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Easy Rum Cake

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Moist, spongy, smooth and buttery, this Easy Rum Cake is a charming dessert that you’ll want to bust out for every special occasion. It has just the right amount of spiced rum flavor to make everyone at the table want a second slice!

A piece of rum cake on a polka-dotted plate with a strawberry slice and a fork

Moist and Tender Spiced Rum Cake

This boozy rum cake is so divine, I think it’s the reason I won over my husband’s grandparents so quickly. It has that delightful silkiness of a pound cake, only it’s much less dense and spiked with your favorite rum. Unlike some of the other rum cakes I’ve tried, the alcohol flavor isn’t so strong that it overwhelms your palate.

I originally got this recipe from my friend Rachel many years ago, but since then I’ve made some changes to it – it’s now a completely from-scratch cake, while it used to call for a box mix and instant vanilla pudding. I still have a link to the original recipe if you’d like to check it out, but my updates have only made it more delicious!

Adapted from my fail-proof Fluffy Yellow Cake, this new and improved rum cake uses a combination of oil and butter, which makes for the ultimate taste and texture. When I first re-vamped it, I couldn’t believe that it was even more amazing than before! Once you take a bite, you’ll immediately understand why it’s so well-loved by everyone I make it for.

Does Rum Cake Make You Drunk?

In total, this cake uses one cup of spiced rum – but half of it loses its alcohol content during the baking process. The other half cup is stirred into a homemade simple syrup and used to soak the cake. Basically, you’d have to eat quite a few pieces of this cake to start feeling a buzz.

A slice of homemade rum cake on a plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a fresh strawberry

What You’ll Need

Besides the rum, you really don’t need anything out of the ordinary to make this cake. The only ingredient that may or may not surprise you is sour cream, which I use in many of my cakes to keep them extra moist.

For the Spiced Rum Cake

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Eggs: You’ll need two eggs plus two additional yolks.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Sour Cream: You can substitute with plain or Greek yogurt.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Measure your flour with a food scale to ensure accuracy.
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Milk: I prefer using whole milk in my cakes, but any kind will do.
  • Spiced Rum

For the Glaze

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Water
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Spiced Rum

What Kind of Rum Should I Use?

A general rule of thumb for baking with alcohol is to use something that you wouldn’t mind drinking. You’ll definitely want to go with a dark rum rather than a light one. A high-quality rum like Bacardi Spiced is a great choice, especially for the glaze where the flavor will be more pronounced.

Half a cup of rum inside of a glass Pyrex measuring cup

Let’s Make the Recipe

This recipe remains pretty much as simple as it was when it used a boxed cake mix. Let’s get started!

Make the Cake

Prep for Baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan.

A greased and floured bundt pan on a kitchen countertop

Beat Sugar, Oil, Butter, Eggs & Vanilla: Combine the sugar, vegetable oil, butter, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure everything is well combined.

Add Sour Cream: Mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.

CombineIngredients: First combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl then in a measuring cup, combine the milk and rum.

Add to Wet Ingredients Along with Milk & Rum: Alternate adding half of the dry ingredients and half of the liquid ingredients (milk and rum) and beat until well combined after each addition. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.

Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake the cake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes. Test it for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.

Let Cool: Remove your rum cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for about 30 minutes.

Make the Glaze

Melt the butter: Add the butter to a medium-sized saucepan and melt it over medium heat.

Add Sugar & Water: Stir in the water & sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.

Boil: Boil it for 5 minutes on medium heat while stirring frequently. The mixture will become thick and bubbly as the water evaporates.

Remove From Heat & Add Rum: Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the rum until combined.

The finished simple syrup glaze inside of a small glass measuring beaker

Prep for Soaking: Remove the cake from the pan to ensure it won’t stick, then place it back into the pan and poke holes with a fork or toothpick all over the bottom of the cake.

Soak Cake in Glaze: Pour the glaze over the cake and allow the cake to sit in the pan for 30 minutes.

Remove From Pan: Remove the cake from the pan – you may have to use a knife or long toothpick to help loosen the cake from the middle and edges.

Let Cool: Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing and serving.

A spiced rum bundt cake topped with a dusting of powdered sugar and a pile of fresh strawberries

My Best Baking Tips for Rum Cake

Make sure you take note of the useful tips and tricks below. They’ll help you make a killer rum cake!

