Rum Cake

I dated a guy whose housekeeper (yes, he had a housekeeper) made the best rum cake I’ve ever tasted. Each time she made it I would eat slice upon slice, replacing every meal with a plate full of rum cake until it was gone and I was left licking the rum cake essence off of the crumb-flecked plate. One day I asked for the recipe and she said, “You don’t want to know what’s in this thing.”

Well, she was right. As someone who likes to make things from scratch and typically abhors boxed mixes, I was confused beyond belief when she told me the cake I regularly inhaled was formulated from not 1, but 2 boxed mixes. If it was a recipe I used every day I’d try to change it, but as a special occasion treat I’d much rather keep it as delicious as I remember and banish away concerns of strange ingredients hidden in boxed mixes for as long as it takes to eat a piece of cake.


Those who know me know that I like to cook with alcohol. There is an entire tag on PippaCooks dedicated to incorporating alcohol into food and this cake takes the…well…um…cake. It’s VERY boozy and it’s one of the things I love most about it. But, that also means that it’s not the best option for, say, a school bake sale or other gathering where getting buzzed off of baked goods isn’t generally seen as good manners.

You can always scale up the intensity by adding rum, but it’s hard to scale it back down, so think about how strong you want it before adding an extra cup of the good stuff.

This is, as far as I can tell, a pretty standard recipe that lots of people make so I won’t claim ownership or inventiveness, but it is absolutely delicious!

Rum Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 box vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup dark rum (I prefer Myers but it should be good enough that you’d drink it neat without cringing)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 tbsp butter
  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. Grease a bundt pan with Pam or vegetable oil.
  3. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, and 1/2 cup rum in a mixing bowl. Stir until smooth.
  4. Pour batter into the bundt pan and level with a spatula.
  5. Bake for 45min-1hr or until the top is light brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let cake cool.
  7. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk in brown sugar.
  8. When the butter/sugar mixture begins to bubble, remove from heat and whisk in 1 cup rum. Set aside.
  9. With the cake still in the pan, prick the cake all over with a thin skewer or toothpick.
  10. Pour 1/2 of glaze over cake. Let sit, still in pan, for at least 1 hour.
  11. Turn cake out onto a platter and top with the remaining glaze, pouring slowly to cover evenly. Some of the glaze will puddle on the platter. If you are really ambitious carefully pour it off into a cup and pour back over the cake.
  12. Let sit for at least 4 hours. I prefer to let it sit overnight in the fridge, and then take it out a few hours before serving to get to room temperature.
  13. Serve in 1/2″ slices!

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