Rum Cake

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This is my homemade version of the famous Duncan Hines rum cake that my grandmother was known near and far for.

Rum Cake

My grandmother, or “Nonny” as I called her, loved to bake and was known near and far for her fabulous Rum Cake. The cake was the hit of every family gathering and no one ever passed through her kitchen without sneaking a thin slice. She baked the cake well into her eighties; and even when she became too frail to make it herself, my grandfather would stand by her side in the kitchen to lend a hand mixing the batter, unmolding the cake, and pouring the hot rum glaze over top.

My Nonny kept the recipe as a closely guarded secret but when I became interested in cooking, she revealed to me that it was a Duncan Hines cake mix doctored up with instant vanilla pudding, butter, and lots of rum. Who knew?! (It’d be hard to keep the recipe a secret anymore; it’s a pretty well-known recipe that’s all over the Internet — just google Bacardi Rum Cake).

I’ve always wanted to recreate the cake from scratch so I came up with this recipe, which is hardly any more work than the semi-homemade version. My grandmother would probably say it’s not as good as hers, but I think it comes pretty close. 😂

What you’ll need To Make Rum Cake

ingredients to make rum cake from scratch

How to make Rum Cake

Begin by combining the eggs, egg yolks, rum, vanilla extract, and almond extract.

Eggs, egg yolks, rum, vanilla extract and almond extract in a mixing bowl to make rum cake

Whisk and set aside.

whisked liquid ingredients in mixing bowl to make rum cake

Combine the flour, sugars, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

The flour, sugars, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer to make rum cake

Beat on low speed to combine.

Flour, sugars, baking powder and salt mixed together in mixer to make rum cake

Add the butter.

adding the butter to the mixer to make rum cakeBeat for a few minutes until combined.

Butter mixed in with other ingredients in mixer to make rum cake

Add one-third of the liquid ingredients and mix on low to combine.

Adding a third of the liquid ingredients to the mixer to make rum cakeIncrease the speed to medium and beat for two minutes more.

Batter in mixer after beating for two minutes to make rum cake

Add another third of the liquid.

Another third of liquid added to batter in the mixer to make rum cakeMix on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat for two minutes.

batter after being mixed for two minutes for rum cakeAdd the remaining liquid.

continuing to add liquid ingredients to batter to make rum cake Beat and scrape as before.

finished batter in the mixer for rum cakeTransfer the batter to the prepared Bundt pan.

batter in greased and floured Bundt pan

Bake the cake for 65-75 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

baked rum cake cooling on rack

Let the cake cool on a wire rack while you make the glaze.

melting the butter for the rum cake glaze

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the sugar and water and bring to a boil; then turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.

bubbling glaze for rum cakeRemove from the heat and stir in the rum.

finished hot glaze for rum cake

Using a toothpick or skewer, poke holes all over the bottom of the cake.

poking holes in the bottom of the rum cake with a skewerBrush or spoon half of the glaze over the cake and let it soak in.

brushing the glaze over the rum cakeInvert the cake onto the rack. Brush or spoon the remaining glaze over the top and sides of the cake.

brushing the glaze over the top of the rum cake

Let the cake cool for about an hour before transferring to a serving platter. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

rum cake on serving platter

The cake portion of this recipe is based on a recipe from Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri. I changed the process, replaced the all-purpose flour with cake flour, swapped the white rum for dark rum and omitted the almonds. The glaze recipe is from my grandmother.

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Rum Cake

This is my homemade version of the famous Duncan Hines rum cake that my grandmother was known near and far for.

Servings: One 10-inch Bundt Cake, 16 servings
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes


For the Cake

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with knife, plus 1 tablespoon more for flouring the pan (see note)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)

For the Glaze

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark rum


For the Cake

  1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan with butter. Add a tablespoon of flour to the pan; rotate and shake the pan until it is evenly coated with flour, then tap out any excess flour over the sink.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, rum, vanilla extract and almond extract in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place the cake flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on low speed for about 30 seconds to combine. Add the butter and beat on low speed for about 2 minutes, or until the ingredients are well combined.
  4. Add one-third of the liquid ingredients and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, then stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add another third of the liquid and mix on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat for two minutes, then stop the mixer and scrape again. Add the remaining liquid and beat and scrape as before.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared Bundt pan. Bake for 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted halfway between the central tube and side of the pan comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cake on a rack for ten minutes.
  7. While the cake cools, make the glaze. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum.
  8. Using a toothpick or thin skewer, poke holes all over the bottom of the cake about 1/2-inch apart, going about 3/4 of the way down (you will feel like you are butchering the cake; don't worry, it will be fine). Brush half of the glaze over the cake and let it soak in. If the glaze pools on the surface, poke more holes to help it sink in. Invert the cake onto the rack. For easy clean-up, slide a piece of foil or parchment under the rack. Gradually brush the remaining glaze evenly over the top and sides of the cake, letting it soak in as you go. (Go slowly so that the glaze gets absorbed, rather than drips off the sides.) Let sit for at least one hour before carefully transferring the cake to a platter for serving. Dust the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar, if desired.
  9. Note: It's important to use cake flour in this recipe. All-purpose flour will make the cake dry and dense.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Going to bake this recipe in 6 mini Bundt pans so I imagine cooking time will be shorter. Ant guess as to how long?

    • — Candace Gullett on July 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Candace, I wish I could help but I don’t really know how long they’ll take — I would just keep a close eye on them. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on July 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • I’m making this tonight, and when I mixed the eggs and rum, the eggs seemed to curdle, for the lack of a better work? Think it will be ok? Our only dark rum was 151 proof, and I’m worried it somehow “cooked” the eggs a bit.

    • — Alysonne Hatfield on June 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • It should still be fine, Alysonne. How did it turn out?

      • — Jenn on June 19, 2020
      • Reply
      • Long story short, it was delicious, but still constitutes a bit of a baking fail on my part. I’ve identified a few other deviations from your recipe that may be why: (1) I used dark brown sugar instead of light; I also used “Golden” sugar instead of regular white because my grocery was out of regular; (3) I didn’t give each turn in the mixer a full two minutes as you directed. The texture was just a little off, more crumbly than cakey? My husband called it a Crumble. 😂 Anyway, even with my flubs, it was so scrumptious and I’m inspired to try again until I get it right!

        • — Alysonne Hatfield on June 22, 2020
        • Reply
        • Glad it still came out okay, flubs and all! 🙂

          • — Jenn on June 22, 2020
          • Reply
  • Any suggestions for baking this at 7500’?

    • — Lia on June 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lia, I don’t have experience baking at high altitudes so, unfortunately, I don’t have any wisdom to share – I’m sorry! You may find these tips helpful though. Hope you enjoy the cake!

      • — Jenn on June 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hello!
    I’m making this cake as a birthday surprise for a family member who loves rum cake, but I was wondering how you would alter the ratios of the glaze so that way the cake does turn out flavored super strong with rum? I’ve made your tres leches cake with dulce de leche glaze and we all loved it! But we did feel that the cake tasted a lot like rum. Thank you for your amazing recipes and I would appreciate your feedback on how to make the glaze not too overpowered by rum!

    • — Ashley on May 27, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ashley, Sure, you can make some adjustments there; maybe use just 1/4 cup of rum and 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of water. If you want even less rum, I wouldn’t water it down more; you can just cut back on the rum and get a bit of a thicker glaze. Hope that helps and that your recipient enjoys!

      • — Jenn on May 29, 2020
      • Reply
  • I’m going to make this tomorrow. I trust it will be great. Just wondering why the cake flour instead of standard flour ?

    CG, MSP

    • — Candy Gullett on May 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Candy, the cake flour gives the cake a lighter, more tender texture. Hope that clarifies and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn i make this every year for my sons birthday and he loves it, so does my husband since he grew up on his mimis rum cake which was also made with Duncan so we were so thrilled when we found this recipe! It’s actually the first recipe that introduced me to your site and cookbook! It’s my sons birthday tomorrow and I couldn’t get cake flour only bread flour, will it work? Thanks so much

    • — Melissa on April 9, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you like this (and thanks for your support with the cookbook)! Unfortunately, bread flour won’t work here — sorry!

      • — Jenn on April 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • This cake was wonderful! I added 1/2 a cup of pineapple juice to the egg mixture and a packet of vanilla pudding mix to the dry mixture. I added pineapple juice to the glaze as well and used Haitian rum throughout the recipe. I will definitely try this one again. Thank you!

    • — Valery on March 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello. What would you suggest for an icing for this cake? Would I still glaze it if I chose to ice it? (Just wanting to have it appear more festive for a birthday cake).

    • — Deanna on January 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • A simple frosting (like the one for this lemon pound cake but use milk in place of the lemon juice) would work well. (And, yes, I’d still use the rum glaze.) Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 21, 2020
      • Reply
  • Thank you, this is a wonderful recipe. I made it for Thanksgiving and for Christmas. When I followed the exact amount for the glaze and baked the cake for 70 minutes, the cake came out a little dry. For the second time, I baked it for 65 minutes (minimum that is instructed) and increased the amount of graze with 1.5 times amount of butter and rum, while cutting the total amount of sugar for the cake to 2/3 of the written amount. It was also critical to spread butter on the mold instead of using the cooking oil spray. (had a hard time separating the cake from the mold.) I have a question – wouldn’t it be better to bake at higher temperature, let’s say, 350 degrees, for shorter time to make inside of the cake moist? Cake lasted longer (for 7 days or so) before it got dry when I increased the glaze amount. This cake is delicious especially with whipping cream and berries on top.

    • — Hal on January 3, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Hal, I don’t think that increasing the oven temp and baking for a shorter period of time would really make a difference. If you found that you got a more moist result when you increased the glaze, I’d encourage you to prepare it that way next time you make it. (And you reduced the sugar in the cake by 2/3 cup — just keep in mind that sugar helps add moisture to cakes, so you don’t want to reduce it too much.)

      • — Jenn on January 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • Out of this world. Followed the recipe to the T; took it out of the oven at 65 minutes; served it about 5 hours later and everyone flipped over it. Thanks for another successful recipe.

    • — Macky Miller on December 12, 2019
    • Reply
  • Just made this for Thanksgiving 2019. It’s an excellent recipe and the result is a delectable, moist cake. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • — vj on November 28, 2019
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    Can this cake be made ahead of time?

    • — Laura Osborne on November 26, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Laura, I think you could make it one day ahead. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 26, 2019
      • Reply
  • Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes. I’ve tried several from the website and your cookbook. All have been wonderful! I would like to make your rum cake recipe using a 6 cup bundt pan. Would it work if I half the amount of each ingredient? What about the eggs? Also, would you recommend how long to bake the cake?

