This Buttered Rum Cake recipe is a stellar choice for any special occasion. it features a buttery made-from-scratch cake that's embellished with pecans and then soaked with a sweet buttered rum sauce. The combination could only result in an impressive dessert that's sure to get the party started.
Best Buttered Rum Cake Recipe
Rum cake is believed to have originated in the Caribbean islands, brought there by European settlers. It's thought that, what we know as rum cake today, was initially a rum soaked fruit cake steamed pudding. When I hear the term "buttered rum" I instantly think of chilly weather. Truth is, while it's a flavor that's perfectly suitable for fall and winter holidays, I've also known rum cake to be served at Easter and as a special summer dessert. Think island life for summer, and a tasty way to warm-up during the cooler months of the year. Due to this, it's become a year-round cake to bake when I want something special to serve.
Which Rum is Best to Use for Making a Rum Cake?
I've made this cake and tested it with various bands of rum and I seem to always come back to a dark rum. I made this cake using Captain Morgan's Original Spiced Rum with it's subtle notes of caramel and vanilla making it a front runner. The key to choosing the right rum is, choose one that has a flavor you personally enjoy, for the best end result. You may also like this recipe for Rum Punch from Creative Culinary.
How to Make the Best Southern Buttered Rum Cake Recipe
The addition of alcohol means this cake can be made up to one week in advance. Truthfully, I've kept it longer than that, and the flavor of the rum mellows a bit when it's made in advance.
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Buttered Rum Cake: All purpose flour, instant vanilla pudding mix, salt, baking powder, baking soda, dark rum, buttermilk, large eggs, granulated sugar, butter, chopped pecans and vanilla extract.
- To make the Buttered Rum Glaze: Butter, chopped pecans, dark rum, granulated sugar, water, ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
- Kitchen tools you'll need: A 12-14 cup Bundt pan, a stand mixer or a hand mixer, large bowl, small bowl, small saucepan, sharp knife and cutting board or nut chopper, measuring cups and spoons.
- Please note: Pumpkin pie spice does NOT taste like pumpkin. It's a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves or allspice. It's delicious in this cake if you have it on hand. Otherwise, ground cinnamon will work perfectly.
- When baking Bundt cakes, use a quality pan either buttered and floured or sprayed liberally with baking spray. Some of the coatings on pans don't take well to cooking spray and can actually cause the cake to stick.
- The most important thing about making buttered rum cake is patience. It takes some time, as in several minutes, to soak the cake thoroughly with the rum sauce. Be patient, and take it slow to prevent it from pooling all around the bottom of the cake platter. The goal is for the buttered rum to go into the cake.
- Does the alcohol cook out of rum cake? This cake will still have a small amount of alcohol content. If you're averse to using alcohol, you can use buttered rum as a flavoring for the cake and glaze, instead.
- How do you poke holes into the cake? Use a long metal or wooden skewer to poke holes into the cake for the rum glaze. On the top, try to poke holes between the pecans so it still has a pretty presentation.
- Do you frost a rum cake? I typically save a small amount of rum glaze and brush it all over the cake after soaking the top and bottom. It will harden just a tad in the fridge but, softens once it comes back to room temperature. It also gives the cake a pretty shine.
- Why is there pudding in the batter? The vanilla pudding lends a beautiful texture and flavor to the batter of the cake.
- Store baked Buttered Rum Cake chilled for up to 1 week.
More Southern Cake Recipes to Make
- Turn pantry ingredients into this Million Dollar Pound Cake.
- Coconut Cream Cake is lush and delicious.
- Banana Pudding Cake features three layers of banana pudding goodness.
- Pig Pickin' Cake is a year-round favorite.
- Classic Hummingbird Cake is a Southern staple created by Mrs. Wiggins from right here in my neck of the woods North Carolina.
- My recipe for Italian Cream Cake is the only one you'll ever need.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Buttered Rum Cake
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 3.4 oz box instant vanilla pudding
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup buttermilk or whole milk
- ¼ cup dark rum
- Buttered Rum Glaze:
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
- ½ cup dark rum
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a bundt pan or liberally spray with baking spray. Sprinkle pecans evenly on bottom. Set aside.
- Using an electric mix, cream together butter, sugar and vanilla on medium-high for 2 minutes, or until creamy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, pudding mix, baking powder, baking soda and salt. A whisk works perfectly.
- Whisk together buttermilk and rum.
- With the mixer on low speed gradually add dry ingredients alternately with wet ingredients beginning and ending with flour. After all is added, beat just until fully combined stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes back clean.
- About 10 minutes before the cake is finished baking, make the buttered rum glaze.
- To make the glaze: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the sugar, water and pumpkin pie spice. Bring to a boil, then lower to medium cooking for 3 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and add rum. Be careful the mixture may foam up. Continue to stir until foam dies down, placing back onto the stovetop with the heat turned off. Cook for 1 minute then set aside.
- When cake is finished baking, remove from the oven. Use a long thin skewer to poke holes over the bottom of the cake. Slowly pour ½ buttered rum glaze over bottom of cake allowing it to soak in between pours. Let cake sit for 1 hour to cool in the pan.
- Carefully turn cake onto a platter or stand. Use the same skewer to poke holes in the top of the cake. Try to poke between the pecans. Slowly pour remaining glaze into holes on top of cake. Be patient this will take several minutes. The slower you go, the more glaze goes into the cake and doesn't pool on platter. (It may be necessary to warm the glaze slightly before pouring onto the top.)
- Once cooled, cover and chill for at least 1 day. The rum flavor mellows the longer this cake proofs.
Can I halve this recipe? Thx.
I haven't tested it, I make this recipe just as written. You could freeze half, if you're wanting a smaller cake. If you try halving it, let us know how it goes!
Is their a substitute for the vanilla pudding? I can't get it
I suppose you could omit it, if you can't find it.
Fantastic favor and moistness!!
Hello, How long ahead can this be made?
You can make this cake a couple of days in advance, no problem.
Can I use white rum instead?
If you prefer it, sure.
Robbie L. McCoy
Will make this cake.
Can brown sugar be substituted for white sugar in the glaze?
I haven't tested it. If you try it, let us know how it goes!