This Homemade Rum Cake is made completely from scratch, incredibly buttery, soft, light, and packed with rum flavor. This cake is also topped with an easy rum glaze that keeps it moist for days!

A baked rum cake resting on a round cooling rack and the rum glaze being poured over the top.

Today’s rum cake recipe is one that’s been highly requested over the last few months. I can’t even tell you how many rum cakes I went through to get the winning recipe, but it was a lot! But the end result was completely worth it because this rum cake is incredibly delicious.

Unlike most rum cakes, this cake is made completely from scratch without the use of a box cake mix. This rum cake is also super soft, light, moist, and packed with rum. It’s also topped with a simple rum glaze that helps keep the cake moist and add even more rum flavor.

If you prefer a lighter rum flavor, I’ve included options for how to do that. I’ve even included a video tutorial to show you exactly how to make this homemade rum cake!

A bundt pan filled with cake batter ready to go into the oven.

How To Make This Rum Cake

While this rum cake has several steps, it’s not too complicated. Here’s a breakdown of exactly how to make the cake:

  • Cream together your butter and sugar: I suggest mixing the butter and sugar together for 4-5 minutes until it’s light in color and fluffy. This will incorporate more air into your cake batter which will give you a lighter crumb.
  • Mix in the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla: It’s best to mix these in one at a time.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients: For the dry ingredients, you’ll be using some cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Don’t have any cake flour on hand? You can use my homemade cake flour substitute.
  • Whisk together the buttermilk and rum: The buttermilk keeps this cake moist and soft. If you don’t have any on hand you can use my homemade buttermilk substitute. I also prefer to use dark rum in this cake, but gold or spiced rum would be fine too!
  • Alternate dry ingredients with the buttermilk rum mixture: You’ll alternate mixing the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with the buttermilk rum mixture. There is a lot of batter so this helps to ensure that you don’t overmix it.
  • Spray a pan generously with nonstick cooking spray: Do not skimp on the cooking spray! I find this batter to be a little stickier than other cake batters. Make sure to use a nonstick cooking spray and spray the pan really well, getting every single nook and cranny. I also like to sprinkle a cup of chopped nuts into the pan before adding the batter. The nuts add a wonderful flavor and also help to keep the cake from sticking too.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40-55 minutes

A glass measuring cup holding the rum syrup.

Once the cake is done baking, set it on a cooling rack to cool in the pan slightly while you prep the rum glaze. For the glaze, you’ll be using unsalted butter, granulated sugar, rum, water, and pure vanilla extract.

You’ll start by melting the butter in a large saucepan. It helps to slice the butter into smaller tablespoon-sized pieces so that it melts faster too. Next, you’ll stir in the sugar, rum, and water and bring it to a boil.

Once the mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and let it simmer for another 6-8 minutes. Then, remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Keep in mind that this is more like syrup so it will be very thin, it will thicken a little bit as it cools but not too much.

A close up of the finished cake with glazed poured over the top while still in the pan.

Then, use a skewer or a fork to poke holes in the cake and pour about one-third of the glaze over it. I suggest letting it sit for about 10 minutes so the glaze can firm up.

Once it’s ready, carefully flip the cake over onto a cooling rack and use a skewer or fork to poke more holes in the top of the cake. Then, spoon the remaining glaze directly over the top of the cake. I like to place a piece of foil or parchment paper under the cooling rack to catch any glaze and spoon it back over the cake.

A finished rum cake resting on a round cooling rack with a slice cut out to show the cake texture.

Once the cake has cooled completely you can slice it up and enjoy it or store it in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve it.  

FAQ’s

What’s the best type of rum to use?

I prefer the taste of this cake with dark rum, Myer’s Dark Rum was my personal favorite! However, gold or spiced rum would work just as well in this cake too.

Does this cake need to be refrigerated?

No, this cake can be stored at room temperature. You may store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

How can I adjust this cake for a lighter rum flavor?

For a lighter rum flavor, you can use gold rum. You may also use less rum glaze or simply cut the recipe for the glaze in half.

A single slice of cake on a rustic clay plate and a bite taken out with a fork.

Baking Tips

  • I’ve tested this cake with Myer’s Dark Rum and Bacardi Gold Rum, both worked great!
  • Make sure to spray your bundt pan generously with nonstick cooking spray. The batter can be a bit sticky, so be sure to spray your pan very well. I find that butter and flouring the pan didn’t work as well, so be sure to stick with nonstick cooking spray.
  • The chopped pecans or walnuts are completely optional. I prefer the taste of the cake with nuts and it also helps provide extra reassurance to keep your cake from sticking to the pan.
  • I suggest cutting the butter for the glaze into smaller pieces, this will help it melt much faster. 

Video Tutorial

A baked rum cake resting on a round cooling rack and the rum glaze being poured over the top.

Homemade Rum Cake

5 from 4 ratings
Prep Time: 45 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
This Homemade Rum Cake is made completely from scratch, incredibly buttery, soft, light, and packed with rum flavor. This cake is also topped with an easy rum glaze that keeps it moist for days!

Ingredients

Servings: 12 slices

To make the rum cake:

  • 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 and ¾ cups (305 grams) cake flour spooned & leveled
  • 2 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) buttermilk
  • cup (80 ml) dark rum
  • 1 cup (120 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans optional

To make the rum syrup:

  • ½ cup (115 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (120 ml) dark rum
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions
 

To make the rum cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes). Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in the egg yolk and pure vanilla extract, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large measuring cup whisk together the buttermilk and rum. Set aside.
  • Alternate mixing the dry ingredients with the buttermilk rum mixture into the wet ingredients in three additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
  • Generously spray a 10-inch (12-cup) bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray, making sure to fully coat the entire pan. Sprinkle the chopped nuts into the pan and spread them around in an even layer. Scoop the batter into the prepared bundt pan over the chopped nuts and spread it around into one even layer.
  • Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 40-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil for the last 5-10 minutes of baking time if needed to prevent excess browning.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool slightly in the pan while you prepare the glaze.

To make the rum glaze:

  • Slice the butter into pieces and place it in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the sugar, rum, and water to the saucepan and stir until well combined.
  • Bring to a rapid boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture begins to rapidly boil, reduce the heat to medium-low heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, then stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Use a skewer to poke holes in the cake, spoon about 1/3 of the glaze over the cake in the pan. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes.
  • Place some foil or parchment paper under the wire rack, then carefully invert the cake onto the wire rack and remove it from the pan. Use a skewer to poke holes on the top of the cake and then carefully spoon the rest of the glaze on top of the cake and around the sides.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely, then serve, and enjoy!

Notes

Store leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Freezing Instructions: Cake will freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. 
Cake Flour: I prefer to use Swansdown or Pillsbury Softasilk cake flour in this recipe. If you don't have any, you can use my homemade cake flour substitute.
Buttermilk: Don't have any buttermilk on hand? You can use my homemade buttermilk substitute here.
Rum: I really loved the taste of this cake with dark rum, but you can also use a gold or spiced rum in this cake. 
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Author: Danielle
Did you make this recipe?Mention @livewellbakeoften on Instagram or tag #livewellbakeoften.