    • — Cindy on October 11, 2019
    • Reply
    • Glad you like the recipes! Yes, a 6-cup bundt pan would work here if you halve the recipe. It will take less time to bake, but I’m not certain how long. I’d start checking at about 40 – 45 minutes. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 13, 2019
      • Reply
  • Awesome recipe! Thanks!

    • — Gina G on July 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • My cake was dry and crumbled, and it didn’t rise to the top pan. I followed the recipe exactly. The Flavor was very good. I guess I would give it a 3 star. Hope you can give me advice on what I did wrong.
    Thank You, Sylvia
    [email protected]

    • — Sylvia on June 30, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Sylvia, Sorry to hear you had a problem with this! Did you make any adjustments to the recipe? Is there any chance you may have made a measuring error?

      • — Jenn on July 1, 2019
      • Reply
  • What can I use for the glaze instead of rum? I am making this cake for a school function, and not sure the rum will be appropriate? LOL

    • — Sarah Naples on May 21, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Sarah, I’d make my Kentucky Butter Cake instead – it’s easier, there’s no alcohol, and it’s just as good. 😊

      • — Jenn on May 21, 2019
      • Reply
  • I didn’t have a big mixer with a paddle attachment, just a hand-held mixer, so I adapted the recipe as follows: I creamed the butter and sugar then beat in all the liquid. I then sifted in all the flour at once and beat well until smooth and creamy. It came out perfectly. Great recipe, thank you!

    • — Annie on May 20, 2019
    • Reply
  • Followed this recipe to the letter with one exception. I replaced the rum with Evangeline’s Praline Pecan Liqueur. This turned out far better than I could have hoped for! Perhaps I’ll substitute the almond extract with pecan extract to double down on the pecan flavor.

    • — Charles on May 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I was wondering whether I could add raisins (plumped with hot water) to this cake because of the common rum raisin combination. Would they suit it or not?

    • — Gabi C. on March 23, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Gabi – I think that would work well. Please let me know how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on March 24, 2019
      • Reply
  • OMG! I made this cake and I feel like I can start a cake business. I used my kitchen aid mixer for the first time ever after 51/2 years (it was a wedding gift). Thank you so much for this recipe. Thank you. It makes me so happy eating it.

    • — Jennifer on February 24, 2019
    • Reply
  • Thank you for developing this recipe! I’ve never had rum cake before but this cake is extraordinary!

    • — A.Lo on February 19, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Would this come out okay in a loaf pan OR a square baking dish? I know it wouldn’t look as pretty as a Bundt but I gave away my Bundt pan in a moment of foolishness and now want to make this cake!! Help!

    • — Prerna on February 5, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Prena – just make sure the pans are large enough and nonstick. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 5, 2019
      • Reply
  • Instead of dark rum, try using spiced rum…you will love it!

    • — BLyle on February 1, 2019
    • Reply
  • Could this be made into cupcakes?

    • — Leah on February 1, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Leah, I’ve never made this into cupcakes, but I think it should work. Please let me know how they turn out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on February 1, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi! I am thinking of making this cake for my Mom’s and my birthday (Yes, amazingly enough we share the same birthday!) I have a few questions. Could this be made as a 2-layer cake instead of a bundt? If so, what would be the modifications if any? Is there a frosting that would be appropriate for this cake so it can be decorated as a birthday cake? We are not big fans on extremely sweet… just looking for something delicious. Thank you for your recipe and your help. I can’t wait to try it.

    • — Bella on January 7, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Bella, I think it would work to divide the batter in half and use two 8 – 9 inch round pans. They will take less time in the oven — I would start checking at 40 – 45 minutes. In terms of frosting, you could do a cream cheese version like this one. Please let me know how it turns out (and happy birthday to you and your mom)!

      • — Jenn on January 8, 2019
      • Reply
  • I’m considering adding crushed pineapple to this cake. I’d squeeze as much juice out as possible so as not to add extra liquid. What do you think?

    • — Heather Redshaw on December 28, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Heather, It may work (and sounds delicious) but cakes can be so finicky and I worry it will alter the the chemistry for the cake. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 28, 2018
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn,
        I’m making this for my wife’s birthday, but I’ve never “prepared a bundt pan” before. Any tips? Is that flour in the picture? I want it to come out pretty but I’m afraid it might stick if I don’t do it right. Thanks! Looking forward to trying this!

        • — Turtle on February 18, 2020
        • Reply
        • Hi, the key to treating a Bundt pan is to be very thorough when coating it with butter and flour. So make sure to cover the surface area of the pan with the butter and then a coating of flour. You may also find these tips helpful. Hope that helps and that your wife enjoys!

          • — Jenn on February 18, 2020
          • Reply
  • This cake is delicious, gorgeous, and perfect for the holidays (great to give as gifts). It is highly requested in my family, everyone raves about it.

    • — Karin on December 20, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made it and followed exactly but had to add cornstarch to make cake flour. Although I greased and floured pan it did stick a bit but as I put glaze on it became a bit moist and started to pill a bit. What did I do wrong ????

    • — Lee Ann on December 18, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Lee Ann, Sorry to hear you had a problem with this! You mentioned that the cake started to pill a bit once you added the glaze – what do you mean by pill? Thanks for clarifying!

