salt, and rum.
Let’s Make the Rum Bundt Cake!
- Prepare for baking (#1): Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a standard Bundt pan (12-cup capacity). Sprinkle the chopped walnuts around the bottom and set aside.
- Whisk dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Mix in dry ingredients: Add the flour mixture and 3 tablespoons of canola oil, and mix on medium-low for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the pudding mix and mix again on medium-low until combined.
- Mix wet ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, rum, ½ cup of canola oil, and vanilla extract.
- Add wet ingredients: Add the egg mixture into the dry ingredinets and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. (Note- the batter will be quite thin- this is good! It will be nice and moist.)
- Pour (#2) the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and spread to evenly distribute.
- Bake (#3) for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
How to Make the Rum Syrup
When the cake has about 10 minutes left to bake, start making the rum syrup.
- Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
- Add sugar and water (#5): Once melted, stir in the sugar and the water. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the rum: Remove from heat and stir in the rum.
- Heat for 30 seconds: Once the rum is mixed in, return the pan to medium heat for about 30 seconds.
- Pour rum syrup onto cake: When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately pour about one-third of the rum syrup (about ⅔ cup) over the bottom of the cake. Pour slowly so it has time to seep into the cake and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
- Invert the cake onto a serving platter.
- Poke holes into the cake (#4): Use a fork or skewer, poke holes all over the cake- the top, sides, and around the inside.
- Note: Don’t be shy! All of the holes allow the rum syrup to seep into the cake evenly.
- Pour remaining syrup (#6): Sloooooooowly pour the remaining rum syrup over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. You want to do this step slowly (it took me almost 15 minutes) so that the syrup can seep into the cake and doesn’t just pool at the bottom of the serving dish.
My favorite way to enjoy a slice of this rum bundt cake is warm and with a cup of coffee. Some other ways to enjoy this cake include:
- Dolloped with fresh whipped cream
- Served with fresh fruit such as strawberry, pineapple, or cherries
- Drizzled with extra rum syrup
- Topped with a little salted caramel sauce
- Sprinkled with additional nuts or shredded coconut
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions
As you’d imagine, this gets better the longer you let it sit and soak, so you can absolutely make this cake a day ahead of time. For keeping this cake longer than a day in advance here’s what I would recommend:
- Storing: Best kept at room temperature, you will want to wrap this cake tightly in plastic wrap to maintain the moisture. It keeps for up to 5 days at room temperature.
- Freezing: Rum cake can be frozen, wrapped twice in plastic wrap then aluminum foil and placed in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, or at room temperature. Do not unwrap until completely thawed.
- Reheating: Whether heating from thawed or reheating a few days after baking, pop the rum cake in the oven at 300°F for about 5 minutes to warm or microwave individual slices for about 10 to 15 seconds.
Rum Cake FAQs
You can use whatever rum you like the most for this cake; I typically use Myers dark rum.
The rum in the cake base cooks out during the baking process but with the fresh rum soaking the cake might get you a little buzzed if you go for a few slices. That said, one moderate slice of this moist rum cake will not get you drunk.
To replace the rum in the cake batter you can use rum extract. For replacing rum in the syrup try apple juice, orange juice, white grape juice, or apple cider. The flavor will be different but your cake will be alcohol-free.
Traditionally rum cake is made in a Bundt pan. If you do not have a Bundt cake pan you can try making the cake in a pan that has a 12-cup capacity such as a 10×2.5 inch springform pan or a 9-inch tube pan. I have not tested the bake time for these pans so you will want to start checking on the cake about 30 minutes in to make sure it’s not burning.
Moist and tender slices of cake soaked in a homemade rum syrup make this rum cake recipe an absolute winner! Drenched in rum flavor without being overpowering, this made from scratch cake is perfect for your next holiday gathering!
If you make this recipe and love it, remember to stop back and give it a 5-star rating – it helps others find the recipe! ❤️️
Homemade Rum Cake
For the Cake:
- 1 cup (117 g) chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1¾ cups (218.75 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (32 g) cornstarch
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons + ½ cup canola oil, divided
- ⅔ cup (14.67 g) DIY instant vanilla pudding mix, or one 3.4-ounce package of instant vanilla pudding
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup (183 ml) whole milk
- ¾ cup (180 ml) dark rum
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Rum Syrup:
- ¾ cup (170.25 g) unsalted butter
- 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (62.5 ml) water
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup (120 ml) dark rum
- Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a standard Bundt pan (12-cup capacity). Sprinkle the chopped walnuts around the bottom; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and the 3 tablespoons of canola oil, and mix on medium-low speed for 1 to 2 minutes – the mixture should look like wet sand. Add the pudding mix and mix again on medium-low speed until combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, rum, remaining ½ cup canola oil, and vanilla extract. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. (The batter will be quite thin – this is good! It will be nice and moist!)
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Make the Rum Syrup: When the cake has about 10 minutes left to bake, start the rum syrup. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Once it is melted, stir in the sugar and the water. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and stir in the rum. Once it is mixed in, return the pan to medium heat for about 30 seconds.
- When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately pour about one-third of the rum syrup (approximately 2/3 cup) over the bottom of the cake. Pour slowly so it has time to seep into the cake. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Invert the cake onto a serving platter. Using a fork or a skewer, poke holes all over the cake – the top, sides, and around the inside. Don’t be shy – all of the holes ensure that the rum syrup seeps into the cake evenly. Sloooooowly pour the remaining rum syrup over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. You want to do this step very slowly (it took me almost 15 minutes) so that the syrup actually seeps into the cake and doesn’t just pool on the bottom of the serving dish.
- Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before serving. Leftovers can be kept, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Equipment: Standard 12-cup Bundt pan (you may substitute a 9-inch tube pan)
- Rum: Use your favorite! I typically use Myers dark rum.
- Alcohol-Free Option: To make this cake alcohol-free, substitute rum extract in the cake and try apple juice, orange juice, white grape juice, or apple cider in the syrup. The flavor will be different, but your cake will be alcohol-free.
- Walnuts: You can substitute something else (pecans would be great!) or omit them entirely.
- Vanilla Pudding Mix: This cake utilizes pudding mix to make it ultra-moist; use store-bought or make your own!
- Storage: The rum cake can be stored, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Freezing: Rum cake can be frozen, wrapped twice in plastic wrap then aluminum foil and placed in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, or at room temperature. Do not unwrap until completely thawed.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Photography by Ari Laing.
Easy to make!!!
This is a killer rum cake and very easy to make. Just follow the instructions. I made two rum cakes, one by Bon Appetit with sticky maple glaze, and this one. Absolutely, Browneyed Baker’s cake is far superior, in flavor, moisture level, texture and taste, and wins hands down. I would like to recommend a dark rum known as Pusser’s, Guyana, West Indies, which I believe is far superior to Myers rum, which is more popularly used in baking. Try Pusser’s and you’ll note a superior rum flavor. I also used a French vanilla pudding package, raw cane sugar and Challenge unsalted butter, which I highly recommend. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe.
I have made this cake for the second time and both time were for Christmas and it is a hit. This cake is so moist people think it is a box cake, but it is all from scratch OMG!!!! So now I will be making this a Christmas tradition.
Got this in the oven and then noticed the vanilla pudding still on the counter…. The cake looks the same as every other time i have made it. Will it be ok? Should i make it again? I am not sure that i want to make the syrup (ie waste all those ingredients). Do you know what will be lacking?
My husband and his friends love this cake. I’ve used this recipe many times, thank you. I’ve used chocolate pudding sometime and have mixed in a couple handfuls of dried cranberries. This cake is a hit! Awesome recipe. Thank you for sharing.
LOVE this recipe. I must emphsize that this cake is worth every guilty calorie!!!
I love the dramatic pan you used!! In the Nordic line, it is only 10 cups, not large enough for the 12 C recipe. Did you use another brand or just use less batter? Thank you!!!
My husband’s favorite ❤️❤️
Valuable blog I have read so far on baking. Thanks for sharing
This cake is divine! The texture and moistness are better than the old box mix I DO NOT use anymore! I would love to adapt this cake for other flavors because of the high quality of the flavor, texture and moistness. Was wondering if I could use orange juice for the 3/4 cup rum to make an orange cake. What do you think? I am just so impressed by this cake!
Thank you for this fabulous recipe!
My first time making rum cake. Had rum cake as a 12 year old at my best friend’s house. Always loved the flavor. Though I did not recall the alcohol taste. It just tasted good to me. Finally, looked all around for a good recipe. Asked my girlfriend if she had her mom’s recipe: nope😞. Then found this one. This cake was pretty darn good. I personally felt the alcohol flavor was too much like alcohol, so I might do a 1/2 a cup of the rum the next time I make it. As noted, “the batter will be quite thin- this is good! It will be nice and moist.” So a 1/4 cup less rum will probably be fine since it was a thin batter AND IT WAS VERY MOIST! I brought it to church, so it might not be a good thing to actually taste the alcohol. 😬My desire to bake a rum cake has been 47 years in the making. Thank you Michelle for this recipe!! Excellent choice and the Sunday School adults really liked it too; there were no leftovers.
NOTE! I did not use the glaze sauce, then I would have gotten kicked out of church for sure.🤣
This is such a great recipe!! The cake is so moist and the balance of rum (I used Myers dark rum) flavor mixed with the homemade taste of the cake makes this a heavenly mouthful!! This has become a yearly tradition for me to make every holiday season – always a hit with the fam and guests! Thanks, Brown Eyed Baker, for sharing such a great recipe with us!!
I am going to make your cake this year with your homemade pudding. The weight for 2/3 cup says 14 S seems really low.
Best rum cake recipe ever!! I sometimes add a little orange peel to add a fresh taste to the batter.
Ps.(As advised from co-workers from Napoli, Italy) love that you add the perfect amount of vanilla! 👌🏽Amazing
One of my favorite cakes is Rum Cake! Can’t wait to try this recipe. My oldest grand asks for this often so I’ll be anxious to make it!
Super good instead of rhum..I use rumtoff mixture it is devine
Rumtopf! what a great idea!!
Oh my so many comments! Would you serve this to children? Thanks- the recipe sounds great.
Hi Nan, I personally would not (I don’t serve it to mine).
It would be fine. The alcohol cooks out of it; however they may not like the flavor.
really i appreciate, you made and guide properly regarding rum cake recipe. now i want to try this recipe pictures also looking very awesome
My husband requests thus cake every year for his birthday, too! I’ve had varying success from year to year and finally figured out why- when I use whole milk the cake never seems to set up and is just mush, like some previous posters mentioned. I now use heavy cream instead and it turns out great! I like to serve with whipped cream, so I first tried it in the cake so I wouldn’t have to buy two ingredients. I also never end up using all the syrup and add a cinnamon swirl (just brown sugar, cinnamon and rum), because, why not?! Great cake!
Once made, can you leave on the counter overnight? or does it need to ne refrigerated? it will be eaten the next day.
Hi Laura, You can definitely leave it overnight on the counter, I do it nearly every time I make this!
Delicious! Love love it. We couldn’t stop eating it. I found that I only used 1/2 the recipe for the rum sauce. It’s super moist. Thank you for sharing.
Not really a comment but a question: in the list of ingredients you have ⅔ cup (just above the list for the pudding). ⅔ cup of what?
The item is there – it’s ⅔ cup homemade vanilla pudding mix or a 3.4-ounce box of instant vanilla pudding mix.
When you print the recipe, the instant pudding text text disappears. Maybe that’s what Pooofweedin was experiencing.
Hi! I can’t wait to make this cake. I’m having an though because the video you have on this page shows me an error. That means when I scroll, the little video thumbnail takes up a ton of space on the screen and there is no x to close it since it is just showing the error message.
You can use any dark rum you like the most for this cake. I used Old Monk which is my all-time fav dark rum. You can also use Bacardi dark rum or Meyer’s dark rum.
I made and loved this cake. I first picked the recipe based on her story about her husband birthday because i was making it for my husband and it turned out GREAT. He loved it, my friends and coworkers loved it and ask for it often. I lost the recipe and couldn’t find the link for awhile. My heart couldn’t use another person’s recipe cause I’m loyal to this one. I was determined to find it today and i did. So i will be saving the recipe and making it TODAY. Thanks
I have made this cake several times and it is really delicious. I have found for our taste and my neighbors, we prefer 1/2 cup of light rum (Bacardi) and 1/4 cup of Myers. We found using all Myers was too strong for us. For the glaze I use half of each. I think this cake gets better after a few days. I’ve made with and without nuts and we prefer with nuts. Walnuts and pecans taste similar on the cake. I baked for 55 minutes and let it sit in the pan for 10 minutes for the glaze to seep in.
I made this cake and it is delicious! I have always wanted to ditch the box recipe and this is my new go to. I do use pecans instead.
My one suggestion and genius tip. . . In my family we always made the cake three days prior and put the syrup on each day (three times) allowing the cake to get drunk but not soggy. TIP: use a basting brush to apply syrup, you won’t have to go as slow or waste any!!!
Can’t remember if I posted a review but the cake was delicious. I will probably cut back a little on saturating with the glaze next time because it was almost soggy but it was still delicious. Wanted to know how I can make it a little big bigger, increase by a half more. Do I just increase all the ingredients by an additional half?
