Rum Cake

Skip to Recipe
I love cake, but I hate soggy cakes.  Let’s just get that out in the open right now.  Living in South Florida, I’ve had my share of unappetizingly soggy birthday/wedding/baby shower/quince cakes.  This is the main reason why, for a very long time, I paid no mind to anyone that told me that I should learn to make rum cake.  A pound cake soaked in rum syrup?  I don’t even DRINK rum.  So, yeah.  No thanks.

To be honest, I don’t even remember what possessed me to finally give it a shot.  All I know is that, one day, I began scouring the web for recipes.  Much to my dismay, most recipes started off with a box of cake mix.  Shame on them!  I will not defile my kitchen with such blasphemy.  Eventually, I came across this recipe.  After some tweaks, it was a keeper.  In the 2-3 years that I have been making rum cakes, this is one of the most-requested cakes in my repertoire.  It also holds the distinction of being one of the very few “soaked” cakes that I have a stomach for.

The cake is basically a pound cake.  So, as any good pound cake recipe goes, it starts with butter and sugar.

Butter and sugar: Because living until old age is overrated
Butter and sugar: Because living until old age is overrated

Cream your butter and sugar until smooth and incorporated.

After that’s done, add your eggs.  Do this one-at-a-time, and mix after adding each egg.

Make sure you’re scraping your bowl down so that everything gets mixed together properly.

While the mixer is whirring away, start sifting your dry ingredients.  I used to skip the sifting, but it does make a difference. So, try not to skip this step.

Gradually add your dry ingredients and your wet ingredients in increments, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined.

Add in your vanilla and rum extracts, and mix one last time until just combined.

Pour your batter into a generously greased Bundt pan.  I like to use Baker’s Joy, but use whatever works for you.

Then, into the oven it goes!

About 10 minutes before it’s time to take the cake out of the oven, start making your rum syrup.


Butter, sugar, and a little bit of water go into the saucepan.  Then, turn the heat to medium or medium-high.


It will start to bubble and simmer.  Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until all of the sugar dissolves.


Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the rum.  Be careful, because it might splatter.  I use spiced rum, but use whatever type of rum you want.  If you’re using  a white rum, then the color will be different.


If you timed it correctly, you should be pulling a fully-baked cake out of the oven around the same time that your rum syrup is done.

IMG_4893While the cake is still hot, remove it from the pan.  Pour about half of your rum syrup into the bottom of your bundt pan.  I do this as soon as I take the cake out of the oven.  The hotter the cake, the better it absorbs the liquid.


Next, flip your cake back into the bundt pan.  Poke holes in the cake using a toothpick or skewer, then slowly pour the remaining rum syrup over the cake.


Don’t rush.  If you see that the syrup is puddling up on top and around the cake, stop and leave it for a minute or two for the cake to absorb.  Then, continue pouring.  Allow it to sit in the pan for at least 2 hours.


Once all of the syrup is absorbed, and the cake is cool, you can remove it from the pan.  Personally, I like my cake still warm from the oven, but I have heard that it gets better with age.  It never lasts long enough for that, though.

Update 7/3/2014: Thanks to a large supply of mangoes I received, I also found out that you can also make a Mango Rum Cake by replacing the buttermilk with mango pulp.  It might need to bake a little bit longer, though.

Rum Cake

(adapted from recipe at


For the cake

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon rum flavored extract

For the rum syrup

  • 1/2  cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup rum


For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9 or 10 inch bundt pan, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Cream 1 cup of the butter and 2 cups of the white sugar together. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each one.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and add alternately with the buttermilk and rum to the egg mixture. Stir in the vanilla and rum extracts. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour. Remove cake from oven and pour all of the Rum Butter glaze over cake while still warm. Leave cake in pan for 2 hours before removing to serving dish.

For the Butter Rum Glaze:

Melt the remaining 1/2 cup of butter, 2 tbsp water, and 1 cup of white sugar over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Use immediately to glaze cake.

One comment

  1. […] Replacing the buttermilk with an equal amount of mango puree is all it takes to turn a regular rum cake into a MANGO rum cake! […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *