This cake is just like the golden pound cakes your grandmother baked with a nip of rum in the batter and topped with a gooey Buttered Rum Sauce. A golden aged rum gives the cake a well-balanced caramel note but any type of rum will work – white, dark aged, or spiced.
What You’ll Need for This Recipe
Dark Rum: Choose a dark rum with lots of flavor and if possible notes of vanilla. You don’t have to go all out on the rum you use in the batter but if you want to then use a nicer rum in the glaze.
Heavy Cream: You can use heavy cream, whipping cream, or double cream.
Buttermilk: This lends a nice tang, delicate crumb, and a bit of lift to your cake. If you don’t have any on hand just whip up a substitute; I have a whole post on how to make buttermilk!
Vegetable Oil and unsalted butter: These fats give you a nice soft crumb.
How to Make Rum Cake
1. Set oven to 325F then butter and flour a large bundt pan. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, whisk together and set aside.
2. Add the room temperature butter, oil, and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment then beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. You can scrape the bowl down after a minute or so if you see some unmixed butter at the bottom/side. This recipe can also definitely be done in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer.
3. Add the vanilla and room temperature eggs one at a time while mixing on medium speed. Allow the eggs to get incorporated before adding the next.
4. Add the flour in three batches alternating with the rum and buttermilk. Scrape the bowl down toward the end and mix until just combined.
5. Transfer the batter to your prepared bundt pan and smooth the top using a spatula. Tap the pan on the floor to help settle the batter then bake at 325F for about 65 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
6. To make the rum sauce melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat then add the brown sugar, rum, salt, and cream. Stir until sugar is dissolved and bring to a boil. Allow sauce to boil for 4-5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Transfer sauce to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature giving an occasional stir.
Pro Tips for this Recipe
- Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
- Use your favorite, less expensive rum. A golden aged rum, white rum, or spiced rum will all work beautifully. Since the cake is being baked, don’t use your top-shelf bottle in the batter. If you want to splurge somewhere, use nicer rum in the glaze.
- To speed up cooling of the glaze, place container in an ice bath and stir continuously until glaze is thick but pourable and feels slightly cool to the touch.
- No buttermilk on hand? Mix whole milk or half and half with 1½ teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice. Let stand for at least 5 minutes before using.
- This cake is perfect year-round, but for a festive holiday flair, add 2 teaspoons of your favorite spice or spice blend to the flour mixture in step 3. You can also decorate the top with chopped candied pecans or candied fruit pieces.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best rum to use for this rum cake?
I like using a dark rum with lots of spice and a bit of vanilla. You don’t have to use anything fancy for the batter as all that nuance will bake off. Capitan Morgan is a great choice or you can use a rum you enjoy drinking or have on hand. If you want to use a fancier rum then add it to the sauce.
Can rum cake get you drunk?
Almost all the alcohol is baked off in this cake as well as the sauce so it really cannot get you drunk without eating massive quantities.
Does rum cake need to be refrigerated?
This rum cake fairs well at room temperature but you should keep it covered. If you would like to store it for longer then the cake can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for two months. Butter cakes are ALWAYS enjoyed slightly warm so go ahead and pop your cake into the oven at 300F for a few minutes or microwave a piece for 10-15 seconds before enjoying.
If you’ve tried this Rum Cake recipe then don’t forget to leave a rating and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
- 10- to 15-cup Bundt pan
For the Cake:
- 2 cups granulated sugar 400g
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened 113g
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil 120mL
- 3 cups all-purpose flour 360g
- 4 eggs room temperature, large
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 10mL
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup buttermilk 120mL
- ¾ cup aged rum 180mL
For the Buttered Rum Sauce:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter 70g
- ¼ cup granulated sugar 50g
- ¼ cup light brown sugar 50g, firmly packed
- ¼ cup aged rum 60mL
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream 60mL
- 2-3 dashes angostura bitters optional
- 1 pinch salt
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 325F. Spray a (10- to 15-cup) Bundt pan with baking spray or butter and flour it.
- Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl then whisk together.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, oil, and sugar, on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Add vanilla, beating just until combined.
- With the mixer on low, add flour mixture alternating with rum and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture just until combined.
- Pour batter into pan. Gently tap on counter a few times to settle batter.
- Bake for 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert onto a cool rack and let cool completely. Glaze cooled cake with half of Buttered Rum Sauce. Serve with remaining sauce.
For the Sauce:
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until fully combined. Bring to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a heat-proof bowl or measuring cup; let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Use immediately or store chilled in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Warm slightly before using.