Question I used cake flour instead of all purpose flour and forgot that I probably didn’t need the cornstarch. Will this not come out right?? Or can the cornstarch still be used?? Please respond asap if possible🙏🏾
I made a wonderful cake over the holidays for a friend’s birthday. It was so moist and flavorful and so delicious!! Several people factually said it was the best cake they’d ever had! So now I’m just dying to find one more excuse to make it again!!!
This cake is ridiculously delicious! I followed the recipe to the letter including adding the walnuts to the pan. The only change I made was to the rum sauce. Through trial and error of other recipes, the amount of sauce I use is usually half of what the recipe creates. Other than that EXCELLENT. I’m going to soak raisins in rum and add that next time. Thanks for this great recipe. Bookmarked!
I have made this cake two years in a row now for our Labor Day party and it has become the most anticipated dessert on the table. On the days leading up to the gathering I had numerous people asking if I was bringing the rum cake again, I have baked many desserts for our annual celebration and this by far is a fan favorite, I had so many compliments again this year I have decided it will be a tradition now. I highly recommend using Meyer’s Rum as suggested the flavor cannot be replicated by any other rum . Thank you for all your recipes, they never let me down.
I have read the comments and would like to try the Rum cake. Could you please post this recipe in grams and ml as it is easier to measure the ingredients. Thanks
I have read the comments and I would like to try the Rum cake. Can you post this recipe in grams and ml. It makes it easier in measuring the ingredients. Thanks.
I made this cake for Mother’s Day and was very disappointed. There are a lot of ingredients and a lot of rum. I love rum and I felt this recipe was a waste of a good thing. You could use half of what the recipe call for and it would be just as good. I felt the rum overpowered the cake. In addition the rum “syrup” wasn’t a syrup but a thick heavy gloppy glaze and the final result looked like a melted candle dripped all over it. It also made way too much glaze and it was way too sweet. The nuts did nothing for the cake. I followed the recipe exactly. I am not a novice baker either.
Hello, Do I have to add Whole milk or what is a substitute for whole milk? I don’t drink or used whole Milk.
Hi Kiki, Whole milk is best because of the fat content, but 2% or half and half would also work.
Maybe coconut milk or coconut cream with no stablizers in it. That is my alternative if I don’t have whole milk at home.
If I make the DIY pudding that has a lot of cornstarch in it, do I add all the cake ingredients including the 1/4 c cornstarch? I want to make it all from scratch but want to be sure the cornstarch amounts are correct: the amount in the pudding recipe as well as the amount in the cake recipe.
Hi Judie, Yes that’s correct!
I made this rum cake for a friend who was craving it. We loved it! I had been searching for a home made recipe that does not use a box mix and was very happy to find your recipe. Thank you so MUCH!
I live in Colorado and was worried with altitude adjustments but it turned out perfectly!!! This recipe is SO worth the effort!!
For 5,000 ft- Increase flour by 1 Tbsp.
Increase liquid by 1 Tbsp.
Decrease fat or sugar by 1 Tbsp.
Decrease baking powder by 1/4 of original quantity
Fantastic recipe! I changed it up a bit I used st George pear brandy instead of the Myers rum. It was devoured in minutes by my family during Thanksgiving. Soooooo delightful! Baking another one today for Christmas desert.
I’m going to try this rum cake. Quick question. 4teaspoons of baking powder sounds like way too much. Is that ingredient correct? Thanks
Hi Debbie, That’s correct!
Hi! What size pan? 6 cup or 12 cup? I don’t have as Bundt pan but plan to buyone just for this recipe. Thanks!
Hi Sadie, 12 cup!
Thank you so much for posting this recipe, I have been making rum cakes from scratch for years and honestly never came up with one as dense and perfect as this turned out, and the diy instant pudding mix is genius! Made this for Thanksgiving much to everyone’s delight. (I substituted 1/2 the sugar with erythritol to help reduce the carbs a bit because of a family member who is diabetic so he could enjoy a small slice and he was so pleased) didn’t affect the texture or flavor a bit.
Are you supposed to cook the pudding first? And why unsalted butter?
Hi Dawn, No just add the powder to the cake batter. Unsalted butter so that we can control the amount of salt in the recipe (salted butter has varying amounts of salt).
I have been making rum cakes for years using the box mix and tried this one, wow what a difference. I will never use a yellow cake box mix again. This is a great recipe! Thank you
I would really like to make the rum cake , but it calls for vanilla pudding mix, which I can’t find where I live. Can I substitute with custard powder?? ..or any other suggestions?
Hi Christine, Does custard powder work the same way? i.e. add milk and you get a custard/pudding? If so, that would work just fine!
Can you use burban instead?
Made this cake tonight for my husband’s birthday and it turned out delish! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
I made the rum cake and it was really strong and it shrunk. I followed the recipe putthe syrup right after leaving the oven moved to a plate and put more syrup on bottom and didn’t use all of the syrup. It was my first time soooo, I know I had a mix up somewhere! The recipe was really easy to follow throw!! I will try it again!! Thank you!!
I decided to step away from the rum cake recipe I’ve been using for the last 6 years and my goodness, my goodness!! I hate that I cheated but so glad I did!! This recipe is lovely! Rum cake is my husband’s favorite (he’s from the Virgin Islands) and this recipe will now be my go-to! The cake is so moist and the rum syrup is excellent (I used a little over half the rum it asked for because I’ve used Meyer’s Rum in other recipes and just find it too strong when calling for full measurements – so I always scale it back). I also added 2 tablespoons of orange juice to the syrup (personal preference). I think I’ll have a rough time keeping hubby away from it. He already complimented his one slice about three times! Lol…I think this cake is in trouble!
A++ recipe! Thank you!
Meant to make that 5 stars. Wish I could give it more!
I have made this recipe many times and it’s always a hit! I’d like to make a pumpkin version. How much canned pumpkin would you recommend adding?
I’d love to know what type of bundt pan you use. Looking for a new one. Thank you!
I am trying the recipe.I substitute the sugar.Lets see how comes out and taste.Thank you!
Brown-eyed-baker has been my go-to for any sweet desserts for years now, so when my boyfriend said I should bring a rum cake to his granny’s birthday party, of course I came here. Well, this is the 3rd year its been requested because its so good.
I follow the recipe exactly and use Black Coral spiced rum. It turns out amazing every time and gets devoured!
Me again.. Ok after watching the video again, I see that the salt goes in right before the rum. Oops! I put it in while the butter melted. Oh well, I am sure it will be amazing! ;-D
Either way, might be good to add it to the written directions for “silly questions” like mine. LOL
Adding the salt early will not effect the glaze in any way. Baking is science but there is more wiggle room then you think. Keep baking and enjoy yourself!
I am making this recipe, so far so good! One thing I noticed is with the Rum Syrup Recipe, I know this is silly, but when should the pinch of salt go in? Like I said, I know it’s a silly question. I see it calls for it, but do it put it in with the butter, or when I pour in the rum. :-D. It seems to be missing.
I made this cake for my daughter. It is one of the best cakes I’ve ever made – of any flavor!! Thanks so much for this recipe!!
Absolutely delicious in taste, texture and moistness!!
Hi I have already posted this question but haven’t had a reply. I don’t have a bundt tin, does anyone have any suggestions as to another tin I could use, as I don’t want to buy a bundt tin for this recipe. Thanks
Hi Andrea, You could use a tube pan; I think that’s really the only other cake pan with enough space that would allow you to execute this cake as intended. Good luck!
YES! I used the general outline of this recipe as a base for a rum cake back when I was doing custom cakes for people YEARS ago. It was bangarang!
Very good recipe. You asked a while ago what u could do to improve your website. I have been reading since before Joseph was born and it would make it so much easier to pin your wonderful recipes if we didn’t have to go the browser to pin them. Oh yeah, Fridays are my favorite!!!
Hi really want to make this recipe this weekend for friends who are visiting from the UK but I don’t have a bunds tin, what can I use as a substitute? Thanks
This is one of my fave cakes to bake. Just made one last weekend. It’s requested often at family gatherings. It’s good without the walnuts but it’s GREAT with them. And I love the updated pics. I use the same bunt pan :)
Ok, silly question I know…but can you make rum cake without the rum? Looks wonderful minus the rum..😊
Sure! Use milk in the cake, just omit the rum in the syrup.
I made this cake for Easter Sun it was delicious, moist and beautiful looking. IL mske this recipe over and over. My family loved it.
I tried this cake for my husband’s birthday. Our guests included several elder women, known for their culinary skills. They loved it and so did my hubby! So glad I found this website. I’m making it again today. The only change I might consider is reducing the amount of alcohol… maybe for the rum syrup. Definitely would not serve to children! I also used a regular baking pan versus the bunting pan. Note the original recipe was excellent. My comments are just alternatives you might consider.
I just saw this recipe. I’ve been looking so long for a really good Rum Cake recipe. My question is, can I use cake flour and if so what is the measurement? Thank you for sharing.
I will try this soon. I love rum cake.
This was really delicious! The first time I made it without the walnuts. Today I’m making it with toasted walnuts. My husband has been begging me to make it again ever since I made it the first time.
Is there any way to substitute the milk for something else.
I’ve used various nut milks in place of milk for my dairy free family members with great success. I suppose you could use water, though I never have. Just keep in mind that the batter will be thin either way as only boxed cake mixes have that thick batter. They put gums and thickeners in and most folks are surprised when they make a cake from scratch that the batter is thin, and think they made a mistake when they didn’t! Enjoy!
I want to make a great carrot cake
Tried this rum cake out, didn’t have any milk so I used eggnog instead. Turned out very yummy, just didn’t look very good as the top half stuck in the pan, so I had to do a little artistic piecing together lol
My cake stuck to the pan and so have of it broke off. I greased and floured it… do not sure what went wrong. Maybe it needed to bake longer? (Toothpick came out clean but it was the shorter amount of time.) I’m just not sure. Any suggestions??
Use Pam for baking or Bakers Secret spray on pan. Cake comes away from pan beautifully.
How do I adjust my rum cake recipe which I always made with an 181/2 0z cake mix to the new reduced size 151/2 cheaped down cake mixes? Or are there any companies still making the 181/2 size? I really hated the size change!
I made this cake last night and it really is fantastic. I’m going ahead and giving it 5 stars even though I had a problem that is most likely my fault. My pour over syrup was grainy and formed a crystal like sugar crust on the cake. I did boil it the recommended 5 minutes. Any advice?
You may have overcooked it. Also, I disagree with Michelle’s instructions – stirring sugar syrups is a good way to make them crystallize. Once the sugar is dissolved, you should only ever swirl the pot to mix, never stir.
that’s happened to me once or twice too. Just tried to cook it more carefully after that. I also cool the cake in the pan, then poke the cake all over, then pour the syrup over it slowly, letting it soak through for several hours before plating it. Works better. LOVE this cake recipe!!! The one ting I look forward to in the fall.
I like de recipe expeciality that rum sirope
Thanks for your rum cake recipe it really means a lot to me that you shared the recipe when you didn’t have to. You are reaching out to a people such as myself who is in need of a since of home! I am really touched in heart by this!
For the rum cake, if I were to make mini loaf rum cakes, what temp should the oven be on and how long to bake for?
Hi Michelle, Same temperature, but baking time will be less. Exact time I couldn’t say, as I haven’t made mini versions and many mini loaf pans are different sizes.
Yesss! This was my first cake from scratch. I made it for Thanksgiving And I have to say it was Delicious. The ingredients was nice and simple. I love it. Thank you! I Will be making it again and again!
GM, probably sleeping ! I am or was depending on your answer. bout to use your recipe brought everything I need according to the video. when I look up the ingredients. To prepare I see I need canola oil. Do you have use that particular oil?
You can use canola or vegetable oil, both will work.
Hi again! Will light rum work? And, by the way< I used your meatloaf recipe for my husband and youngest son, and they declared it the BEST meatloaf I ever made. Thank you.
Hi Linda, Yes you can use light rum. And I’m so thrilled your family enjoyed the meatloaf!
What would I need to do to revise this recipe into mini bundt cakes? I’d love to make these for Christmas gifts! Thanks for the wonderful videos!
Hi Sharon, You are welcome! I think you could just divide the batter between your mini bundts (filling about 2/3 full). Obviously reduce the bake time, but I haven’t done mini’s so I couldn’t say what the exact bake time would be. Enjoy!
Thank you very much for this recipe! Baked it in
My nordicware Bundt cake pan and substituted the rum with grand Marnier because I didn’t have any rum and am very happy with the result. Really moist and delicious.
First time n your site. I’m here because I want to make a rum cake and I think your recipe is the best.
Can coconut rum be used instead of dark rum?
Hi Amena, Yes, absolutely! Enjoy!
Would cognac instead of rum work
Yes if you prefer that liquor/flavor, then I think it should be fine.
Can I get on your wonderful site? Thank you!!!
Hi. I’ve been looking for a moist rum cake recipe from scratch and I found your recipe. I am from the Philippines and in our place, I can’t find any vanilla pudding mix. Would you have an alternative for this?
Hi Bev, Yes! In the recipe above you’ll see that I’ve linked to a homemade pudding mix – you can use that! :)
I have baked this cake numerous times and it is always PERFECT! A bit of pooling with the syrup, but I don’t care. It is SCRUMPTIOUS! Moist and flavorful!
