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How To Make the Best "Que Rico" Rum Cake

Homemade Rum CakeWhen 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 →

Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

There are 20 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

All depends on your taste I guess. And the type of rum you use could also affect it. Just reduce the amount in the glaze, that is what you really taste.

Comment by Gwenn on 17 Dec 2018

I made this today.fallowed to the seems like it has way to much rum

Comment by Charles Coufal on 16 Dec 2018

Definitely works best when you turn the cake out after ten minutes, count to thirty. And put pan over cake a flip . Cake is now backin the pan. Poke holes in the cake with a toothpick and slowly pour glaze on and around cake edge. Cake may appear to float. That is good. Cover pan with plastic wrap and walk away. Three hours later, you now have a perfect rum cake to transport easily. Flip on arrival and display with a small glass of flowers in the center hole.

Comment by Claudia Robinstein on 01 Jul 2016

Loved this cake added a little more rum in glaze , yummy.

Comment by Karen gomzalez on 07 Dec 2015

cant wait to try this thank you so much.

Comment by diana serrano on 13 Jul 2015

Thank you very much for the wonderful recipe!! I made this cake on my birthday and within an hour it got finished. (14 people ;) ).. Everyone loved the heavenly rich cake pieces. !!! I also shared your recipe on facebook #chefatlarge as I followed. !!

Comment by Prachi on 04 Aug 2014

This is my second time making this. Tip: I use banana instant pudding for my Betty Crocker yellow cake and in addition to adding crumb walnuts before adding the mix I purchased a can of slice pineapples and added sliced pineapple on top of the crushed walnut then poured the cake mix. I also use Captain Morgan dark spice rum and for the glaze I use the pineapple juice instead of water. Perfection.

Comment by Jose M. Laboy on 19 Apr 2014

I know a person who uses the boxed cake mix..and charges $50 . I think that is absurd.

Comment by IANEZ on 04 Jan 2013

I made this last year, I was addicted! Everyone LOVED it.... It will be my new tradtional RUM CAKE every holiday! Thank you!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Tanja Lippert on 21 Dec 2012

Thank u for the receipt! I have made this cake so far 4 times an the last one i added raisin to the left over glaze left over from the cake before and added to the cake batter and it came out Bad Ass! Thank U!!!

Comment by Art on 22 Nov 2012

When I first had this with my cousin I couldn't stop so the addiction is so true. Lol

Comment by siclali on 21 Jul 2012

@AJ- yes, I realize using a cake mix and pudding mix is cheating, but of all the real "from scratch" recipes I tried (and I tried a lot!) made the cake very heavy. The cake needs to be light and fluffy.

Comment by Gwenn on 05 Apr 2012

Hey, this recipie is meant to be from scratch, but I don't know what the heck to use for "1 pkg yellow cake mix and 1 (4-serving size) package instant vanilla pudding" as that is nothing like what we have here in Australia. What do others suggest if I really want to make this from scratch (ie from raw ingredients not using packet mixes etc)

Comment by AJ on 17 Mar 2012

I was asked to make rum cake this year for thanksgiving I stumbled across this recipe and decided to give it a try. I doubled the amount of rum used for the glaze and it came out fantastic! It's thebest rum are I have ever had. This will be my go to receipe for future purposes. I can't stress enough how easy and great tasting this was! Thank you.

Comment by Carmen on 21 Nov 2011

Great recipe! I am from Puerto Rico and I know how a good rum cake taste!!! I did this recipe and my family loved it, me too!!! It taste a lot better if you use Bacardi Rum!!!

Comment by Melanie on 15 Sep 2011

@Cheffrei- I was wondering how you make that chocolate cherry vodka cake?! I really want to make it for someone's birthday!

Comment by Jonathan on 14 Sep 2011

On this cake, i took out the water, and then doubled the Rum. (1 cup) and less on the oil (1/4 cup) Also i have used, vodka flavored, jager, orange rum, kahula… just do what ever kind you like. the Chocolate Cherry Vodka Cake was the best cake i made.

Comment by Cheffrei on 09 Oct 2010

This cake is the best I have ever made! My family raved about it. I got a sample at deli in Kenosha WI and made it the next day. Delicious and easy.

Comment by JCRoth on 28 May 2009

This sounds sooo good. Can't wait to taste! Thanks for the recipe!

Comment by Steph Cakes on 22 Jun 2008

Warning - This Rum Cake is highly addictive! LOL it sure looks good.

Comment by Koral on 06 Jun 2008

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