Caribbean Rum Cake Recipe

While rum can be made anywhere in the world, many of the major rum producers are in the Caribbean, per Thrillist, and this spirit is often associated with not only cocktails but foods from this region. One well-known Caribbean specialty is rum cake, especially the fruit-filled black cakes that are a Christmas staple. This rum cake recipe, however, is much lighter in color and not at all fruitcake-like. As recipe developer Ting Dalton describes it, "This rum cake is full of flavor — soft, moist, [and] with a tang of rum ... It's like eating a piece of sunshine." She does say that even if you're not a rum drinker, the booze in this cake "isn't overpowering [and] really adds to the overall taste."

While not all cake batters include cornstarch, Dalton uses it in this recipe because "it acts as an anti-caking agent and helps make the sponge of the cake very light and soft with a wonderful texture." As regards another ingredient, though, she does say, "[If you] don't like walnuts, you could use other nuts including hazelnuts or almonds, or leave [the nuts] out altogether" as they are not an integral part of the cake.

Assemble the ingredients for the rum cake

To make the rum cake, you'll need some rum, of course. Dalton doesn't specify any one kind, but she's using dark rum here. You'll also need butter, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, eggs, milk, and vanilla, as well as some chopped walnuts if you'd like to use them. Once the cake is done, you'll also need some powdered sugar to sprinkle it with as a decorative final touch.

Make the cake batter

Before you get started baking, preheat the oven to 300 F, then grease and flour a standard-sized 10-inch bundt pan. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the bottom of the pan.

Mix the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Stir together the eggs, milk, rum and vanilla in a different bowl. In yet another bowl (or a stand mixer, should you have one), cream 2 sticks of butter with the brown sugar and 1 cup of the white sugar. Once the mixture looks pale and fluffy, add the dry ingredients a little at a time and beat them for a few minutes until the mixture is well-combined. Now add the egg mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Bake the cake

Once the batter is thoroughly mixed, pour it into the bundt pan and over the nuts — these are not mixed in, but are meant to stay at the top of the cake once it comes out of the pan. Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes, then check to see if it is done by sticking a toothpick or skewer into the center and seeing if it comes out clean. If not, bake the cake for a few more minutes until it passes the toothpick test. Once the cake comes out of the oven, let it sit in the pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before you do anything more with it.

Make the rum syrup

As the cake cools, you can make the syrup. Melt the remaining butter, then stir in the remaining granulated sugar along with the water. Let the syrup come to a boil, then turn the heat down so it's just simmering and cook it for 5 minutes or until it thickens up a bit. Turn off the heat, then stir in the rum.

Infuse the cake with the syrup

Poke the bottom of the cake all over with a toothpick or a skewer, then brush half of the rum syrup over it and let the syrup soak in. Flip the cake over onto the rack and gently remove the bundt pan. Brush the rest of the glaze over the top and sides of the cake, then let it sit and soak in for at least 20 minutes. Once the time is up, you can go ahead and sprinkle the cake with some powdered sugar before you eat it.

Dalton says "This [cake] will keep for up to three days in an airtight container." If three days isn't enough time to finish off such a large cake, you may wish to refrigerate or even freeze the leftovers.

Caribbean Rum Cake Recipe
5 from 9 ratings
If you're looking for a great dessert, learn how to make a delicious and moist Caribbean rum cake topped with walnuts that features a sweet and tangy flavor.
Prep Time
Cook Time
bundt cake with powdered sugar
Total time: 1.5 hours
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, divided
  • ¾ cup rum, divided
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup water
  • Powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 F.
  2. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan and sprinkle the walnuts over the bottom.
  3. Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  4. Mix the eggs, milk, rum, and vanilla.
  5. Cream the brown sugar, 1 cup of white sugar, and 2 sticks (8 ounces) of butter together until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the sugar and butter mixture, beating for a few minutes at a medium-low speed.
  7. Add the egg mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating until well combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the bundt pan.
  9. Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick or skewer comes out clean.
  10. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  11. Melt the remaining butter, then stir in the water and remaining granulated sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
  12. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer the syrup, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until it has thickened slightly.
  13. Take the syrup off the heat and add the rum.
  14. Poke holes all over the cake bottom with a toothpick or skewer.
  15. Brush half of the glaze over the cake bottom and let it soak in.
  16. Invert the cake onto the rack.
  17. Brush the remaining glaze over the top and sides of the cake.
  18. Let the glaze soak into the cake for at least 20 minutes.
  19. Dust the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar.
Calories per Serving 564
Total Fat 28.0 g
Saturated Fat 15.5 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 115.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 67.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Total Sugars 53.6 g
Sodium 221.9 mg
Protein 4.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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