      • — Jenn on December 18, 2018
      • Reply
      • It looked like the inside of yours

        • — LeeAnn on December 20, 2018
        • Reply
        • Hmmm, that’s very strange – did it stick to the pan?

          • — Jenn on December 22, 2018
          • Reply
  • I’m a “cook and bake from scratch” fanatic and I made this for Thanksgiving 2018. Loved it! Loved the semi dense and moist yet soft texture. The rum syrup created a nice crunch on the crust. My guests were very impressed. I offered if anybody wanted to bring any desserts home since we also had pumpkin and apple pies beside the cake (they’re homemade from scratch too and they’re excellent). Darn it! Six people, all wanted the rum cake. I gave each one three thin slices and we were left with only a quarter of the cake. Even worse, our fifteen year old son liked it too! My husband demands that I make it again for Christmas, no guest this time. This time, I’d like to add a chocolate marble variation. Would you suggest using natural or Dutch cocoa powder or baking chocolate? How much should I use for how much white batter? Thank you for the wonderful and reliable recipe.

    Metuchen, NJ

    • — Krisantia Ritzdorf on December 12, 2018
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed this cake, Krisantia! I’ve never made this as a marble cake, so it’s hard for me to say what ratios would work. (I’m a really neurotic recipe tester, so I’d have to toy around with it before having a sense.) The one thing I do feel confident suggesting is using regular cocoa powder. Please let me know if you end up trying it!

      • — Jenn on December 13, 2018
      • Reply
  • Your recipes are the best and I’ve turned all my friends onto “Once Upon A Chef”. If a recipe is good everyone always says, “Must be Once Upon A Chef!” Question: How would you make this into a coconut-rum cake?

    • — Laurie on December 7, 2018
    • Reply
    • Thanks Laurie – so glad you like the recipes! 🙂
      I think you could add coconut to this- maybe up to 1 cup in the batter. You could also top it with some toasted coconut. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on December 8, 2018
      • Reply
      • Per your suggestion I ADDED 1 cup coconut and took the initiative to SUBSTITUTE the Myer’s Original Dark Rum with Malibu Caribbean Rum with Coconut Liqueur and ADDED 1 tsp coconut extract. Coconut paradise for the tastebuds! Thank you! (BTW your cookbook rocks).😁

        • — Laurie on December 9, 2018
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!

    I am looking to make this recipe for Christmas, but I wanted to give it a nice lemony taste, so I thought adding a bit of lemon juice and lemon zest to the glaze would be perfect. But wondering how much I should add. Any suggestions?

    • — Jennifer L on November 28, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Jennifer, You could add a teaspoon of zest and a tablespoon of juice to the glaze but I might recommend my buttermilk lemon pound cake instead – it’s wonderful and very lemony.

      • — Jenn on November 29, 2018
      • Reply
      • Okay I made this cake today, 3 of them in fact! It is delicious! I was worried it would be too much rum for my taste, nope! Its perfect!

        • — Jennifer L on December 23, 2018
        • Reply
  • About three years ago, I asked if your rum cake could be baked in two 7-inch angel cake pans. Well I tried it and baked it for 40 minutes as you suggested. It came out perfect, very fine and buttery tasting. I certainly will make it again, but will put it in a Bundt pan like the one you made. I think it’s prettier in a Bundt pan.
    Thanks so much for the recipe, it’s a keeper. Carolyn

    • — Carolyn Cummings
    • Reply
  • This cake was lovely and feather light and scented with rum—but it just wasn’t as satisfying as the one out of the box, for me!! I’m embarrassed to admit it, but there we are 🙂 Perhaps it’s simply nostalgia.

    • 😂I get it.

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • I googled rum cake recipes (from scratch) and was expecting to find a lot. Most of the recipes are from cake mix and vanilla pudding mix. I was so happy to find this recipe with great reviews. I decided to make a trial run for our family of 4. I only made half the batch in a 9×5 loaf pan, used Bacardi Gold Rum (that’s all I have), and I baked for 50 min. Every step of the way turned out exactly as it should be. I used silicone basting brush to glaze the cake 6-7 times and still have a bit of glaze leftover. I told the family that it might be better the next day to let the glaze soak in but they couldn’t wait. We did wait about 1.5 hrs. The first slice which was the edge from loaf pan has a very faint rum taste. I thought I didn’t apply enough glaze but after the first slice, the rum flavor was definitely better and stronger. The cake was perfect (not dry and dense). It came out easily from the pan. Overall, this is a strong rum cake and we love it. If you don’t want it that strong, just do less glazing. Now I’m ready to make more as gifts or for big gathering. Thank you so much for a truly awesome rum cake recipe. I’ll check out your other recipes as well.

  • Hi Jenn! Thinking of adding some mini chocolate chips, chopped dried cherries and shredded coconut to this recipe. What do you think????

    • Sure, Marie, I think that would work – I would suggest sticking to small portions – maybe 1/4 cup of each. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • Delicious!!! I added a quarter cup of each: mini chocolate chips, chopped dried cherries, crushed pineapple (drained) and
        Shredded coconut. Next time I would add regular chocolate chips since the minis got lost 🙂 I also made a coconut version adding 1 c shredded coconut and coconut pudding mix. Topped this cake with toasted shredded coconut. Thx again for always providing us with great recipes!!!!