This cake had my tastebuds by the photos. I knew it would be amazing and it didn’t disappoint. I had no substitutions, and many happy belly’s. I made it for a friends birthday and am pretty sure it’s now the go to birthday cake for the group. It surpasses any rum cake I’ve had to date, and I love that it’s not topped with any frosting. Yum!,,,,
From scratch? If you are adding a packet of instant pudding mix to the recipe, it’s isn’t really “from scratch” now, is it?
As you can see in the list of ingredients, the recipe actually calls for homemade pudding mix, but I included the option of an instant packet because some people prefer the ease and convenience and they shouldn’t think that they’d be unable to make the cake if they chose not to make a batch of homemade pudding mix.
It here is also a recipe for homemade vanilla pudding
I’m curious if I could make these into cupcakes for this weekend. Have you ever tried it? I could still poke holes in the cupcakes and pour the rum syrup over the cupcakes. Maybe frost with a rum buttercream and drizzle the rum sauce over that??? let me know what you think. Thank you!
I’ve never tried it, but your idea sounds delicious! If you try it, let me know how it turned out!
This cake is absolutely awesome! I am making another one for the 5th time!
I followed the recipe exactly and I have to say that this was the best rum cake i have ever tasted . You can’t buy rum cake this good. Happy cook here and my husband raved about it as well.
All I can say is wow this cake was dam good. My family finished it the same day. I used a signature Appleton rum blend that I purchased in Jamaica so the cake had a strong rum flavor. I think it made my 10 yr old a little tipsy 😂. I will definitely make this again very soon!! Thanks for sharing!
I used to have this when I lived in Bermuda, the home of rum cake, when I was little. My Dad asked me for one for his 70th birthday. I have just taken it out of the oven and it smells like heaven! I couldn’t get jello pudding over in the UK where we live now, but substituted it with Butterscotch Angel delight which has worked perfectly. Thanks so much, it will make Dad’s birthday!
Thanks for this amazing recipe. I’m glad I found your recipe because I didn’t want a recipe that used yellow cake mix. I like making it from scratch. If I were to use this recipe in mini bundt cake pans, how would I adjust the baking time?
Hi Isaiah, I haven’t played around with mini bundt pans, but it’s a great idea! I might start checking around 12 minute? I truly have no idea but wouldn’t want you to overbake them!
I tried this cake. I used cske flour instead of all-purpose because that’s just what I always do. The cake was delicious and light. The only problem I had was that it broke in half when I inverted it onto the plate. The top part of the cake where the nuts were stuck to the pan. Not sure why. I have a seasoned Pampered Chef bundt pan and I even greased it to make sure the nuts didn’t stick. I will try this cake again…..perhaps in a different pan. My mom has a pound cake pan that’s older than I am. :) I do have a question. When you pour the syrup on top of the cake immediately after taking it out, is it supposed to boil? The glaze bubbled & seemed more like it was boiling when I poured it on top. I was just wondering if maybe that was the cause of the nuts sticking to the pan.
Hi Millicent, I always recommend greasing AND flouring Bundt pans to keep cakes from sticking. However, the syrup shouldn’t be boiling, if it was, then it may have reached a candy-like temperature and could definitely be why things stuck as well.
What dark rum do you guys use? Want to try this cake soon! Looks yummy
Hi April, I use Myers’s Dark Rum!
Update – my work colleagues LOVE the cake!!! :)
Amazing cake but the rum is strong! LOL! Next time I will just add a bit for flavour…I will also half the sauce as I had so much left over. :)
I made this Rum cake for my friends Birthday yesterday. It is being acclaimed the best rum cake ever!
They own a restaurant so I was nervous, I had to bake a good cake. All employees were begging for more. It was fun to make it from scratch, it took some time, but I will definitely make it again! Great recipe!
This cake is Outrageous! It has quickly become my family’s most favorite cake ever! So moist, full of flavor and pretty.
I have tried two other rum cake recipes and this was the best. It was easy to make, not too many ingredients and is super yummy and moist. One note, though: As I boiled the syrup, it started to rise in the pan ever so slightly, as I was stirring. I thought, the rum being cool, it will bring it down, so I added it to the very hot syrup and it immediately boiled violently out of the pan and all over my stove top, caught on fire and left charred black soot half an inch high on my stove, not to mention that we had to open the whole house up in below freezing weather to get rid of the smoke. It could have been very dangerous had I not had a large metal pan nearby that I smothered the fire with. And the bubbling hot sticky syrup ran down the sides of the stove and onto the floor, got stepped in – oh, what a mess. So let the syrup cool a wee bit before adding the rum. Even with losing about a third of the syrup, I still had much more than I needed. The cake was moist almost to the mushy point, and I still had some left over. Otherwise, wonderful experience, and just now had some of it, as it keeps well in the fridge or freezer, tightly wrapped.
Made this cake and it had nice rise during the bake. At 50 minutes test with skewer showed done. Removed from oven and added syrup. Cake slowly deflated eventually to about half its volume. Result was quite dense and ended up discarding
Any ideas about what the problem might have been?
Hi Russell, Oh no! I’ve made this cake dozens of times and I’ve never had it deflate. Sometimes that will happen if a cake isn’t cooked through but you said it was. Are you baking at altitude by any chance?
Amazing recipe! Box cake rum cake is so yesterday! This will now be my go to recipe. Thank You! It turned out beautifully.
Discovered this recipe and made it for a Christmas party. I followed it exactly and it was a total hit! Thanks!
I made the cake today.
The final few minutes of the baking process the top deflated in but since it is turned over it did not matter.
I think this is way too much syrup so putting it in a crystal bowl and will serve it over organic Vanilla bean Ice Cream.
I decorated the cake on top with Fresh Mint Leaves and by each leaf 2 red jelly beans. This looked exactly as Holly would.
Wish you allowed pictures.
Hope it tastes good won’t know Til Xmas ever. I am refrigerating it until then.https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10212413378706992&set=pcb.10212413382427085&type=3&theater
Just as ready to take out of the oven it deflated! Why??????
What is the other option for Vanilla pudding mix
I don’t really have any substitutes (you can make homemade, which is linked to above in the recipe); it really helps to keep the cake nice and moist.
Really awesome baking process and so easy to prepare rum cake . You have really done a nice job. As you have shared the best things for me.
Just curious to know what type of rum everyone used?
Meyers Dark Carribean Rum…..yum
Serve with vanilla ice cream…..takes the Rum cake to another level.😊
This cake was very good but next time I will use traditional way of making cake by creaming butter and sugar, adding eggs and then the flour alternately with liquid. When I added liquid using these instructions it was difficult to mix with dry Ingredients. I will also boil syrup less than 5 minutes.
I was wanting to make “mini” rum bundt cakes and give them as gifts. I planned to put the first portion of rum syrup on the bottom of the mini bundts, but put the remainder in small bottles for the giftees to apply themselves over the top . Do you think this would work, or should put the syrup on and then package?
Hi Patricia, That sounds like a good idea! You’ll want to add at least some to the cooked cake, as it will keep it nice and moist, and then you can gift the rest. Wonderfull idea :)
I had never had a rum cake before but I knew from your post and all the comments that it was going to be outstanding. The cake did not disappoint! I used bourbon because I didn’t have any dark rum, and it was delicious. Everyone raved about it!
I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed this cake! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop back and share your review!
I don’t know what happened, the rum syrup was a lumpy thick mess!! Tried to heat it up to get rid of the lumps but it didn’t work so the cake was basically ruined! I think I may have cooked the butter & sugar at too high heat. What do you think?
Hi Leslie, That’s possible; you just need a gentle heat to melt the two into a simple syrup.
Sponge flavor was good (mine fell apart coming out of the pan because I did not grease/flour well enough), but I think the rum syrup should be cooked longer to make sure alcohol is cooked out. Mine had so much raw rum flavor that is was practically inedible.
Delicious!!! Thank you!
The directions don’t mention where to add the pudding mix when making the batter. I nearly forgot it! I was looking at the batter and thinking wow, should it really be THAT thin? Then I realized what was missing.
It’s baking now, I hope it turns out well! I added t he pudding mix after the egg/milk/rum mix had been added and had mixed for about a minute. The batter tastes dynamite (so boozy!) crossing my fingers it turns out.
Hi Ashley, They do, it’s the last sentence in step #3. Enjoy the cake!
I have never made rum cake and this cake was PERFECT! I’m glad I came across this recipe in going to make it again for Christmas. I read some people saying wish they didn’t have theirs drip so much on plate and also wish they didn’t pour so much rum. I actually did get some on the plate which when I cut it the bottom stuck with lots of rum SOOOOO GOOOOD!!! I used what was instructed for the bottom 2/3cup and then on the other size I used about the same VERY slow pour!!! I didn’t even have to use all the glaze it was amazing. I tried it about 45 min after! I will say this I was on the phone and not paying attention to the glaze instructions and I put it all in different order I knew right away I had did it wrong so I threw it out and redid and it was to perfection!!!!
I made this rum cake for Thanksgiving and everyone raved about it. It was so good!! I also cut down on my rum sauce the third time I made it. This is definitely a keeper!
Made it……it is awesomely delicious!
Can this cake be refrigerated?
The cake itself came out fabulous, I cut it in half after putting the initial glaze on it and removing it from the pan. After making holes and pouring additional glaze over the cake, very slowly, it turned into a dense soggy mess. It tastes great because, well Rum, but was very disappointed in the texture after the second glazing. I followed the recipe to a T so I’m hesitant to try it again but I know so many others have had perfect results. Any ideas what I could have done wrong? I ended up using half of the syrup recipe total on the whole cake and it still came out dense and soggy.
Hi Leah, Cutting it in half could have definitely been the problem. Things like cakes and breads continue to cook after they come out of the oven and if cut before they are cool enough, steam escapes and it actually makes them gummy. I’ve learned the hard way with bread and as much as it pains me, I wait for it to cool before I cut into it!
Do you actually make the pudding or do you just pour the mixture in as the powder? I have looked in the comments and can’t find an answer. Thank you!
Hi Nicole, You just put the powder in. Enjoy!
Im from Jamaica and we love a good rum cake , i can attest to this recipe its worth every bit of trying. My relatives love when i make it for the holidays and Im going to make it again.. this year. Loved it.
I have made this cake several, several times. It has never turned out any way other than perfect. The taste and texture are phenomenal. No idea why someone’s would not brown but I am positive it is not the recipes fault. Love this cake….bout to bake 2 now.
What is the best brand or type of rum to use in this cake?
Hi Shelby, I use Myer’s Dark Rum. Hope that helps!
I made this recipe this weekend, but used a large cake pan vs bunt cake pan it was for a birthday. It was a success everyone loved it. I believe the DIY pudding make it yourself is key to how good, moist and flavorful this cake was loved it!
Thank you for the recipe it will be a keeper for us.
This cake was hit. Will be making it for Thanksgiving.
Due to my health cannot have alcohol, so what do you suggest for liquid substitution?
Hi Dinah, You could use water or milk!
Thank you for your amazing recipes and the time you share.
The Saturday after thanksgiving we’re gathering at the home of my brother in law our thanksgiving meal.
That’s when I have plans of making this delightful addition.
Can I make the recipe ahead of the day? How many days ahead?
Hi Sammi, Yes, definitely! Up to two days ahead would be fine!
This is the best cake ever! The recipe comes out perfectly every time. The cake is sooo delicious I have made it over and over again. It is by far my family and friend’s favorite dessert. It is super easy to make, and it is fabulous to bring to any holiday gathering. The rum seeps into every pore of the cake giving it the sweetest most delectable flavor. And when the warm sensation from the sugar and the rum hits you, you will know the true meaning of comfort food.
I’m planning on making this for my mom’s birthday, but wanted to make it into a layered 2-tier cake. If I added a bit less syrup to make it less moist, I’m thinking that it will be solid enough to layer and stack. What do you think?
Hi Ivanna, I think that would definitely work. Enjoy, and happy birthday to your mom!
For anyone who isn’t a baker this is the best rum cake recipe easy, simple just follow instructions and people will think it was professionally made. It’s OK to be a little different instead of dark rum I used a Vanilla Rum and after the syrup I used a simple glazed to cover the cake for a little extra sweetness this recipe you can’t go wrong.
I have been making this ever since I found it on your website since 2012. I get calls for it often from friends as I have taken it to all invited potlucks. They think its the best rum cake they’ve ever eaten. Its expensive to make, but well worth it. Thank you kindly, Judy
Hi! I’m interested in making this cake as cupcakes and substituting Fireball Whiskey for the rum. Do you feel it would turn out successfully? Any changes I should consider? Thank you.
Hi Kelly, I’ve never tried making it as cupcakes or using whiskey, but I think both would work. You’ll want to greatly decrease the baking time for cupcakes – start checking around 22 minutes or so.
This is now my go-to rum cake- SOOOOO delicious and straightforward to make. Anyone who has ever tasted it has had nothing but good things to say about it. Great post and great recipe, thanks for sharing!
Great recipe! Three thumbs up! I baked it for a party & it was a hit. The only thing I would change is reducing the amount of rum syrup. Next time I make it, I’m going to cut the amount in half. That way I can avoid having leftover syrup.
I had a lot of excess rum glaze running off the side. What I did was used a turkey baster to pick up the excess and reapply it. Worked wonderfully. Thanks for the recipe :)
Very delicious and I will make it again.
