How To Make the Best “Que Rico” Rum Cake

Homemade Rum Cake

When you think of the Caribbean islands, you think of turquoise blue water, white sand beaches, wonderful local cuisine, and, of course, all those great rum-based drinks. It’s no wonder that rum is the spirit of choice in the islands.

Historically, most islands had basis in the sugar trade. And where there’s sugar, there’s bound to be rum. And that is especially true of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rican rums are known the world over, whether it’s Bacardi, Captain Morgan, Palo Viejo, Boca Chica Rum, Ron Llave, Ron Castillo, Ron del Barrilito, Ron Rico, or the local favorite, Don Q. Of course, probably the most famous rum drinks are the Pina Colada, Mojito, Daiquiri, and Rum Punch. There’s also the local Puerto Rican favorite Coquito, which is served around the Holidays.

In addition to drinks, rum plays into many Caribbean recipes – both main dishes and desserts. One of our all time favorite desserts is Rum Cake. There’s nothing quite like your first taste of Tortuga Rum Cake when you’re visiting the Cayman Islands. Once you taste it, you have to buy a couple boxes to take home for your friends (and for yourself!). But eventually, you eat it all … and then what are going to do? You’re going through Rum Cake withdrawal!

That’s happened to us, and we started a quest to find the best Rum Cake recipe. It took a lot of tries, and many not-so-good rum cakes, which we had to eat (who’s going to throw out perfectly good rum?). But we finally settled on an excellent and (surprisingly) easy recipe, which we’re going to share with our readers.

When we first started looking for a recipe, we figured that we’d have to make it from scratch. So we pulled out the flour, butter, eggs, baking soda, and baking powder and went to work. But nothing we could find gave us the spongy, fluffy and moist Rum Cake we wanted. Then we found it. Simple, really. Standard yellow cake mix. Instant vanilla pudding. And, with a couple of time-tested tweaks, we’ve found what we consider the be the perfect recipe for homemade Rum Cake.

*For best results, make it a day or two ahead of time and then store it in an air-tight container- that way the rum glaze really soaks all the way through the cake.

Here it is …

Warning – This Rum Cake is highly addictive!

Ingredients for Cake …

  • 1 pkg yellow cake mix (if you can find it without pudding in it – get it)
  • 1 (4-serving size) package instant vanilla pudding
  • ½ cup oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup gold rum
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup very chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Ingredients for Glaze …

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¾ cup gold rum or a little more if desired!

Mix and Bake the Cake …

  • Mix cake mix, pudding, oil, water and rum
  • Add eggs
  • Use mixer to blend
  • Grease bundt pan and line with nuts
  • Pour batter into pan, covering nuts
  • Bake at 325°F. for 50-60 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean)
  • After cake has cooled for a few minutes, turn it out of the pan.

Once you take the cake out of the oven, make the glaze …

  • Melt butter in saucepan
  • Stir in water and sugar
  • Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly
  • Remove from heat – let it sit for a few minutes to cool
  • Stir in rum, slowly- if it bubbles, let the mixture cool before adding more rum
  • While to cake is still warm, pour most of the glaze into the bundt pan. (Note: the cake soaks up best if it is still warm)
  • Put the cake back into the bundt pan to absorb the glaze
  • Pour the remaining glaze onto the bottom of the cake (in the pan)
  • Let it soak in the glaze
  • Once all of the glaze has been absorbed by the cake, turn the cake out of the pan onto your serving platter and let it cool completely

Enjoy a slice plain, or (our favorite) heat a slice in the microwave for 15 seconds and then top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Que Rico! Disfrute! assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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