  • Hi Jenn

    I made the cake previously and it was a great hit. I want to make an amaretto cake this time but found other recipes use only 2 tablespoons of liqueur as opposed to 1/2 cup in your recipe. Do you think I can substitute rum with amaretto using your recipe? Would it be too overpowering? Thanks for your advice.

    • — Katherine Sidener
    • Reply
    • I think it’d work, Katherine. Please lmk how it turns out!

  • Silly question – do you ever trim off the bottom of a bundt cake to make the cake even? Thanks!

    • HI Emma, I’ve never bothered with that, but I guess others have because I found this video on how to do it. (I’m sure you could use a regular knife as opposed to an electric one if you prefer.) Hope that helps!

  • This rum cake is a must try. It is really good, i make this when i am invited somewhere. All i can say i am so happy i found once upon a chef years ago. i make so many recipes of hers. thank you. i can’t wait for my book.

  • Hi, thank you for your very detailed recipes. They certainly help the inexperienced baker in me! So if I am to make the rum cake dense like a pound cake, would simply changing the cake flour to all purpose flour do the trick?

    • Hi Ann, glad you like the recipes! You could use all-purpose flour here, but I wouldn’t really recommend it. It is likely to make the cake dry. For best results, I’d stick with the cake flour.

  • I wanted a ‘from scratch’ recipe as the ones from the mixes seem denser and I had a ‘secret recipe’ one from a friend that was light and airy and delicious. I found yours. I followed the directions exactly. It turned out beautifully. I could tell after doing all the series of beating that it was going to be light cake as it looked beautiful in the mixing bowl – really puffed up and a nice batter! It is a Christmas gift so I could only taste a small slice off the bottom but it is wonderful and just what I wanted.

  • Hello Jennifer, I don’t have experience baking with alcohol so this might be a silly question: is this ok served to children? I know the alcohol in the cake cooks out, but what about the rum in the glaze? Thank you!

    • Hi Deniza, not a silly question! The alcohol will cook out of the glaze as well, so this is perfectly fine to serve to kids. Hope you enjoy!

  • so looking forward to making it this weekend. I’ve been on the hunt for a completely “from scratch” version and yours looks great. Question….many of the semi-homemade versions have the nutty mixture on the bottom, which seems pretty awesome. Have you tried something like that? do you think it would work?

    • Hi Glen, I’ve never tried it, but I think you could definitely do it. (My grandmother used to put nuts in the bottom of the bundt pan before pouring the batter in and that worked nicely too.)

  • Hi Jenn,
    Do you think this recipe will work with gluten free flour. I have tried your boyfriend bait and cranberry bread with gluten free flour with amazing results.
    Thanks for the wonderful recipes.

    • Hi Debby, I haven’t tried this with gluten-free flour but I suspect it should work. Please LMK know how it turns out if you make it!

  • Jen, I’m going to make this cake tomorrow and freeze it for Xmas. Should I wait until the cake is defrosted before poking the holes and putting in the rum? I will glaze it the day I’m going to serve. Just wasn’t sure if I should poke the holes and put in the rum when it comes out of the oven and then freeze or wait until the day I’m serving it.

    • Hi Donna, I think you could go either way with good results. Hope you enjoy!

  • This cake is a favorite of mine and will be making it again this weekend. Have only made with regular rum (Bacardi) so don’t know how different the taste would be with the darker rum. Guess I should try it soon.

  • Would it be okay to use other types of rum like light rum or gold rum?

    • Sure, Shannon, the taste may be just a bit different or more subtle, but it should work. Hope you enjoy!

  • I have made this cake many times and it always turns out wonderful. It’s the best recipe for this cake that I have found.

  • Made this yesterday as written, except I did not mix for the entire 6 minute total. Generally a baker has to be careful not to over-mix, which can make for a denser, tougher crumb. Is there a reason for so much mixing? I understand the sugar has to be properly dissolved but couldn’t that be taken care of by mixing the butter and sugar first? Anyway, the cake was delicious with a perfect tender, moist texture and come-hither flavor. Definitely a performance worth repeating.

    • Hi Tundra, This cake is a “high ratio” cake — meaning the weight of the sugar is equal to or greater than the weight of the flour — so it uses a different method for making the batter. When using the high ratio method, you blend all the dry ingredients first (including the sugar), then beat in softened butter followed by eggs and liquid ingredients. Mixing this way guarantees a smooth batter and delicate baked cake.

      • Interesting! Everyone who tasted this cake agreed it was fabulous.

  • This was a great cake – i added half a cup of sour cream for 1 less egg yolk and as I am in the UK used 2 cups of SR flour and a half cup of corn flour.

  • Very good, needed more rum syrup! So I double it.

  • I have read and considered a lot of rum bundt cake recipes and I finally got across your recipe which I will attempt to bake after we have settled in a bigger apartment. My boyfriend’s father loves liquor and I learned to acquire the taste for rum cake from him. As for my boyfriend, he wanted to know if your recipe has nuts because he does not like nuts. I like all the modifications you did to the recipe and the interesting story behind it and the revealed trade secrets. I read somewhere that the longer the rum cake stays untouched, the better it tastes. That is why I returned the big bundt pan I bought and exchanged it for a pan of collective 6 bundlettes. Your rum cake looks so yummy with its golden brown color and more so with its rum glaze. Thanks, now I can rest and stop looking for the best rum bundt cake recipe.