What did you use to grease the pan in this recipe?
Hi Carolyn, I always grease with vegetable shortening!
Thanks, Michelle! Sorry I know I always ask for each type…but I am keeping a list for future reference :-)
What a great recipe! This is one of the best of its kind on the Internet. Thank you so much for sharing it and I can’t wait to try it, too, now!
Been looking for a good rum cake recipe with a cake made from scratch—tired of box cake, they all seem to taste funny, no depth to them, even my favorite, German Chocolate!! Found some lovely recipes on your site and will be sure to leave a comment after I have tried them—I LOVE the idea of using other liquors —a real special and unique treat for the holidays–happy baking everyone!!
Followed this recipe to a T and it was AMAZING. Do not change a thing, it’s perfect.
A warning for others who have not yet baked this cake: another commenter suggested poking holes and pouring the syrup over the cake while still in the pan. DO NOT DO THIS. I thought this was a great suggestion… ended up essentially gluing my cake to the pan so it was destroyed when I flipped it onto a cake plate. Had to start all over and Brown Eyed Baker’s method was much more effective (and didn’t ruin my beautiful cake)
Best dessert ever, my most famous and requested recipe for years, use Malibu and some toffee bits instead of walnuts . Amazing!
Seems it’s really delicious. Hope to make this on week end home party..Thanks for sharing this.
Has anyone tried making it with soy milk? Would it work out fine
I made this cake, with the walnuts on the bottom, and the cake actually blew my face off. It is absolutely the most amazing cake i’ve ever had. My glaze came out a little granulated, and I cut the amount of rum in the drizzle syrup in half, and it was just phenominal. I just now ate the last piece and I know my husband is going to come home, see it gone, and might actually cry. This just means I’m going to have to make it again.
This cake also goes down as the most moist cake i’ve ever had. I’m pretty sure that’s from the vanilla pudding.
I seriously cannot express enough how amazing this cake is. I want to make it and eat it every day. I am not kidding you. I AM NOT KIDDING YOU!!!!!!!
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback, I’m so thrilled that you loved the cake so much!
I made the cake and it was awesome!
Hi Karmen, So awesome to hear! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!
Hi! I have made it a gazillion tumes and it is a super hit. My bundt pan however need to be changed because the cake has started sticking. Do you think a loaf pan would work?
Hi Tanu, Yay! You could use a loaf, but I think you might need to divide the batter between two pans, it would be too much for one. Let me know how it goes!
This recipe is AMAZING, followed it exactly and wouldn’t change anything about it. Do just like is says, and go VERY slow when pouring the rum sauce. I actually poured a little at a time, allowed it to soak, then poured again (probably did this 5-6 times, until sauce ran out)
Hi Keyla, So thrilled you loved the cake! Thanks so much for leaving a review!
The best rum cake recipe I have tried. Will try to make it with a few drops of orange extract to give it more depth. Five stars.
I made this cake and it came out beautiful!!! The instructions was simple to follow.
Awesome, Awesome ,Awesomeness, I used this recipe as is today and my cake came out spectacular . No need for changes it was absolutely perfect . Thank you soooo much I have been searching for a recipe like this for years .. Thank you so much .
Thanks a lot for this recipe! I had no problems with the measurements. It was so easy to make, the directions are perfect and the cake is super rich and moist! After I got done pouring the glaze, I poured a bit more pure rum over the cake, that’s how my cousin wanted it. An Amazing rum Cake!
I am Making a guitar cake. Can I use this recipe?
I assume you mean a shaped cake? I suppose you could, but I’ve never tried!
This was awesome.
I made this cake for a potluck, and I used Gluten-free all purpose flour, reduced the rum syrup by 1/3. It was incredible! Thank you for the awesome recipe. The syrup takes a while to soak in, so I used a pipette to assist;)
Your recipe looks delicious! However I notice it doesn’t call for as much butter as others, rather relies on canola oil instead. Is this just to cut down on fat or improve texture/flavor as well.
I plan to make it this weekend as gifts for my mom and sis and don’t want to sacrifice flavor.
It is a holiday and all.????
Hi Sherry, The oil is purely for the texture, I definitely don’t try to skim calories or fat in my desserts :)
Yes, there are 4 eggs in the cake, they’re listed under the ingredients above.
I love.your site and have successfully made many of the recipes. The rum cake is no exception. This was a HUGE success for my cousin’s birthday party. My family went crazy over it. I want to make a non-alcoholic version for my nephew’s birthday, could you suggest an alternative to the rum? WOULD rum extract work?
Hi Carisa, Yes, you could definitely use rum extract! Happy birthday to your nephew!
Wells and looks delicious my only problem is adding alcohol to the hot mixture we’ll kill the alcohol but it smells and tastes wonderful
I do agree. Based on my experience with other rum cakes, I decided to let the glaze cool a bit before adding the rum to get the full alcohol effect.
I baked the cake yesterday and I must say it does look yum here but my cake turned out to be a little dry? What would you suggest I do to make it as moist as the one above
Thank you for the recipe though. I’m definitely trying this again for the next sleepover with my friends :) . Hopefull comes out right :p
Hi Natasha, Hmmm very weird as this should be VERY moist as it is, let alone when the syrup soaks in. You could try poking slightly larger holes, ensuring they go the whole way through the cake (without actually poking through to the bottom) and make sure you’re very, very slowly pouring the syrup on so that it soaks into the cake really well.
This is my go to recipe for rum cake. It always turns out so moist and soooo delicious! I have probably made this recipe 8 times and it has been perfect every time. Something must have gone wrong. You might want to give it another try! Happy baking.
I just made this tonight and it came out PERFECT! Ironically, I forgot to add the other 1/2 cup of oil to the milk, egg and rum mixture and it came out perfect. Guess that means a bit less fat for an extra piece before bed :-). Thanks!!
What the best rum for this recipe?
Hi Maritza, You can really use any rum you’d like. I used Myer’s Dark Rum, but whatever you like for drinks should work okay.
@Russell This has happen to me several times, which is disappointing because the cake tastes delicious. When I initially started using this recipe I never had this problem, now without fail it happens and I haven’t figured out what I did wrong
I made this today and realized after the cake was half way done, that I forgot to add in the pudding. Will this make a huge difference in the cake?
Thank you so much
Hi Famince, It does add a bit of extra moisture, but it won’t totally ruin the cake, it should still be fine to eat.
everyone adored this cake – so easy to make, the butter sauce is amazing –
absolutely brilliant recipe.
This cake looks amazing! I haven’t made rum cake in ages… thanks for reminder :)
Great recipe! I used muscovado sugar when I made it and it was amazing and highly addictive!! Thank you so much for sharing! (Would it be ok if I shared the recipe on my blog too? Im a blogging newbie and I was eating this cake when I wrote my first post)
Hi Charis, I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed the cake! Thank you for the review. You could absolutely share it on your blog, I just ask for a link back here in your post. Congratulations on the new blog!
Rum cake is one of the favorite recipes among the cake lovers.It is really tasty and we can easily made in home itself
Do you have any concept of what “scratch” cooking is? Can you explain how instant pudding is harvested, mined, or caught? If you are going to claim that the recipe is “made completely from scratch” perhaps it should be.
Yes, in fact, I do! The recipe above includes a link to HOMEMADE vanilla pudding mix, but I included the box size of packaged instant pudding for those who don’t wish to make their own. Trying to make everyone happy is quite a difficult task, eh?
This is the best rum cake recipe I’ve found. I’ve made it twice and it hasn’t let me down yet. Will definitely try more recipes from BEB! Thanks!
lovely, beautiful and delicious, thank you for this recipe, and nice “punch” with the rum to cut the sweetness!
I made this cake today for my son’s 23rd birthday. Cake was stuck in a well greased and floured bunt pan mine you I used crisco. In all my baking exsperience I have never had a cake not release from the pan. I will make again but will use another method to sauce cake. Not rumy enough I used Meyers rum will try Ray n Nephew next time has great texture. Will try to salvage cake any ideas. Will post if I managed to save it. Don’t want it as a ice cream topping. Thanks
Awesome cake! I made it gluten free by replacing the regular flour with Bob’s 1:1 flour. I also left out the whole milk (GF baked goods do well without too much liquid), cut down on the sugar by about a third (so it’s not too sweet), and baked it an extra ten minutes (extra bake time also helps GF baked goods). It turned out wonderfully. I agree with other comments that suggest only making half the amount of syrup. Next time I would also reduce the amount of rum in the cake by half, so it isn’t quite as strong.
Hi Jessica, Thanks so much for the review, especially with all of the substitutions. Much appreciated!
I am going to be making this rum cake this Sunday for our Sunday Dinner with my parents. I looked through the comments and didn’t see this question but is there a certain type of rum I should use? My husband drinks Capt Morgan which is a spiced rum, so I have that on the shelf. I didn’t know if this would change the taste of the cake. I don’t want it to be too strong. Thank you
Hi Christine, I used dark rum, but I think it would be fine with Captain Morgan. If your husband likes it, then he’ll like the flavor in the cake!
Im a huge lover of Rum cake,other then vennila,strawberry flavours I prefer to have rum cake,Ill try out reipe you mentioned above
I admit it looks moist but it also looks like it has clumped in some spots. Is that normal? I don’t feel that no matter how much liquid is incorporated into baking, there should be no clumping inside the cake inside.
Hi George, It isn’t clumped at all. What you might see is the pockets of the rum syrup that have seeped through the cake.
Is there anything else that can be used instead of Rum? I take medicine that requires that I have no alcohol.
Hi Michelle, If you can’t have alcohol, you’ll just need to omit it. You can use rum extract, if that’s allowed, and substitute milk for the rum in the cake.
I am looooving that nostalgic cake recipes and shaped (hellllooooo, bundt cake) are making such a surging comeback! This looks super delicious and not to mention gorgeous!!
Also, love that you gave directions for a DIY sub to the store bought pudding mix. I have excitedly opened links to many recipes to find that a key ingredient is something chemical filled and store-bought… womp womp. So thank you for posing a DIY alternative for those who want it!!
Can l use dry egg custard powder instend of vanilla pudding mix
Hi June, I have no idea what dry egg custard powder is? Does it act like a powdered instant pudding/custard mix? If so, it should work, but I’ve never heard of it, so I couldn’t say for sure.
This looks fantastic! One question: how much does the alcohol in the rum syrup cook off? Would this be appropriate to give to kids?
Hi Grace, Not much, it’s basically just heated for 30 seconds. I wouldn’t serve this to kids.
My son asks for rum cake every year for his birthday cake – his favorite after we brought home a Tortuga cake from a Caribbean cruise! We make another recipe with a light rum, I will try this one for sure it looks amazing!
A friend of the family used to make a Pistachio Rum Cake and one year she brought it to a Thanksgiving dinner at my Grandmothers. Grandma did not drink and had no idea there was rum in that cake:-) she had a couple of pieces because it was so good and got a little tipsy. We never told her about the rum, just had a quiet laugh whenever we thought about it.
I am going to make this and use a spiced rum that I have. Thanks for your recipes.
Would this work if you substituted whiskey (or other) for the rum? My husband is not a rum fan, but loves whiskey. Curious how it would taste with the switch?
Hi Hilary, I think it should work, but I’ve also made a Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake you might to check out (obviously using whiskey instead of bourbon):
I have been making this particular recipe for the past four years, and my friends and family say it is the best rum cake ever. Have also played around using coconut rum and flaked coconut. Truly a great recipe.
I made this and it was delicious. However a couple comments and a question. I thought boiling the syrup for 5 minutes made it a bit too thick to pour over the cake. It had a hard time soaking in, despite the cake being dotted with lots of holes. I may add a quarter cup less sugar next time and not cook it for quite so long. It was a bit sweet as well, which kind of overpowered the rum flavor, which was a bit lacking. Also, I just used a packaged pudding mix, as I don’t really have a need for a whole batch of homemade not-so-instant pudding mix. However, the question is, if the recipe for homemade pudding mix calls for a 1/2 cup to replace a 3.4 ounce box of instant pudding, why does the cake recipe call for an entire cup of the mix to replace a 3.4 ounce box of pudding mix? It seems as though others have asked the question, but it never gets answered. It seems like quite a difference in dry ingredients, using the homemade mix vs. the box, inaccurate conversion notwithstanding.
This is the best rum cake recipe I have ever tried! Its so moist and crazy delicious!
It’s fool proof, simply amazing.
This cake turns out absolutely perfectly. The sauce is *really sweet — maybe cut back on the granulated sugar and just use….more rum.
I found this recipe here a few years ago and have made it every Christmas since then by request. It is delicious!
This cake has become a family tradition every Christmas! I made it a few years ago and it came out fabulous. Now everyone asks me to make it every year. It is a lot of work, but well worth it. The only problem I have is having enough patience to SLOWLY fill the holes with the rum glaze after it is baked. I end up with a pool of glaze on the plate the next day, but everyone likes to scrape it off and put it on top of their slice. Thank you, Michelle, for creating this great recipe.
This Rum Cake looks scrumptious! Would it be possible to make it ahead and freeze it?
I would like to make it today or tomorrow, so would very much appreciate an answer as soon as possible. Thank you very much!