  • Grease & Flour the Pan Well: I like to both grease and flour my pan before I pour in the cake batter. This helps keep the finished cake from sticking.
  • Stir the Simple Syrup Frequently: It’s important to stir the simple syrup constantly to prevent it from burning. If it does burn, you’ll have to start from scratch.
  • Remember to Remove the Cake From the Pan Before Soaking it: If you don’t take your cake out of the pan before you soak it in the glaze, it’s more likely to get stuck. Make sure you don’t skip this step.
  • Don’t Let the Cake Soak for Too Long: Soak the cake for no more or less than 30 minutes. This is the amount of time that will give you the best flavor without causing the cake to stick to the pan.
A close-up shot of a homemade rum cake on a serving platter with a few slices missing

Topping Ideas

I like to dust my rum cake with powdered sugar and decorate the center with a heaping pile of fresh strawberries, but you can add any toppings of your choice. Try using Homemade Whipped Cream, caramel sauce or chocolate shavings. When it comes to individual slices, it’s always a treat to top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

A slice of homemade rum cake on a plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a fresh strawberry

Storage Instructions

This cake should be kept in an airtight container – you can either store it in the fridge or keep it at room temperature. It’ll last for up to 5 days at room temperature and up to a week in the fridge. I personally love to eat it cold, as it enhances the flavors while maintaining the moisture. So yummy!

Does Rum Cake Freeze Well?

Yes indeed. Either cut the cake in half or into individual slices, wrap each portion in plastic wrap and freeze them in an airtight container. Frozen cake will last for up to 2 months. Unwrap it and thaw it out in the fridge or on the counter before enjoying it.

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A slice of spiced rum cake on a golden dessert spatula with the rest of the cake in the background

Easy Rum Cake

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings

Description

Moist, spongy, smooth and buttery, this Easy Rum Cake is a charming dessert that you’ll want to bust out for every special occasion. It has just the right amount of spiced rum flavor to make everyone at the table want a second slice!

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups (350g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (7.5g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) spiced rum, such as Bacardi

For the Glaze

  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (59ml) water
  • 1 cup (190g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) spiced rum

Instructions

Make the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour a 10-cup size bundt pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, butter, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. Alternate adding half the dry ingredients and half the liquid ingredients (milk and rum) at a time and beat until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  4. Pour the batter in prepared pan and bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 30 minutes.

Make the Glaze

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Then stir in the water and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes on medium while stirring frequently to prevent burning. Mixture will become thick and bubbly as the water evaporates.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the rum until combined.
  3. Remove the cake from the pan, ensuring it won’t stick. Then place it back in the pan and poke holes with a fork or toothpick all over the bottom of the cake. Pour the glaze over the cake. Allow the cake to sit in the pan for 30 minutes and then remove. You make have to use a knife or long toothpick to help loosen the cake from the middle and edges. Then allow the cake to cool completely.

Notes

  • To Store: Keep cake in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature or 1 week in the fridge. Cold cake makes for enhanced flavor with maintained moistness.
  • To Freeze: Cut cake in half or individual slices, wrap each portion in plastic wrap and freeze in an airtight container. Frozen cake will last for up to 2 months. Unwrap and thaw in the fridge or on the counter before enjoying.
  • View the original rum cake recipe here
Nutrition Information:
1 slice
510
42.6 g
329.2 mg
21.8 g
64 g
0.7 g
5.5 g
90.8 mg
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: alcohol cake, spiced rum, rum cake bacardi

More Boozy Desserts to Try

Want to whip up more boozy treats for your friends and family? I have some other desserts you simply have to make.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

14 Responses
  1. Christine

    I always put chopped pecans in the bottom of the pan before adding the cake mix. The recipe I have used for years calls for Meyer’s dark rum rather than spiced rum, and it is super delicious! I always add a little extra room to both the cake mix and the glaze. I make this cake every Christmas and everyone loves it. Moist and yummy. I don’t see any point in putting powdered sugar on top since the cake is so moist, powdered sugar just melts into it.

  2. Christine

    I make the same cake every year at Christmas. However, instead of the spiced rum, I use Myers dark rum and that makes it extra delicious. I always add a little extra rum for both the cake and the glaze. There’s really no use in putting powdered sugar on top because of the moistness of the glaze and topping, it just melts into the cake.

  3. Jen M

    Hi!! I was wondering if you tried this recipe in cupcake form yet? I don’t have a bundt cake pan. I would like to use this recipe but in cupcake form. If you have tried this recipe in cupcake form, how did it turn out? My niece recently turned 21 years old and would like to make this for her in cupcake form. I was thinking of sprinkling either chopped walnuts or chopped pecans on top of the cupcakes before I put them in the oven. Do you think this would be okay? Or should I sprinkle the pecans/walnuts after when it’s done baking and then add the glaze? I’ve never baked with nuts before. Any advice would be appreciated. =)

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jen, I have not tried this particular recipe in cupcake form. Since the cake is “soaked” in the rum glaze, I would be concerned the liners would get too wet. What you can do instead, is just dip the top of the cupcakes in the glaze, and usually you can dip 2 or 3 times. I would half the recipe for the glaze if you are interested in trying this out.

  4. sally @ sallys baking addiction

    your friend rachel sounds a lot like my friend Kristen – especially the love of shark week. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this rum cake recipe – I love rum cake! And i love the super mini rum cake you make for yourself – amazing idea. 🙂

  5. Rachel

    Love that you do a mini for yourself! I started using the 6 cake mini pan w/ the regular pan recipe as a standard as it increases the glaze/cake ratio by about 25% and they are easier to individually wrap 🙂

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