  • I made this cake for my son’s birthday over the weekend. It was so good. I would double the glaze next time, and continue to pour it over the cake till absorbed. I left it in the pan overnight and needed to warm slightly to release it from the pan. Thank you for the recipe. I never make any cake from a box and this was wonderful.

    • — Susan McGillicuddy
    • Reply
  • Can I use a hand mixer?

    • Sure, Janelle, it may just take a little longer to mix. Enjoy!

  • I am excited to try this cake! I don’t have a Bundt pan, but I do have a loaf pan that holds 6 cups of batter. Do you think a half recipe would bake well? Any idea if the baking time would be significantly different?
    Thank you 🙂

    • Yes, I think cutting the recipe in half would work. It should take 60 – 75 minutes top bake. I’d start checking it at an hour.

  • Is there a way I could make this using rum extract instead of actual rum? I have made it with the real rum but it was awfully strong rum flavored and seemed like you were drinking actual rum. Hoping maybe there may be a way to make it with imitation rum extract.

    • Hi Tammy, because there is so much rum in this cake, I would hesitate to use extract. I’m just not confident you’d be happy with the results.

  • This is a very good recipe! Definitely a keeper!

  • I just made this cake it is really good. i will definitely be making it again, thank you for all your recipes i love all of them.

  • Jenn,

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. My mom wanted me to bake a Rum Cake for her. Didn’t want to use a cake box mix. Excited to find your recipe…made it and the cake was delicate. I added walnuts and coconut flakes in bundt pan. Used white Bacardi rum which was on hand. Another winner of a recipe. Thank You! Hope to post this on my blog soon, Baking is my Zen.

    Jenn, Happy New Year 2017! Look forward to your creations.


  • Hi Jen,
    Wanted to make this cake but only have a 9 cup bundt pan. How far up would you recomend I fill it so that it doesn’t overflow when baking? Thanx.

    • Hi Amanda, I’d fill it up about halfway – then you can bake the remaining batter in another small pan, if you like.

  • Hello! I am interested in making this cake for Christmas and was wondering if it could be made the day before and add the glaze Christmas Day. Thanks!

    • Sure, Adriann – you can actually glaze it a day ahead too if you like. It keeps beautifully thanks to all the butter and rum :).

  • Hi Jenn,
    I made this cake, and it was just great! I was wondering if the cake can be made in advance and refridgerated or frozen and glazed later, or glazed and frozen?

    • — Caroline Cummings
    • Reply
    • Hi Caroline, I think you could freeze it either way, but I’d probably hold off on glazing until after the cake is defrosted. I think it will look better that way.

  • Can I use all granulated sugar instead of the brown sugar.

    • Hi Arlene, I wouldn’t recommend it here– sorry!

    • Thank you for your response. I made the original recipe before and loved it. just needed to run out and buy brown sugar and did not want to chance make it without the brown sugar and be disappointed. Love all your recipes that I have tried.

  • Hi Jennifer,
    Greetings from a Brit living in Mauritius…the land of rum!
    Anyway I want to make your cake as an alternative Christmas cake, but can’t get cake flour here. Should I use Plain or self raising instead?

    • — Camilla Anderson
    • Reply
    • Hi Camilla, You can easily make your own cake flour. For every cup of AP flour, remove two tablespoons, and then add two tablespoons of cornstarch back in. Be sure to whisk the flour to distribute the cornstarch evenly. Works like a charm!

  • Hi Jenn,

    Just want to thank you for the great recipes with all the excellent instructions, from the little things that make the process more efficient, or even easier, to the big things that make the dish a success! I made your rum cake for a Christmas potluck and it was a hit! The cake looks like it will be dense, but it’s actually light and rich in flavor! I really appreciated the step by step and clear instructions. Making this cake from scratch was easier than I thought it would be, and made for a richer flavor. Thanks again!

  • This was a lovely cake – really light. Beautiful crumb. I’m not sure where the negative reviews are coming from. I followed the instructions as written and it turned out perfectly. I baked for 65 min @ 325 (live at sea level).

  • Made this cake yesterday afternoon, delicious! OUAC is quickly becoming the first website I go to for recipes because everything I’ve made has turned out fantastic with little or no modifications needed. I used to make a rum cake using a box mix years ago, but now that I only bake from scratch, I was curious to see how this one would turn out…it was really, Really good! I emddd up not using all of the glaze, but it was plenty moist with just enough rum flavor that you knew it was there but it wasn’t in your face strong. Definitely a keeper!

    • Edited to add I think I’ll add chopped and toasted pecans to the bottom of the pan next time also, but it really doesn’t need it. I, like others used unbleached AP flour and it worked fine. I’ve started scooping the flour into measuring cups versus scooping flour out of my container in the measuring cup and I think it really does make a difference in the final product.

  • Actually, this is much better with walnuts or pecans. All purpose flour works fine as well. Removed one-third of the granulated sugar with the glaze and replaced it with one-third light brown sugar…took it to a new level.