Hi Mimi, Yes, you could definitely freeze this! (wrap in plastic wrap, then in foil)
Hi, i am hoping to make this cake to send to deployed troops for christmas and was wondering how long it would last at room temperature since there is milk in the recipe. Thanks
Hi Lisa, I think it would be fine for about a week!
Hi! I am planning on maKing this for thanksgiving this year. I was wondering if i could use the rum flavoring by McCormick for the syrup?
Hi Brittany, Yes, you could do that, although you would need less than the recipe calls for since it is more concentrated.
Finally….a rum cake recipe that doesn’t begin with “1 box yellow cake mix”. Thank you Michelle.
Knew someone would ask my question if I read through 4 years of comments. Hats off to Susan for substituting coconut oil for canola, and reporting her results.
This recipe brought me here, and after scanning the archives, I’ll be back. Nice photography btw. Think I gained half a pound just perusing your pictures.
Just dropping in to send a virtual hug and convey a big thanks! I have been baking this one for quite some time now and it is prefect each time! Even the kahlua cake variation of it came out deliciously well. Thanks a ton!
I made this cake for Christmas and it was incredible! When asked what he wanted for Christmas, my boyfriend’s only request was a rum cake. This recipe did not disappoint and thus a new tradition came to be. Thank you!
Hi Michelle. I can’t wait to try this rum cake from scratch. I just made it from a cake box recipe and it was way too sweet. I’m hoping I can cut down the sugar in the cake recipe. Would it still rise ok if I do that? Thank you!
Hi Tina, I haven’t tried reducing the sugar, so I can’t say for sure how it would impact the recipe, but you try it, let me know how it turns out!
Can I freeze cake for about one week’s time? Will it be okay?
Hi Jeri, Yes, this should freeze extremely well!
I made this rum cake for a boat yard party we were having and I entered into the dessert contest. Even though I did not win, this was the best rum cake ever. I am glad I made it and everyone enjoyed it so much. I made it with Goslings dark Bermuda rum. Will make it again!!!
Im praying right now that this turns out delicious, but my batter was not thin at all. it was like regular cake mix. I live in Germany and didnt have access to corn starch so i did the flour substitution. I hope it comes out delicious! I will be sure to pick up some corn starch next time i go to the store though.
This is by far the best, best, BEST rum cake recipe ever. I have made it numerous times and it is a no way to fail recipe. It gets rave reviews every single time I make it. Follow the directions on putting on the syrup so that all of the yummy goodness gets in the cake and not just around the cake.
Love this recipe and will be making it over and over again for sure.
I made this last night. It turned out perfect, very dense yet moist and fluffy. (if thats possible). Thanks for the new recipe!
Thank you for sharing! I love cooking and bikini. But I don’t have. I copy your recipe and it came out delicious! My question is…. What do you suggest to substitute sugar and don’t change any taste?
Sorry! I meant I love cooking and baking. But I don’t have enough time.
I have made this recipe for years and it is my all time favorite cake. The moist Ness and flavor is unbelievable. I was wondering how I could make this as just a vanilla cake. Do I moist the rum or replace it with milk or another liquid?
Hi Kia, You would absolutely need to replace the rum with another liquid because you’ll be losing liquid. I think milk should work okay.
can this recipe be used for cupcakes?
Hi Trisha, I’ve never tried it; if you do, let em know how they turn out!
I just realized I forgot to put the milk in the cake lol
Any idea of how this will come out?
Thank you so much for this recipe! I just altered it a bit so I could make it in a 9 x 13 pan, and it was so delicious, we could hardly believe it. Even plain, the cake was moist and flavorful. Thank you for your generosity in sharing it with us!
Mary Ann Seward
This is the single most incredible cake I’ve ever tasted.
This is fantastic!!
Made it tonight. Substituted cake flour (substitute measurements on side of Swan’s Down box) & melted coconut oil for the canola oil. Cooked perfectly–light, brown & beautiful. I was concerned, when I looked at how much syrup there was (my 16-year old suggested the cake would be nothing but mush). But, this cake soaked it all up, like a champ!
Thanks for the recipe!
Made this yesterday for a December 24 birthday dinner. It’s FAR better than the old Bacardi rum boxed cake mix recipe! The texture was perfect, and the flavors were wonderful – no artificial taste that you can get with boxed mixes. The process was a little unusual, but it all turned out fine. I use a dark metal Bundt pan, and the cake’s color was a beautiful tan. Be sure to butter all the nooks and crannies of the pan and lightly dust it with flour before you scatter the nuts on the bottom. I used golden rum because we were out of dark, and the flavor was very traditional. Everyone raved. I will never make the boxed-mix version again. Thank you!
This is a great recipe and makes a great rum cake. I’ve done this recipe quite a few times and always made a mess with the rum syrup. Making it tonight I used a syringe to inject the rum syrup into the cake, no mess. Fingers crossed!
here in india, the instant vanilla pudding mix isn’t available..
can you just help me out here and tell me what exactly can i use to substitute it?
thank you in advance! :)
Hi Radhika, Please see the link in the recipe for a homemade vanilla pudding mix – you can use that.
Having immensely enjoyed making my cake following your ‘from scratch’ recipes, I would like to share my experience with you. What I have to relate is not really a comment and too long for this format, but since I find no way to send you an email, and since you evidently have full editorial control, I assume that you will delete this, which is fine. I am not writing for any 15-minutes of fame; I am writing to share my results. After reading the tale, you may find some place where the experience would be useful to pass along to others.
As stated above, I created the pudding from scratch as a prelude to making the cake. The pudding was so good that I may have added a tad too much to the cake because the cake turned out to be not baked to the color that it should have had. I either did not leave it in the oven long enough, or because my mix was very, very moist, it would have been necessary to bake for something closer to 70 minutes.
In any case, when skewering the cake, I did not get the sense that it was under-baked,; the skewer came out clean. The main clue was that the top of the cake was only slightly browned and the sides were almost still white. It was not until I had committed to plating the cake that I decided it would need some additional oven time. So, what do you do when you have your cake already glazed and sitting on a glass stand for presentation? If you are me, you put the whole shooting match back into the oven and see if you can get something good from a few minutes on broil!
So, by now you, and all your readers will be laughing out loud, but guess what — I almost pulled it off. With my fingers crossed that I was not going to witness the shattering of my precious glass serving dish, I managed to add significant coloring to the top and enough on the sides to get closer to what it should have been with another 5-6 minutes at about 300 degrees.
Now, here is the reason for exposing my ineptness, the top of my cake actually exceeded even yours! The extra, intense broilering toasted the nuts, and crystallized the glazing that I had already infused. I know that you baking pros would never make my mistake, but my suggestion is that you might want to document a method or preparation that would involve something like that blow-torch process that Jullia Childs showed for finishing off a meringue pie. You are the expert, so you will, I am sure come up with the right way to do it, all I am really saying is that the cake gets a really, really special effect when additional heat is applied to the top after the glazing has been done.
I have only tasted a rum cake once and it was a wedding cake, but I must say I love this recipe to the point I am baking a second cake for a Christmas party. Thank you so very much for this recipe. I will try your other recipes very spoon. This cake is heavenly amd super scrumptious.
I want to make this as a tiered wedding cake.
Is it 1.5 x recipe for a 10 inch cake?
Can it be stacked?
Can I put ganache and fondant on it?
Note I have made it many times as a bundt and cup cakes, this is my all time favourite recipe.
I have not tried adapting this to a layer cake, so I couldn’t say how much the recipe would need to be increased for a 10-inch cake. I also don’t know about stacking, ganache or fondant. Since it’s for a wedding, I would suggest doing a trial run to see if all of those things work.
This is awesome and easy , I made it on T.G. While the bird was in the oven for my son who loves rum cake . It was YUMMO!
But ,yes fresh ingredients are a must. I threw out my flour, baking soda,and powder and began anew this holiday season-
otherwise it can be a disaster. I will bake this MANY times again.
Hi ! I have made this cake from your recipe many times and its the most requested cake from my family, co-workers and friend, so I sincerely thank you for sharing this awesome recipe, my cakes are always moist with the soothing rum flavor and excellent presentation…. I do have a question regarding the flour, is it possible to use cake flour ? if so, what would I need to omit ? if not, I will stick to the original- just curious !
Thanks again for sharing this aawesome recipe ! God Bless You !!!
Hi Yolanda, Cake flour will create a more tender crumb; it will definitely affect the texture, but I haven’t tried using it yet, so I can’t say for sure what modifications would need to be made.
Thank you for sharing this recipe! I have done it three times since September 30 and I have nothing but wonderful compliments. A Peurto Rican man said it was just like how his mother made it. My boss told me, ‘Are you sure you are not Italian?’ Apparently it reminds him of the Baba Au Rhum but better! So I did tell everyone where I got the recipe from. I will definitely try many of your recipes very soon! Thanks again!
Made this rum cake last Thanksgiving and it came out great and delicious can’t wait to bake it again this holiday season 2014. Thank you very much Michelle,for your fantastic recipe and website
I love homemade rum cake. Your post is helpful for me, your content and all comments also will be so much good.
Has anyone tried this as a cupcake version instead of a bundt cake??
I am going to try this recipe today, sounds good, after I bake the cake I will comment on how it turned out.
I’m making this cake for my grocer, he love homemade cakes and so do I.
The cake came out perfectly moist and is sooo good. My husband enjoyed except for the walnuts and I took some to work for co-workers to try and they loved it too. I have to make another one for them and this time I will more add some rum. Thanks for sharing this recipe. No more boxed cakes for me!
I was longing for my mom’s best ever rum cake that she made by doctoring up from a yellow cake mix but I didn’t have any mixes on hand when I went searching for a “from scratch” recipe. This recipe is amazing… so rich and moist. I’m not a great baker but this was easy to make and came out perfectly. This will be my new go to cake recipe.
May I substitute white rum for the dark rum.
I made this cake in a loaf pan. This cake will be the one of the cakes that will be served for my daughter’s 21st b-day. I had a little batter left over to make a couple cupcakes. I just tried one. It was so delicious! *This recipe is definitely a keeper. =)
I’m sure she will love her “drunken” cake. Thank you for posting this recipe with the detailed instructions. *Would you happen to know how to make a chocolate version? Thanks again for everything. It is appreciated.
P.S. The only thing I did differently was to substitute pecans in place of the walnuts. I toasted the nuts in the oven at 350degrees for 8mintues or until they were fragrant. I turned the nuts once during the cooking time.
Hi Rebecca, You’re such a sweet mom! What a fun cake to celebrate your daughter’s 21st! I have never tried to make a chocolate rum cake, but it sounds phenomenal! I’ll add it to my list :)
i am too young to purchase the rum needed for this cake, but i can buy the rum extract. how do i adjust the recipe accordingly for this to work?
Hi Sammy, I would probably Google for the particular brand you have, what the equivalent is for actual rum – some are stronger than others. You’ll obviously need a lot less than the rum.
i live in India
As per your recipe the following ingredients are not easily available in India
pl suggest substitutes for
all purpose flour
DIY instant vanilla pudding mix
All purpose flour = maida
cornstarch = cornflour (you’ll get it under the brand name weikfield if I am correct)
Kosher salt – i used normal salt – decrease the quantity a bit
DIY pudding : click on the link that Michelle has enclosed in the recipe.
Bundt pan – easily available at the utensil store/bake ware section
My late aunt had a rum cake recipe that called for the cake to be glazed several times over the course of 5 days. Of course I no longer have her recipe and am begging any family members who might have it (no luck so far) to share – it was fabulous. Have you ever heard of a rum cake with repeated glazings?
Hi Wendy, I’ve heard of multiple glazes, but never over the course of days, only within a few hours of each other.
I made this cake for my nephew’s birthday party (his parents requested an adult cake in addition to the two children’s cakes). Everyone really liked it a lot and my dad has even requested one for his birthday every year. And that’s saying quite a bit considering my dad has only ever requested pie for his birthday.
This cake was amazing. All I did was omit the nuts but I made a drizzle of icing sugar and rum to drizzle over the top instead.
I found it way too much syrup for the cake, tasted alright but it looked really ugly…
While I have dark rum, I also have other flavors that I got when I was at the Tortuga factory. Will it affect how the cake bakes if I use a different kind of rum? I was planning on using their pineapple rum. Thanks!
Hi Lori, I think using something different, like a pineapple rum (mmm!) would be just fine. Enjoy!
Do it! I am planning to try it with Cruzan Vanilla Rum. Mmmm.
Thank you!!! About 30-40 years ago the Giant Food Store in Washington DC sold a rum cake exactly like this recipe. I have been searching for a recipe for 30+ years as I no longer live in the DC area. If the store still sells that cake I am sure it is full of HFCS and preservatives. This cake came out EXACTLY like the cake in my memory – except the rum flavor was more yummy! I am sure the cake from Giant had rum flavor and not actual rum. BTW I used Pecans because hubby had eaten all the walnuts.
Thanks for the recipe.
Hey! I love your site! I had a question about the flour used…Can I use cake flour instead of all purpose? I’ve had no luck with all purpose flour in my baking and used cake flour instead, and it turned out great.
Hi Alysa, Using cake flour instead of all-purpose will affect the texture of the cake, and I have not tested it with cake flour. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it.
I made this for my church’s cake auction a few months ago. It turned out perfectly. Made $350 for my church! I was asked to make a cake for the upcoming crab feed. Guess what I’m making again? Yup!
