This Bacardi rum cake recipe is the original 1970s recipe from Bacardi’s rum. Made with a box of yellow cake mix, it’s literally a piece of cake to make! Whether you bake it for a holiday event or just a tasty treat, it’s sure to get rave reviews.
The “Secret” Ingredient in the Original Bacardi Rum Cake Recipe
Years ago, I went to a potluck dinner and someone brought a delicious rum cake. A guest asked the baker for the recipe and she said, “It’s a secret recipe from my aunt, so I can’t share it.”
Everyone was baffled that she wouldn’t share the recipe, and I decided to try my hand at making a Bacardi rum cake from scratch.
I experimented with about three different recipes, but none of them were quite right. Then my mom said she remembered Bacardi publishing a rum cake recipe in the ’70s.
With a little research, we found the original recipe for Bacardi Rum Cake recipe. This “secret recipe” is made from a box of yellow cake mix. The reason she probably didn’t want to share the recipe is that it is so easy!
A few years later, The Cake Mix Doctor was published with a similar recipe. I’ve used that recipe here.
Making Rum Cake From Cake Mix
Here are the rum cake ingredients you’ll need:
For the cake:
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil (or vegetable oil), for greasing your bundt pan
- 2 Tablespoons flour, for dusting the pan
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped and divided
- 1 box yellow cake mix, 18 1/2 oz package
- 3 3/4 ounce instant vanilla pudding
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup avocado oil or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup dark rum
For the glaze:
- 4 ounces butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup dark rum
Yes, I know, this isn’t a very “healthy” cake, but I substitute avocado oil instead of vegetable oil.
I slightly changed this recipe by dividing the nuts and putting 1/2 in the batter and 1/2 in the pan. Usually, nuts tend to fall off the cake if all of them are on top. Plus, I like the look and taste of them when they’re mixed in with the cake.
The original recipe calls for pecans, but I like a combination of walnuts and pecans.
Do you have to make rum cake with cake mix? Absolutely not. If you’d like to make it from scratch, here’s a link to a homemade yellow cake mix recipe.
Finally, what’s the best rum for rum cake? I like to use Bacardi dark rum for the cake and the glaze, and you’ll need one cup.
Use a Bundt Pan To Make Rum Cake!
The original cake mix rum cake recipe is traditionally made in a bundt pan, but you could also use an angel food cake pan.
I’ve made it in really fancy bundt cake pans, but you have to make sure to really grease and flour every single crevice of the pan so it releases cleanly.
If you use a bundt pan like this one, be sure to adjust the baking time as it might cook quicker due to the design.
Bacardi Rum Cake FAQs
Does bacardi rum cake need to be refrigerated?
No, rum cake does not need to be refrigerated. It can be stored at room temperature for 4-5 days. Be sure it’s tightly wrapped in plastic or in an air-tight container to maintain moistness.
It will stay fresh even longer if you refrigerate it. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
Does alcohol stay in rum cake?
Most of the rum will cook out of the cake, but the alcohol in the glaze does remain. It’s generally not enough to affect you – unless maybe if you eat the whole cake at once by yourself!
How long does rum cake last?
The cake will last for 4 days unrefrigerated, and up to a week if refrigerated.
I think this easy recipe for rum cake tastes better the second day as the rum glaze has a chance to really soak into the cake. Sometimes, I’ll also sprinkle a little extra rum on a slice just before serving.
I hope you enjoy this easy Bacardi rum cake with yellow cake mix! Looking for more cake recipes? If you like nuts, you’ll love this Coffee and Walnut Cake from Christina’s Cucina. Or this Chocolate Cake with Pecan Frosting.
Bacardi Rum Cake
- Preheat oven to 325*F. Brush or wipe bundt pan with oil making sure to get into all the crevices so that the cake will come out easily. Dust with flour and remove excess.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup nuts in the bottom of the pan and set aside.
- Place the cake mix, pudding mix, remaining 1/2 cup nuts, rum, oil, water and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down sides. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more. The batter should look thick and smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top with a rubber spatula.
- Bake the cake until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 50-55 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Poke holes in the bottom of the cake with a long wooden skewer. Drizzle some of the glaze over the bottom of the cake and let it set for a few minutes. Run a long knife along the edges of the cake and invert on a serving plate. Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a wooden skewer and pour the remaining glaze over the top of the cake
- Place butter in a small saucepan and melt it over low heat, then add the water and sugar, stirring.
- Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and let the glaze simmer until thickened, about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum.
- Spoon the glaze over the warm cake, allowing it to seep into the holes and drizzle down the sides and into the center of the cake. Allow cake to cool completely before slicing.
- Store the cake covered in foil or plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.