  • I have been making the “cheaters” boxed version of this cake for years. I recently began to get pangs of guilt when I would show up at a function with a boxed cake and take all the bows for something that couldn’t be easier. So, I decided to learn to do this from scratch. Not sure what went wrong, but it didn’t work for me at all. I followed the recipe to a “t” (minor altitude adjustments-read on) but when I was ready to pour the batter in the bundt, it was SUPER thick. Not having ever made this before, I went with it. I should have loosened it up a bit. It was just not right. Too dense, too gooey once the rum glaze soaked in. I’ll try it again to see if I get the same results but this time, if the batter is thick, I’ll thin it. I chose this recipe because I am a huge fan of Jenn’s recipes and have made several others with great success. I should mention that I’m at 7300 ft in a tropical climate so things usually need tweeking but I’ve been baking at this altitude for years and pretty much “have it down” but for now, let’s blame it on the altitude and I’ll check in again when I make it again to share the results.

    • Hi Jan, so sorry to hear that the cake didn’t turn out as expected! If you followed the recipe exactly, I’d have to assume it had something to do with the altitude. While it sounds like you have plenty of practice accounting for the altitude, maybe some of these tips would be helpful.

  • what’s the measure of each ingredient
    how many eggs?
    oz or 1-2oz of rum
    do you use the whole box of cake flour or mix?
    Just asking this will be my first Rum Cake or say first cake I bake in a long time.
    Your recipe seems easy let me know and I’ll email you back.
    Thank You

    • Hi Patricia, You’ll need a total of 7 eggs (but for 3 of them, you’ll only use the yolks) a half cup of rum, and just 2 1/2 cups of cake flour– not the whole box. Hope all that helps and that you enjoy the cake!

  • Hey Jenn,
    I Just came back from Turks and Caicos which had a rum cake in a tin at the airport. I could not imagine it being any good mass produced like that. I am a pretty good cook and bake quite a bit. I always like making a recipe from scratch using the best ingredients. Living 30 min from New York City I am lucky to be able to find almost any ingredient needed. I looked over many Rum Cake recipes and found yours to be the best “from scratch” recipe I was looking for. Others used instant pudding or boxed cake mix. I had picked up the wrong flour, (Presto) which is self-rising so my first bake was a little off but still tasted amazing. The next day I made another cake with the Softasilk and it was perfect. I used Ron Zacapa dark rum in place of the Meyers but every thing else was exactly the same. I don’t think that rum cake in a tin could even come close to the amazing flavor of this cake. Thanks for creating a “from scratch” Rum Cake that totally rocks!

  • Does this get a crispy shell on the outside or does it stay moist? My daughter had mini rum cakes years ago at work and would love them for her birthday but she said those were crispy outside.

    • Hi Sharon, It does get slightly crisp/hardened on the outside from the glaze, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s crispy.

  • This cake is dangerously delicious! Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe and instructions.

  • This recipe turned out very well. It was just what I was looking for, I did not want to use a mix or instant pudding. My husband loved it, he always wanted me to make him a rum cake for his birthday and finally I did.

  • Hi, I love rum cake and have used several recipes over the years. Yours is great! Thank you. My question is: I once read that either you add hot liquid to a cool cake or vice versa. Some kind of chemistry hot/cold thing. I have a problem with my glaze accumulating at the base of the cake and it gets gooey (Personally, I love it but others? not so much). I want to have a significant glaze flavor to the cake but I don’t want to have it sink to the bottom. I typically unmold the cake and then prick it and pour half on the “bottom” and then remove it and pour half on the top and sides. Then, to keep it safe, I return it to the bundt pan.

    • Hi Jan, I would suggest glazing the recipe as indicated in the recipe; if you do it slowly, it gets pretty evenly absorbed and does not sink too much to the bottom (which is actually the top). The glaze is a little heavier around the edges of the cake, but I actually like it that way.

  • If you switched from regular flour to cake flour, can I switch it back again? What change would I need to make in measurement if I did?

    • Hi Marian, I recommend cake flour for this recipe. With regular flour, the cake will be really dense and somewhat dry.

  • Thank you so much for this recipe. In the photo, your glaze has a nice shine to it. Mine got totally absorbed and left no shine. Do you know why? Maybe the cake should cool longer or maybe I should boil the glaze longer or maybe the rum waters it out too much???

    • Hi Nicole, It may be that the glaze was a little too thin. Next time, cook it down a bit more to thicken it up. Hope that helps!

  • I recently had rum cake in the Bahamas-it was nothing like the rum cakes I have tasted in the past-it was delish! This cake looks very similar to the one I tasted. I would like to make it in smaller Bundt pans for hostess gifts during the holidays. How many days ahead can I make it before gifting it? How would you adjust the cooking time for a smaller pan (say one cup vs a four cup pan)? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Caroline, You could make the cakes about 2 days ahead. (They stay very moist). If using the smaller bundt pans, I would start checking them at 30-35 min. I hope your recipients enjoy them!

  • Why did you make changes from the original recipe, And why cake flour instead of AP?

    • Hi Nicey, The original recipe is made from a boxed cake mix, which I didn’t want to use. Cake flour makes for a tender and delicate cake; all purpose flour makes the cake dense.

  • Hi Jennifer,

    Sorry to keep bugging you about this recipe! Can the rum glaze be made ahead of time, or will it get granular and thick as it sits?

    Thanks for all of your answers!

    • Hi Grace, It’s fine to make it ahead; just reheat to thin it out.

