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Rum Cake Recipe

This rum cake recipe is made completely from scratch, has the most tender, moist crumb, and is drenched in rum flavor without being overpowering. Perfection!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 50 minutes
Total 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 567 kcal
Author Michelle

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons + ½ cup canola oil, divided
  • cup DIY instant vanilla pudding mix or one 3.4-ounce package of instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Rum Syrup:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup dark rum

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before serving. Leftovers can be kept, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • You can use whatever rum you like the most for this cake; I typically use Myers dark rum.
  • You can omit the nuts if you don't care for them or need to make a nut-free dessert.
  • This cake utilizes pudding mix to make it ultra-moist; use store-bought or make your own!
  • 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.

Nutritional values are based on one serving

Nutrition Facts
Rum Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 567 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 106mg35%
Sodium 236mg10%
Potassium 197mg6%
Carbohydrates 69g23%
Sugar 51g57%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 695IU14%
Calcium 92mg9%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.