My boss brought this cake from the Carribean and after trying it I decided to make one by myself. The recipe is easy, the taste is GREAT! and it doesn’t matter that my cake fell on the floor while I was inverting it :) (fortunately it stayed in almost one piece :D), it won’t last long :)
I wanted to make my rum cake from scratch as well, I’m very happy that I found and tried this recipe it’s the bomb. For my first baking a rum cake scratch it came out totally awesome!!! Thank you!
Made cupcakes. They are delectable!!!! Texture of cake is fluffy, gorgeous, moist. Perfect. Thank you!!! I think I will use the basic cake recipe every time. Maybe w/ butterscotch schnapps next time!! :)
I’ve only had rum cake once when I was about 15 when friends brought us home a Tortuga rum cake from vacation. I LOVED it and have pretty much craved it ever since haha. I finally made this cake last night and it is FABULOUS! So excited that I made it!
Thanks for the great recipe. Can you use the DIY yellow cake mix for this cake, and if so, how much?
I have not tried it, so I can’t guarantee how it would work. I would recommend using this recipe, however, as it’s really moist.
Also, has anyone tried a non alcoholic version of this?
Made it thrice and every time it was loved by everyone- rich, moist, soft and heady! Thanks for the lovely recipe. Want to make a chocolate version of it with Kahlua syrup. Any suggestions?
Hi Tanu, I haven’t tried chocolate, but you could start with this chocolate Bundt cake: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/2013/06/20/chocolate-bundt-cake-with-chocolate-fudge-icing/
tried it! I just replaced 1/4th cup flour with cocoa+1/4tsp baking soda and replaced the rum with kahlua, reduced the sugar a bit since kahlua too has some amount of sugar. Also, I added cocoa to warm milk rather than sifting it with the flour to bring out its flavour.
In the syrup, i dissolved 2 tsp of instant coffee in hot water and also added a heaped teaspoon of cocoa. Instead of 1/4th cup I used a little more than that and, again, replaced the rum with kahlua.
came out as moist as the rum cake and the flavours of coffee and chocolate are heavenly!
Once again – absolutely amazing recipe!
Followed directions as stated. Cake tasted great but so moist it fell apart. Will maybe try again but use less syrup next time. I bake a lot and have to wonder what went wrong. Sometimes it is not the appearance but the taste that counts.
This is the first time I have ever commented on a recipe. Wooooooowza! I had to on this one. I was in charge of “Adult Dessert”. This was the best cake I have ever had and or made. People were stuffed and still took 2 pieces. I did not use all the glaze, it seemed like a lot…again, this was first time making or eating rum cake. I will use most of it next time. This will be on the table for Christmas again for years to come. Everyone loved it. I will make this many more times to come!!
Made this for Christmas, came out perfect the first try just be sure to follow the directions to the T. Best rum cake recipe online, I am not a fan of boxed cakes. This cake was so easy to make. Cake itself is golden on the outside n yellow on the inside. Very light and fluffy and absorbs the rum mixture nicely. Look forward to making this again next year it’s definitely not for anyone that’s watching their weight or to eat on a regular basis lol
Hi Sam, I’m so happy to hear this was a huge Christmas hit! While I haven’t tried it so I can’t give you a guarantee, I do think that the whole milk substitution would work in place of the rum. Let me know how it goes!
I pulled this recipe from your website last year but didn’t use it until this year and OMG, let me tell you I WILL NEVER USE A BOX AGAIN!!!! This was THE recipe this year at Christmas dinner! Thank you!
One question, could I skip the rum and make this a yellow cake with 1.5 C of whole milk and expect the same moistness?
This recipe is horrible. It baked up fine. The sauce is fine. But way too much baking powder. This is all you taste. Disgusting!
I have to disagree. Maybe something went wrong but this was the best cake I’ve ever eaten…and coming from a southern family where everything is homemade…I know food! Please try again!
Hi! I am baking my first from-scratch cake, and I REALLY want to make run cake, but I figured it would be better to play around with yellow cake first – if I mess it up I won’t be upset for wasting pricey rum :-) I want to use your recipe, but didn’t realize until now that you are mixing rum into the actual batter. Should I add an extra 3/4 cup of milk to replace the liquid from the rum in the batter?????
Hi Toyia, Yes, I would substitute something like 2% milk in its place so you don’t lose the liquid.
Hi Michelle, I will be baking this cake tomorrow, Christmas Eve, for my family. I have Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum on hand, will that be OK instead of dark rum? Will the measurement be the same? Thanks for your reply.
Hi Debbie, The spiced rum will work just fine. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!
I second Bart’s recommendation on using a brush, but I used a silicone basting brush. I started by trying to pour but found the syrup did not have time to get into those numerous holes and would tend to travel to the depressions from the bundt mold. Once I started brushing, it took beautifully – 20 minutes later – done :) I will follow up with the reviews once we eat this baby tomorrow for our first early Christmas family dinner.
The review is in – wow, great cake! To be noted – most people indicated a feeling of mild intoxication, myself included. I don’t know the chemistry behind the cooking of the alcohol and its residual presence, but I suspect some of the good stuff is left behind – likely in the syrup I so lovingly basted the cake in. I recommend this recipe.
Thank you so much for this recipe. I’m about to make it for the 3rd time. I use a mini bundt pan to make lovely little Christmas rum cakes for gifts. They also look beautiful on a dessert table and I always get raves from everyone who tries them. I live in Europe and can’t normally find cake mixes or instant pudding, so I’ve looked all over for a recipe like this. Great job.
I would love to see a YouTube of you glazing the cake. That seems to be the most challenging part for me. It takes forever and I usually end up using a basting brush. I really want it to look as beautiful as it tastes and not get glaze everywhere. I love the recipe and always get rave reviews!
I make a poppy seed rum cake that is delicious. I don’t put walnuts in it though, so I might have to try this one.
Can I use light rum instead of dark rum? Would that change the flavor you think?
Hi Tiffani, You can make that substitution. It will taste a little different, since light rum and dark rum do differ in flavor, but if that’s what you prefer, I say go with it.
I made this for Thanksgiving and it was delicious!
Unfortunately, I had a moment of derp and didn’t grease my pan properly, so it stuck. I rescued it by tearing the whole ruined cake into chunks and layering it with vanilla pudding and fresh whipped cream in a trifle bowl. Making another one today as a welcome gift for a new neighbor.
Thanks, Michelle, for another winner!
This cake was awesome!!!
I don’t even need to bake this cake. I know EXACTLY what it’s like since I too grew up eating my Grandma Stella’s rum cake. It was by far my favorite of all her baked goods. I even more enjoyed reading your blog on this recipe. It warms my heart and surprises me that my exact childhood memories of visiting my grandmother and my great aunts in PA and enjoying these exact cakes and treats (right down to the Klondike bars!).
Rum cake produces fond memories for me. Mom and dad would make dozens of them for gifts at Christmas and all made from scratch; 40 years later I can still smell and taste them in my memory. Rather than drizzle the rum glaze mom used a paint brush and brushed the glaze repeatedly for hours over all of them. The brush makes the application controlled and even. I will be trying this version out this year and will have a new paint brush at the ready. Thanks for the effort you put into this. Cheers!
I LOVE your website. Could I substitute cream sherry for rum?
I really hope you have a minute to respond to my question. It means a lot to a friend of mine who just lost his wife of 63 years. She used to make a sherry wine cake from scratch and this would make him SO happy.
Hi Darlene, You could certainly make that substitution. I’m so sorry for your friend’s loss; what a wonderful thing to do for him. All the best.
Just made this cake for one of our Thanksgiving desserts. The family LOVED IT!!! It was moist and delicious. The operative word is “was”. Thank you for taking us old school. This recipe is now a part of our family! Keep the recipes coming.
I have made this cake and it is delicious, but at times, I have trouble with the nuts and part of the top of the cake not releasing and sticking to the pan. I have to kind of place them back on top like a puzzle. Any suggestions?
Hi Debbie, I’m not sure I understand what the issue is with the nuts? As for the cake not releasing from the pan, I always use a combination of vegetable shortening and flour for greasing/flouring my pan, and never have any issues.
I used this recipe to make minibundt cakes. The cakes turned out perfect, I used the pudding recipe on your site and Bacardi 151 (my mom does it this way and it sure packs a punch). I’m not sure what happened to my syrup, but I think I needed more than 1/4 C. of water. When I iced the first batch of cakes the icing was grainy and I cooked as directed. For the next batch I added some water and reheated the syrup. It seemed to be a lot better. Any tips on how to assure that I don’t make this mistake again? This was a trial run on Christmas gifts. Thanks!!! Loving your website!
I never received a response for my question.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions.
Hi Stefanie, My apologies for this falling through the cracks. If you heat the the water and sugar together, the sugar should dissolve. I would try giving it a bit more time next time and letting it dissolve, stirring while it cooks.
This cake is wonderful and I have made it twice now! However, I’m having the same issue with the sauce – after boiling it for 5 minutes, it is thick and sugary and just sits on top of the cake when I pour it on. It is supposed to boil just enough to dissolve the sugar? Wondering if 5 minutes of boiling is too much on my gas range… I really want to get this right! (But it’s really good even in spite of my sugary glaze!)
Hello, I would love to make these into a cupcake. Can you tell me how long i should bake that for? And should i spray the liners first? Thank you!
Hi Jessica, Yes, I would spray your liners. As for time, I’ve never converted this recipe to cupcakes, so I can’t say for sure, but I would start checking on them around the 18-20 minute mark.
Made this cake over the weekend for a work function today and it was AMAZING – I followed the recipe exactly as written and it couldn’t have turned out better. I’m not a baker by any means, and took a chance to not use the boxed cake version – really glad I did, this will be my new Christmas cake give away this year – thanks for sharing :-)
Made this cake two days ago and have gotten rave reviews. I love it myself.
For my first attempt I followed the recipe to the letter but the cake tasted nothing like rum and the syrup was more like a butter sauce. The second time I tried to make this I doubled the rum in both the cake and the syrup and halved the butter in the syrup. The syrup was almost perfectly between a syrup and a glaze but none of it tasted like rum.
My third attempt, I made for a 6 person serving but added one whole pint of rum. It tasted how rum cake should, nice and rich.
The recipe author should REALLY consider using approximate weights and volumes instead of “cups”. Really frustrating having to work out the proportions of “a cup of butter”. And some advice to the chef; lay off the butter and concentrate on the flavour.
I’m not sure I agree with your review of the author’s recipe, Simon. I’ve made this cake twice, and each time I’ve received rave reviews from Jamaicans and Bahamians. If anyone should know about good rum cake, it would be these folks.
Also, as to the rum flavoring, it’s my sense that the author purposely created a recipe for a yellow cake with subtle rum flavoring. What makes the rum-cake rum-licious is the rum glaze, which retains a strong rum flavor. Let’s not forget that this is a cake for dessert lovers, not alcoholics.
I want to use rum extract instead of the actual rum. Could you please tell me what the substitutions for the rum extract would be for 3/4 dark rum in the cake and the 1/2 cup rum in the glaze? I used to have a wonderful “from scratch” rum cake recipe but it was lost during my military travels. Your recipe is the closest one to and I can’t wait to make it. Rum cake is great anytime of the year.
Hi Donna, You can’t substitute such a large amount of liquid with extract, unfortunately. You can use the extract to mimic the flavor if you prefer (I’m not sure of the substitution, although it might be on the bottle of the extract), but you’ll need to replace the liquid you are omitting in the actual rum.
I do like my rum cakes to be more dense than crumbly. Would it be okay to just leave out the cornstarch to get that effect, or would it mess up the other calculations of ingredients?
Hi Paula, I would keep the cornstarch.
Just made this recipe on Monday, it turned out perfect. I went fast on the syrup, but spooned it out and got most if to soak in. Next time I will take my time with it. Absolutely no problems making it, made it with Pussers Rum, wholly cow is it ever potent. Great though!!!
This is fantastic! My husband told me he had a desire for some rum cake, and I went online searching for a recipe. I don’t buy cake mixes (unless Wms. Sonoma is having a really great sale, ha!). I came across this one. Absolute heaven, mmmm! Mom’s coming to visit in a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to make it for her!
Hi! I am currently on a boat in the middle of the Bahamas and we love Rum Cake! However we only have normal iodized salt and sea salt, no kosher salt. Will this make a big difference?
Hi Pippa, You can use regular iodized salt, just reduce the amount by half. Enjoy!
This looks delicious! I’ve been making rum cake for years with a box mix, but since I would rather bake from scratch I am happy to see this recipe. My husband and sons love rum cake so look forward to making this version for them. Thanks!
Hi, Michelle! I made this cake a couple of days ago, and it turned out kind of creamy (my friend even commented that the texture was similar to a cheesecake). I followed your recipe except I used iodised salt instead of kosher, and used Jell-O instant vanilla pudding because both kosher and the ingredients for your homemade pudding are either hard to find in my country, or can only be bought it large quantities. Is there any chance that you can help me figure out what I did wrong? Was I really supposed to use kosher salt, or maybe use a different type of instant vanilla pudding? I’m making this as a gift for a friend, and I’d really like to know what I did wrong so that I can fix it.
I really hope you can reply to my comment. Thank you!