  • I took a risk with this cake – people coming for lunch, no bundt pan, no heavy duty mixer. Armed with my cheap supermarket brand hand mixer, as much confidence as I could muster, and some handwritten conversions (I live in Australia), I divided the batter into two smaller pans, one square, one round, and baked for 45 minutes. Having the step-by-step pictures really helped. Needless to say, both turned out amazing – the round pan needed a little more cooking, but…wow. I’m not much of a baker, but this is my second cake from this blog (the French apple cake is also a fantastic recipe), and now everyone thinks I’m this wonderful cook. Thank you so much!

  • Hi what if you don’t have a cake mix how would you recommend to mix the flour with other stuff. We use to use our hand to blend. Is that workable

    • Hi Ronetta, Your arm will get tired but it’s possible 🙂

  • I’m being stalked for this cake!
    First time, I did it by the book. A crowd pleaser for sure! Second time, I didn’t have cake flour, so I used 2cups of AP & added applesauce.(indiv cup of unsweetened) to combat any dryness. It came out great!

  • Rum cake

    I would like to try this cake in different size pans.
    I have two small angel cake pans ( 7″ ). Would this recipe work in the smaller pans and if so, how long should they bake.
    Thank you,
    , Carolyn

    • — Carolyn Cummings
    • Reply
    • Hi Carolyn, If I’m correct, I believe the 7-inch pan has a 6-cup capacity so it should work perfectly to divide the batter in half. As for baking time, I would start checking at 40-45 minutes. Please let me know how it turns out 🙂

      • Thank you so much. Carolyn

  • This recipe is absolutely delicious!! I’ve made this cake 5 times in the last 3 months and my friends are already asking for more!! I like to put mine in the fridge for a day after cooling; it’s always better the next day! The only thing I do differently is use Zaya instead of Myers. I’d say just use your favorite dark rum! Love, love, love!

  • I made this cake 3 days ago using Haitian rum and omg it was to die for. My hubby devoured it, and requested another one asap. He is out visiting his mom and I am home making another cake! Thank u for this recipe I will be coming back to it for many years now

    • So glad you all enjoyed it, Valerie 🙂

  • Made it for the first time for Super Bowl party and it was super hit. Will make it again.

  • Don’t know what I did wrong but this cake rose way above the pan and then sunk in the middle after the baking time. Maybe because I am in Utah at a higher altitude 4450 ft.? The edges came out all crispy and I had to cut them off as they were higher than the rest of the cake. Any advice?

    • Hi Kristy, So sorry you had trouble with the cake; what size pan did you use?

    • The pan measures 10 inches wide by 4 inches tall. I thought it was a standard bundt pan.

  • Made this with my Grandmom after my mom got Rum as a gift. It was DELICIOUS! So moist. We accidentally added the rum to the drizzle at the beginning instead of the end so the rum taste wasn’t as strong but it was still really yummy!

  • How long should I let the cake cool on the wire rack before and after putting on the glaze?

    • — Trinetta Anderson
    • Reply
    • Hi Trinetta, You want to let it cool about ten minutes.

  • this cake came out dry even with using all the syrup. I did use cake flour. Could you tell me what could have possibly went wrong? Thank you

    • Hi Genia, Did you use the spoon-and-level method to measure the flour?

      • Yes, I did. I just remembered I didn’t poke holes in the top of the cake, but brushed it on instead. Could this be the reason?

        • Hi Genia, Yes, I think that’s probably why; the syrup needs to really soak the cake.

  • can you substitute cake and pastry flour for the cake flour. what is the difference

    • Hi Yvette, I’d stick with cake flour. Pastry flour has has a higher protein content than cake flour, which means your cake won’t be quite as tender.

  • Can ‘King Arthur unbleached cake flour blend’ be substituted for cake flour? It is formulated with unbleached flour and cornstarch and supposed to be a good alternative to using bleached cake flour.

    • Hi Betty, Yes that should work fine.

  • Do you have to use a heavy duty mixer? Or can you just use a hand mixer? I wouldn’t see why it would matter but your receipe is very specific so I just want to make sure.

    • Hi Crystal, A hand mixer will work fine.

  • Followed the recipe exactly and it was absolute perfection. Stayed moist for three days.

  • I did’nt know where to find this info then kaboom it was here.

  • My oh my your grandmother knew how to make a rum cake!!! The texture is perfectly wonderful and the rum in the cake and in the glaze are “over the top.” The cake stays moist until the last morsel is devoured and everyone is saying “Is it really all gone?” Just fair warning: Two slices of this may put you on the “do not drive under the influence list! “

  • I made this cake for 4 july picnic at work and OMG! every one loved it. I accually made one before the party just to make sure that it came out right lol. but it was so easy to make and soooo good,you cant go wrong with rum… The only thing I added was box of pudding mix to the dry ingrediates and almonds on top.

  • I remember this recipe well! I read all your recipes and love so many of them. I also enjoy the occasional family pictures.

  • I’m so glad to see that your Nonny’s rum cake finally made it onto your blog! I knew it was inevitable. I’ve had many, many slices of it over the years and loved it each time, especially in the later years when the rum quotient seemed on the rise.
    This cake is going to make a lot of your readers very happy!

  • Could this me made with King Arthur multi purpose flour without changing the consistency of the cake?

    • Hi Chris, It’s important to use cake flour for this recipe, otherwise the cake will be dense and dry. If you don’t have any on hand, you can easily make your own. For every cup of AP flour, remove two tablespoons, and then add two tablespoons of cornstarch back in. Be sure to whisk the flour to distribute the cornstarch evenly. Works like a charm!

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