Easy Rum Cake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Easy Rum Cake is a tasty, rich homemade buttery yellow cake with dark rum in the cake batter and the glaze. A Scratch Rum Cake Recipe (Box Mix Option Too)!

Yellow Cake takes a tropical vacation with this popular, boozy Caribbean bundt cake. This easy Cake Recipe from scratch has lots of spiced rum flavor, plus bonus box cake mix adjustments!

Easy Rum Cake on cake stand


A golden Rum cake is the perfect dessert whenever you are craving tropical, summery flavors all year long. This boozy treat has bit of dark rum in the buttery yellow cake batter and then is soaked in an easy rum syrup so there’s maximum rum flavor in every bite.

The ingredient list looks long for Rum Cake but it’s actually really simple with the step by step instructions in this post. There are some tips included so that you get a perfectly golden Rum Cake every time.

To make this Easy Rum Cake even easier, cut the ingredients list in half by substituting a box of yellow cake mix and a box of vanilla pudding mix. There are instructions below for a semi-homemade Rum cake that is just as delicious! You prepare the glaze the same as the recipe card, but take note of the cake adjustments.

This tasty rum-soaked cake is a poke cake, which is pretty much what it sounds like. A poke cake is an old fashioned technique to get lots of flavor and a super moist cake! Normally a poke cake is a sheet cake and you poke holes on top. Since the bundt cake is inverted while you add the rum glaze, you are poking holes in the bottom of the cake, then flipping over to serve.

Tips for Making Rum Cake from Scratch

  • Bring your dairy and your eggs to room temperature, about 30 minutes on the counter, before starting this Rum Cake recipe.
  • Grease the bundt pan generously. Even a non-stick bundt pan needs to be sprayed with cooking spray.
  • You can use an Angel Food cake pan with a removable bottom if you don’t want to invert your cake.
  • If you don’t want to use rum, you can still get great rum flavor by following the variations in this post.
  • Serve your Rum Cake with Whipped Cream (spiked with spiced rum!) and Pineapple Topping.


Easy Rum Cake on cake stand in bundt cake mold


  • Pina Colada Cake: To make a cocktail inspired cake, use ½ cup pineapple juice instead of water in the rum glaze. Fold shredded sweetened coconut into the cake batter instead of pecans.
  • Non-Alcoholic Rum Cake: Substitute 1 teaspoon rum extract for the dark rum in the cake batter. For the rum glaze, increase the water to a full cup and use 2 tablespoons rum extract. 
  • Pecan Streusel: Combine brown sugar, chopped pecans, and melted butter until a crumble forms. Sprinkle in the bottom of the bundt pan and pour batter over the streusel.
  • Topping Ideas: Serve Rum Cake with toppings like with Vanilla Ice CreamStrawberry Topping, or Salted Caramel Sauce.
  • Pudding Mix: You can add 1 box of instant pudding mix (3.4 ounces) to make this cake extra flavorful and moist. The most popular is vanilla pudding, but try banana, butterscotch, or caramel pudding too! If you want this cake from scratch, use this DIY Chocolate Pudding recipe minus the butter.


1 cup chopped pecans 
1 package yellow cake mix
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix, 3.4 ounces
4 eggs
½ cup water 
½ cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons dark rum

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease a 10 cup bundt pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Stir in the eggs, water, oil, and rum, until well combined.
  • Fold in the chopped pecans.
  • Pour cake batter into the bundt pan.
    Bake for 60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Prepare glaze according to the recipe instructions.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes then poke holes into the bottom of the cake with a fork, and pour in the glaze one-third at a time waiting for it to soak all the way in before you pour the next part in.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert cake onto serving plate.



  • Serve: Golden Rum Cake is best served at room temperature, but it needs to be stored after 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Store: Cover your Easy Rum Cake tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Freeze Rum Cake without the rum glaze. Freeze cake wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Prepare rum sauce as normal, poke holes in cake, and glaze at least 30 minutes before serving.

Easy Rum Cake slice on plate

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Easy Rum Cake

Easy Rum Cake is a tasty, rich homemade buttery yellow cake with dark rum in the cake batter and the glaze. A Scratch Rum Cake Recipe (Box Mix Option Too)!
Yield 16
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder



  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter , softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 5 large eggs , room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk , room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pecans , chopped


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum


Rum Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 10-cup bundt pan with baking spray.
  • To your stand mixer add the butter and sugar on high speed and cream it until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in the brown sugar and beat for another 30 seconds.
  • Add in the eggs, one at a time until well combined.
  • Lower speed to medium and add in the sour cream, milk, vanilla and rum until well combined.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and add it in small batches on low speed until just combined.
  • Fold in the pecans with a spatula and pour the batter into your bundt pan.
  • Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Rum Glaze

  • Add all the ingredients to a medium sauce pan and stir well.
  • Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, then let cool while cake is baking.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes then poke holes into the bottom of the cake with a fork, and pour in the glaze ⅓ at a time waiting for it to soak all the way in before you pour the next part in.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert cake onto serving plate.


Calories: 592kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 178mg | Potassium: 142mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 838IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg

Easy Rum Cake collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Wow the whole family agreed the pecans make it great! I used white chocolate pudding. I did use chop sticks to poke holes in the cake to add the glaze, instead of the fork. I felt the fork wouldn’t go down into the cake enough. But other then those 2 changes I would not change a thing and I would recommend this recipe!

  2. Hi Sabrina – I helped my son bake this easy rum cake recipe for his co-workers and it was delicious! They raved about it! It was super moist, very rich, and very sweet. But, next time he makes it, I’m going to recommend that he use a wooden skewer to pierce the cake before pouring on the glaze. With just a fork, per the directions, the glaze pooled on the bottom and didn’t penetrate all the way through the cake. While I thought it affected the texture, his coworkers didn’t mind it one bit.

    I love your recipes and I’ve ordered your cookbook. Can’t wait to try some of your wonderful recipes.

  3. Ah, this is what I was searching for, a simple and crisp recipe. Assembling all the required ingredients now. Waiting for my family for the review. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Yum, I love rum cakes and this is perfect to start with a box cake mix. Sometimes I just don’t have time to bake everything from scratch. Great share!

  5. My family will love this cake, being Caribbean this cake is so homely. I would love to bake it for myself but would feel guilty if I don’t share. Thank you!

  6. Thank you so much for including the yellow cake mix substitution directions! Sometimes (ok, most of the time) I need every shortcut I can get. This is a delicious cake, thanks so much for sharing the recipe!