Hi Martha, The difference in ingredients may have been the culprit. I’m not sure how you could fix it if you didn’t make any other substitutions and followed the recipe exactly.
This is a great recipe! Loved it!!! Sorry Sue, you’re wrong on this one. I even used my silicone bundt pan & it browned perfectly. I loved the way the batter glistened when it was ready to pour. I will definitely make this again.
I bake a lot, and it seemed odd to me to put 1/4 C cornstarch in a cake so I didn’t. I also made it more low-cal by using plain yogurt instead of all the oil. I used 2 teaspoons baking powder, not 4. Went a bit lighter on the rum (only 1/2 C). Added some fresh chopped peach on top of the nuts in the bundt pan. Baked for 60 minutes.
It came out fantastic.
It didn’t need the syrup topping. I served it with ice cream.
By cutting the cornstarch and canola oil you remove two genetically modified ingredients.
I have been enlisted to make cupcakes for my dad’s birthday party for about 50 people. I’m making two cupcake recipes and one of them is a rum cupcake (the birthday is pirate themed). The problem I am running into is I can’t find a rum cupcake recipe…everything is made with box mix! Do you think it would be possible to make this recipe into a cupcake and have it still hold up? Thank you very much for your input, I wasn’t sure where else I could look!
Hi Courtney, I haven’t tried this in cupcake form so unfortunately I can’t say for sure how they’ll turn out. If you make them, stop back and share your feedback!
Well I did it! 100 mini rum cupcakes using your recipe. They turned out FANTASTIC! I followed the instructions to a T when making the batter. I used the same oven temp and baked each batch for around 10-12 minutes each. When they were pulled out of the oven I used the same glazing technique and it worked perfectly. The cupcakes were like tiny, moist bites out of a rum cake (exactly what I wanted). I topped them off with coconut flavored buttercream (with a pinch more salt than normal) and a sprinkle of walnuts. Needless to say, these were a HIT. Thanks so much for posting this recipe, it is absolutely perfect!
My son just graduated from high school and requested rum cake for his graduation party. I had never heard of, nor had I made rum cake! When questioned as to where he had rum cake, he said he had it at one of his favorite restaurants in Lake Geneva (WI).
So, I did a search and saw this recipe. What caught my eye was that “homemade” was in the recipe title. I never use box mixes either. I read the recipe, I had all the ingredients on hand, so I gave it a whirl. I had just a smidge of dark rum left when I measured for the glaze, so I threw that in which increased the rum in the glaze 1/4 Cup to 3/4 Cup dark rum. WOW! It was potent. And yes, I too spent at least 15 minutes brushing the glaze on the cake and sopping up the run-off from the cake plate until all the glaze was absorbed throughout the cake. The cake is dense and very moist; not to be confused with soggy. A gorgeous cake!
This is an AWESOME cake! It baked perfectly in my stoneware Bundt pan and I swear I was getting drunk from the aroma! It is perfection…I mean, what could be better?…cake and alcohol in one bite! As for my son’s impression??? He said it was BETTER than the restaurant version. (I really love my son : ) ) All my guests commented on how moist and flavorful it was. The act of pushing your fork through the cake produced a lovely puddle of rummy glaze! This will become a regular in my cake repertoire!
Thank you Michelle. This was my first visit to your sight and I’ll be back often.
Hi Chrissy, Welcome to the site! I’m so happy to hear that everyone enjoyed the cake! Happy graduation to your son!
I just made this for a dinner party yesterday. So easy and delicious!! Thank you so much for yet another amazing recipe.
And yes I also took help from the adapted site – http://www.alwaysorderdessert.com/
thanks for mentioning that too !!!
was my first time for any cake – was not able to get Rum so tried with Rum Imitation – and this came out so so yummy ….tip at step 8 really did wonder and the cake came out to be perfect moist (though I did not used the whole syrup)
It was an instant hit at my hubby’s office – Thanks a ton !!!
The first thing you need to know is that while I love to bake, I have always been intimidated by attempting to make a cake from scratch. Past tries resulted in dense, bland cakes that didn’t seem worth the effort when a boxed cake mix could be bought for a few dollars.
I was sitting in my hairdresser (and longtime friend’s) chair one Saturday when she mentioned that she was throwing a birthday party for another friend and she had requested a rum cake. With my iPad in hand, I started the search. I found your site, and being a ‘brown eyed girl’ myself, I was intrigued.
I found the rum cake recipe and read it off to my friend. She said she would try it. The recipe seemed so easy, and contained ingredients that I already had on hand, so I also decided to give it my best shot. The instructions were clear, easy to follow and I loved the idea of knowing that I was baking with natural ingredients, rather than a box of Betty Crocker’s mix, undoubtedly loaded with sugar and preservatives. And so, I got to baking.
The result was the most moist, flavorful cake I have ever made! GONE were my fears of baking a cake from scratch, and since trying this recipe, I have renewed my love of baking and have been trying all sorts of fun new recipes.
And as for my friend, she tried the recipe too, and served this rum cake as the birthday cake for her friend. It was a smashing success!
Kudos to the Brown Eyed Baker! Please keep your delicious, simple and wonderful recipes coming!
Jamie (the brown eyed baker in training)
Hi…I am going to try making this cake tomorrow, but was wondering if I could use 2 9inch cake pans instead of a bundt pan? A friend wants a very simple round rum cake for her wedding and we are going to do a “practice cake” this weekend. Just wondering if anyone has tried using a different pan? Thanks!
Yes, you could definitely do two 9″ cake rounds in place of the Bundt, you’ll just need to reduce the baking time.
The “practice cake” was amazing (so I am told, I don’t like rum cake lol) The Bride loved it, the remainder was brought to my mom’s work & they coudnt say enough about it! Thank you for this Blog site! The “real” wedding cake is in the oven now. I will also be using a white vanilla “ganache” in between the layers…YUMMY!
I made this cake for the first time as a treat for my husband (a true rum lover). It was easy to make and absolutely delicious. We ate it fresh and was a little too strong but today – mellowed out and is fabulous. Would recommend for a summer party or for anyone who is a rum lover. Was wondering if anyone tried “spiced” rum in place of dark rum?
If I would use bananas and banana rum how should I adjust the recipe by adding the bananas?
Hi Judy, Using smashed bananas would significantly alter the moistness of the cake. I would probably look for a banana Bundt cake recipe and see what the ratios are in terms of wet to dry ingredients and adapt this recipe accordingly.
Hi! I was wondering if you make the vanilla pudding before putting it in the mixture for the rum cake, or if you just use the mix itself. Thanks! I can’t wait to try this recipe!!
Hi, a standard Bundt pan (12-cup capacity) is equivalent to 10″ round pan is it?
Hi Chithra, I have cake pan conversions on this page: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/conversions/
I made this cake tonight. I have to say it was pretty simple and easy. The next time I think I will do less sugar in the glaze. It was very moist and you could really taste the rum. I will definitely make it again. Thanks for the made from scratch recipe.
Can i use vanilla soaked wine instead of rum for this cake?? Please reply
I have made this receipe several times and it’s FABULOUS! But, I would like to make non-alcoholic version. Could I subsitute milk or evaporated milk for the rum in the cake?
You could substitute milk for the same amount. If you’d like the same flavor, you could try adding in some rum extract if you go that route.
I have never made a rum cake, but had a request from a friend for his birthday. I like making as much from scratch as possible. This was the first recipe i cam across and i don’t think i have to look any further. I will let you know how it turns out. I expect it will be all the rave at the party.
I am not a baker. My kids want a chocolate rum cake with dried strawberries, that are rehydrated with rum, in the cake. Any suggestions on how to make the changes to this recipe to get what my kids want? I know how to rehydrate the berries. Just not sure about adding chocolate and if the moisture in the berries will affect the cake. Thanks
Hi Anthony, You probably want to start out with a chocolate Bundt cake; maybe try the root beer bundt cake as a starting point: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/2011/05/26/root-beer-float-cake/. You could replace the root beer with rum and add the rehydrated strawberries.
What a thrill! I can’t decide what’s better: eating your “from scratch” rum cake last night, or discovering your blog. It was my search for a real rum cake recipe not from a box that led me to you, and I’m so glad it did! The cake came perfectly out of the pan, impressed the hosts last night at our New Year’s Eve party and tasted like heaven. Beware all boxed yellow cake mixes- you are dead to me! This is more work for sure, but it was worth it. I’m excited to be your 100th post on this, the first day of 2013. Cheers! (Plus, you’ve inspired me to start blogging about my business, wine.)
OMG – I’ve never made a rum cake before but this was CRAZY good. I’m not quite sure it turned out exactly as it should have been who cares – it is DELICIOUS …
Thanks for this. I would definitely do it again.
This cake was so so so good! I love rum cake and was very happy to find one that didn’t call for a box of cake mix. I made two, one using egg nog and vanilla pudding and the other using chocolate milk and chocolate pudding, both were delicious. This recipe is a must try!!
I made this for Christmas, and was absolutely fantastic. I used less instant vanilla pudding (I only had a small 1.5 oz package) and more nuts, only because I had a little more left in the bag. What a treat, thanks for the recipe!
I made this cake for our family Christmas this year. It was PERFECT, extremely moist !! Thanks for this wonderful recipe, I also made a variation of the cake using bananas and with out the rum syrup . This turned out to be the best banana bread that I have ever had or made bar none !! Im really looking forward to trying different variations of this recipe. Im also going to give the rum cake as gifts too, because it is that good !!!
The directions call for 3.4 ounce package pudding. I couldn’t find anything close to that size. How many servings should the pudding mix make? That would be a better guide.
That size is pretty standard in most grocery stores (I’m not sure if you’re located in the U.S. or not). On the 3.4-ounce box it states that it makes four (1/2 cup) servings.
Thank you! And, yes, I’m in the states. The directions state one 3.4 ounces. It should say one, 1.34 ounce package (.37 grams). That’s the weight of the 4 serving package.
Hi Gail, Actually the direction for one 3.4-ounce package is correct. I have a box right in front of me. It’s not 0.34 ounces; it is 3.4 ounces.
I have made this rum cake recipe twice now…..yum!!!! The issue i have is that the cake shrinks once I take it out of the pan. Why that is happening?? I am following the recipe as directed. Thanks
Hi Natalie, Do you have a non-stick Bundt pan? I have found that my cakes pull away from my non-stick bakeware quite significantly.
I have to thank you for this recipe, I LOVE IT!!! It is the perfect Rum Cake.
The cake itself is so moist and with the syrup is superb! It came out perfect for me, is just the flavour I was looking for. I discovered your recipe just 2 weeks ago and I have done 3 already for my family and co workers. Everybody had great commens. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!
Could I use self rising flour instead o all-purpose an omit the salt and baking soda
Hi Patres, I would not recommend it. I’m not sure that simply omitting the baking soda and salt would have good results, because I don’t know how much baking soda and salt is included in the self-rising flour.
This looks delish! Is there any chance that you tested the recipe with butter instead of oil? Perhaps the batter requires it, but I thought I’d ask. :) Thanks!
Hi Debra, There is butter in this recipe, in addition to the oil. I have not tried replacing the oil with more butter.
I have made this cake twice in the last 2 weeks. I brought it into my office and they LOVED it! I had searched forever for a homemade rum cake and finally struck gold with this. The second time I made it I had a little too much sugar in the glaze so it was thicker but just as delicious. Thank you :-)
I have been looking for a good rum cake from scratch recipe. I’ve tried a few and they haven’t been as good as the box cake version….until now. This cake is awesome!! Thanks so much!
I followed The instructions and had the most amazing tasty cake of my life, thanks a million ..
Just made this tonight! It’s cooling down now but I’m patiently waiting to try it. It’s looks amazing though. Maybe I’ll even bring some in to work tomorrow!
Last yr. I got this recipe from you site (i think) the cake is the same but the ingredients for the rum syrup are different measurements. Has the recipe been changed since last year? Reading comments i am wondering if i should even try the new way to make the sauce/ am concerned about making a hard candy instead of a syrup. This cake is fantastic by the way! I don’t drink and i love this cake and am craving it for this year.
Hi Irene, I haven’t changed the recipe at all. Enjoy!
I made this today to take to my family in Austin for Thanksgiving. I have no doubt it will hold up for two days (if I can resist eating it). However, the cake is sitting in a huge puddle of syrup. I do have some left over. My question is, should I sop up the excess syrup and add the left over on Thanksgiving day?
Hi Mandy, Yes, I don’t see why you couldn’t. Enjoy!
I can’t wait to try this recipe, however, my boyfriend doesn’t like walnuts. Can I just omit them? Thanks!
Have you tried with pecans? If so, how did it compare to the walnuts?
I actually like pecans better! :)
Question RE: Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
Do you mix/make the pudding mix according to it’s package directions or just dump it all in (dry) with the ingredients?
Hi Maria, You just add it dry to the rest of the ingredients.
Great recipe! Just made it and everyone loved it. I didn’t have dark rum so I used the clear one in less quantity. It still turned out so yummy!
This worked lovely! It turned out nice and strong, and the cake carries the flavor of the rum very well.
I should have googled you first! Almost every rum cake I found involved a few boxes of mixes, as you point out in your blog. Not my style, either. I will be baking your fully homemade rum cake to make dark and stormy cupcakes for a friend. I tweaked your limoncello cupcake recipe nearly 3 years ago, and took 2nd place for it! Since then, I regularly peruse your blog, print your recipes and bake from them in my kitchen. YUM!!! Thank you!
This is my hubby’s favorite cake – he does not like frosting as it’s usually too sweet. I will make it for him as a surprise!
Always wanted to make rum cake from scratch! I wondered which rum do you use for baking purposes? Aside from alcohol in cooking and for baking I don’t drink so I have no idea what to buy in the very vast liquor section in the supermarket!
Hi Ally, I use Meyer’s dark rum for baking, unless a recipe specifically calls for a light or spiced rum.
Your website it now my go-to for so many recipes…love it! I swear it’s like I have the same exact tastes in food as you! Can’t wait to make this cake for my mom for Mother’s Day! It was my grandma’s favorite and my mom used to make it for her every year on her birthday. Grandma has since passed, but I think my mom will really enjoy this cake. One question…could I use 2% milk instead of whole milk or does it definitely need that whole milk? Thanks!
Hi Tina, Aw, I am so sorry about your Grandma’s passing, but love that you’re going to make this for your mom. Mine LOVED it! You can use 2% milk, that should work just fine.
Hi, a few questions:
Can the AP flour and cornstarch just be swapped out for cake flour? Also can a light colored rum be used in place of dark rum? Lastly, if I were to do this in two 9″ rounds instead or a bundt pan, would I keep the oven temp the same and just lower the cook time?
Hi Sharon, I wouldn’t swap in cake flour, because I don’t know if the ratios would be exactly correct for the cake flour. You can substitute light rum if you’d like, and you can make it in two 9″ rounds and reduce the cooking time. Enjoy!
Hi B.E.B..love your site!!
I would like to make cupcakes with your recipe. The measurements seems pretty good for cupcakes. Would I still need to use 1 1/2 cups of liquid or should I reduce the liquid to the traditional 1/2 – 1 cup?
Hi Jocelyn, I haven’t made them into cupcakes, but you should be able to get about 24 cupcakes out of the recipe. I would keep the rum the same in the cake recipe, but you can reduce it if you’d like for the glaze.
This looks like an awesome recipe. I’ve been looking for one that does not use a boxed cake mix. The first time I ever made a rum cake, I realized I did not have any skewers or anything small enough to poke holes…I found a small injector (for turkeys, chickens, etc.), and decided to use it to inject the rum syrup into the cake all over and it worked perfectly! The cake didn’t look like it had holes at all!
My mum loves rum and raisin, this cake would be great for her!
HI I have the same concerns as Courtney and Erin. The cake was delicious, but the t instructions for the glaze were unclear. The glaze was more like candy than a syrup. Please advise. Thanks
I’m just guessing what went wrong. Courtney wrote here (Courtney on April 19, 2012 at 10:21 am) the same concern and check the date, Michelle only corrected the recipe in May. You might have boiled the syrup for 30 minutes instead of 30 seconds?
(Michelle on May 30th, 2012 at 10:24 am)
Hi Courtney, My apologies! It is actually 30 seconds, not 30 minutes. Enjoy the cake!
I have made this cake for years but never from scratch.Can’t wait to try it.I add the rum syrup while it is still in the cake pan so the liquid soaks in on all sides.Thanks
I made this cake today for my mom because rum cake is one of her favorites. The cake turned out perfect, but the syrup did not. I followed the directions exactly and it is wayy too thick, about the consistancy of candy. When it cooled, it hardened up and made the whole outside of the cake hard. I also poked a lot of holes and it wouldn’t seep into the cake :(. I will make the cake again though but maybe a lemon or vanilla glaze instead.
I had the same problem…. (twice). I am thinking that boiling the sugar/butter for 5 minutes is too long (at least on my gas range) – I am going to try again and just cook until the sugar dissolves. Otherwise, this cake is excellent!
Hi! This sounds incredible! I’m a little confused about the directions in lines 6 & 7. “Return it to medium heat for about 30 minutes”. Is that a typo? You say to start the syrup 10 minutes before and then to pour it immediately pour it over the cake when it comes out. Where is the 30 minutes to have it over medium heat? I am so excited to make this but want to make it perfect! Thanks!
Michelle- can you please address my question? Thanks so much!
Hi Courtney, My apologies! It is actually 30 seconds, not 30 minutes. Enjoy the cake!
thanks for sharing this! My husband – Mr. No Sweets – actually loves rum cake! Since his 30th birthday is approaching, I may just have to whip this up!
Rum cake has always been my very favorite and my grandmother makes it every year for my birthday. Her recipe too is the simple boxed cake version so this one is a must try in my book! Thank you.
Hey Michelle, do you reckon I could use Bailey’s to substitute the rum? That’s all I have right now!
Hi Dani, I think you could! It will just be Baileys cake instead of rum :)
In place of the dark rum do you think I could use a Bacardi rum? It’s all I have available at this time.
Yes, for sure!
Well you did not disappoint! You certainly made a beautiful and delicious looking cake with your DIY pudding. The rum must take it over the edge of wonderful.
I’ve been making a cake like this for many years at Christmas. The difference is that I use Southern Comfort in place of rum. But why wait till Christmas? I’m going to make this rum version soon!
Never had this cake! Looks great!
Since my husband and I were married in the Caymans, rum cake was our wedding cake! I always try to make it every year and am always looking for new recipes to try. This one looks absolutely stunning and superiorly boozy which is always a plus when it comes to rum cakes!
The only rum I have in the house has been made into homemade vanilla. How do you think that would work in the cake?
I think it would be fine – tons of flavor!
Oh gosh…my husband loves Rum! Now to decide if I should make it now or save this for Father’s Day.
My mom and I used to make a lemonade-drenched bundt cake similar to this. We would always poke holes into the cake with it still in the pan, then pour all the syrup over and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before flipping onto a cake plate. I don’t remember any problems with it sticking in the pan.
This might be a more simple method than trying to portion it out very slowly across the top of the cake. I think I’d end up with all of it on the cake plate and have a dry-on-top-sticky-on-bottom cake mess.
Hi Angela, Thanks for sharing your method, it sounds nice and easy! I will give it a try next time!
Yum! I love rum cake. Would the cake still be good if I opt out on the rum syrup?
Hi Candice, I would definitely still do a syrup (you can omit the rum) – it keeps the cake incredibly moist.
I make the syrup without the rum–it is great. When I use rum in the syrup, we feel it is too “rummy.”
You can also make the syrup, omitting the rum itself and just add some run extract. It still gives you the rum flavor, without the concentration of alcohol.
Looks soooo delicious. And the recipe includes your DIY pudding mix…I’m going to need to made extra pudding mix for sure. This cake looks so moist…I wouldn’t be able to eat just one serving.
this looks sooo good…i love your website! i’m a little confused though…where does the 1/2 cup oil go??
Hi Rani, My apologies, I forgot to include in with the milk, eggs, and rum. I have since edited the recipe so it is clear now. Thank you for catching that error!
Yesssss you are my new favorite person! I have been looking for a run cake recipe forever and haven’t been able to find one that was totally from scratch. Yay! I cannot wait to make this! :)
Oh YUM!! That looks so tasty… and moist, and Rum-y!! Thank you for tackling the yellow cake from scratch for all of us out there who have wanted to try but never did… I am certain my search ends here!!! (and I can’t wait to try ALL kinds of different liquor in the cake)
Finally! A homemade version of my favorite boxed cake mix! Thank you so much for sharing this. Rum cake is a standard in our household, but the cornflour and pudding mixture in you batter sounds as though it’ll take the cake to an entirely new level. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe with other soaks as well.
Am I the only person who has a problem with current boxed cake mixes? I think they are smaller by weight than they used to be and I don’t honestly find them to be as sturdy or tasty as they used to be. Maybe it is a problem with my tastebuds. I had a disaster using a cake mix for my Easter lamb cake. I have been looking for a really good “from scratch” yellow cake recipe. I think this recipe looks great. Can’t wait to try it but must buy some rum first.
Boxed cake mixes ARE getting smaller. My mom always swore by Duncan Hines, and I loved them too. That is, until my cakes started looking skimpy. I realized that the was less mix by weight in the package. I decided that I would only make cakes from scratch after learning this. It really is not much more involved, and most of the time, way better tasting!
I adore rum infused desserts it just takes it to the next level!!!
Oh my! This cake is right up my alley. Yum!
Lools great , but is there any way to make this without alcohol ( like with vanilla?) I know it won’t taste the same….
I’ve made cakes like these without rum before. You can modify the soaking syrup with other flavors, such as strong brewed coffee, or use flavored extracts like orange. I’ve even been thinking about trying a cinnamon version, using cinnamon sticks steeped in the syrup as well.
Thanks! What would I substitute for the rum in the cake?
In the cake, you could use water, or brewed coffee. Those are the two that come to mind.
There is an imitation rum by Mc Cormic in the spice section.
Looks so moist. I have never had rum cake but this is convincing me to try. I admire the use of homemade pudding mix.
I have never had rum cake but would be so perfect to side with my coffee or Margarita! :) Looks fantastic! I think I’m going to make your recipe, but make them mini!! :)
This brings back memories. I would always make a rum cake for Christmas, the boxed one of course. It was the thing to do waaaaay back then. I noticed the addition of cornstarch and have seen it other places also. What does it do to the mix? Have also seen recipes calling for potato starch. Are the two interchangeable? Looking forward to trying this but won’t wait for Christmas!
Hi Sandra, Cornstarch used alongside all-purpose flour creates a texture that is usually produced by cake flour. The cornstarch lightens the flour, which makes the cake crumb lighter and fluffier instead of dense.
Is there a way to substitute cake flour for the flour and cornstarch?
You could do a reverse conversion based on the substitute I have listed here: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/substitutions/, although I personally would just go with the flour and cornstarch.
I used 2 cups of Swans Down, nixed the nuts for the picky eaters, brushed a little melted butter on the very top of the cake on top of the glaze, and this cake was SUPERB. Next time I’ll just make the cake for me and my mom and include some walnuts. Michelle, thank you so much for this recipe! Moist doesn’t even adequately describe the texture. Such a hit!
Yummy! I’m trying to get the measurements right…this cake calls for 1 cup of DIY pudding mix (or 1 small box of store-bought). Yesterday’s recipe calls for 1/2 cup of pudding mix to make the amount of pudding that a small box of store-bought mix would make. If I want to use this in other cakes that call for 1 small box of pudding mix, should I use 1/2 cup or 1 full cup? I can’t wait to try this in a bunch of things…eagerly awaiting the chocolate version!
Hi Crista, I actually bought a couple of boxes of pudding just to dump out and measure for this purpose :) 1 cup of the DIY mix is equal to the amount in a 3.4-ounce box of instant pudding. So for any recipe that calls for that size box, you would use 1 cup of the DIY mix. Hope that helps! Happy baking!
I have never had a rum cake before. It looks kind of like a dense pound cake. Very interesting, I can’t wait to give it a try! Thanks for the recipe share!
Mmm, this looks tasty! A friend of mine had rum cake as her wedding cake, I should pass this on to her :)
I haven’t ever tried rum cake, but it looks like that may soon change. This looks so incredibly moist! Thanks for finding an alternative to a boxed cake mix; this changes everything.
This cake looks phenomenal! It is perfect for a summer afternoon…or breakfast :)
I haven’t had rum cake for years but I’m really craving it now!
Thanks for another great recipe to try. I live on a tropical island in the Indian Ocean where you guessed it, rum is made. That being said, I’m still a girl from Pittsburgh just like yourself and especially appreciated the recipe for homemade peanut butter eggs that came in handy at Easter for the boys and me. Keep up the great work!
Janet, if you still live on your tropical island, can I come live next door to you???? I need, warm sun, and Rum, and THIS CAKE!!!!!! ☺️
This looks as perfect as a cake should be!
I love rum cake! First vacation I ever took with my husband we literally got drunk from eating free samples of rum cake in the Caribbean. Clearly, we ate tons of cake that afternoon and we both still remember it fondly!
would you say this recipe is close to the ones in carribean ?
This cake looks so moist! I have always loved rum cake. My dad buys a rum cake from this amazing bakery here in upstate, NY for every birthday, special occasion, etc.
this is the worst rum cake ever, it did not brown and it did not rise, I made it for a party and it looks like a door stop, it was a waste of good ingredients.
This cake was amazing! Maybe you did something wrong. Only thing I will do different next time is half the amount of syrup.
I agree! I am currently in the process of making this rum cake for the third time this holiday season. It’s absolutely amazing! I love the vanilla pudding in the mix because it gives this cake a wonderful vanilla flavor. This one is definitely a keeper!
If you put outdated flour or baking powder, the cake will not rise. And if you beat too much the batter it will kill al the bubbles. I think this is what happened to your cake. God bless and I hope you can find what happened to your cake so you won’t make the same mistake again in any other recipe.
I’ve made this cake 3 times now and it comes out perfect each time and it is the best rum cake I’ve ever tasted!! You did something wrong
YES!, you had to have done something wrong. I have made this cake numerous times, and it came out just like the photo, EVERYTIME.
It must have been you…because mine was divine!!!
your loss sorry
I just made this Rum Cake it turn out great, I try not to use all the syrup but I did put more rum .. I will make this cake again..
Thanks for the recipe.