This Rum Cake is the original recipe from Bacardi’s rum which was published in the 1970’s. I didn’t make it until over 20 years
My first year of teaching, we had a Christmas potluck at work. Someone brought a delicious rum cake. Meredith, who started teaching with me that same year, raved about it and asked the baker for the recipe. “It’s a secret recipe from my aunt, so I can’t share it,” she said. The silence in the room was deafening. Meredith was embarrassed and I was embarrassed for her. YOU CAN’T SHARE A RECIPE?! What’s with that? (This post was originally published on November 26th, 2011 and has been updated with nutritional information. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn a commission on qualifying purchases)
Please tell me you are not one of those people? A recipe is not part of your soul. And if it is a part of your soul, you won’t lose a part of yourself by sharing. In fact a part of you will be with everyone you share it with!
That Christmas break, I experimented with about 3 different rum cake recipes. Then my mom said she remembered Bacardi publishing a rum cake recipe in the 70’s.
With a little research, we found the Bacardi Rum Cake recipe (this was 20+ years ago and pre-Google) which had been printed in a magazine advertisement. A few years later, The Cake Mix Doctor was published with the similar recipe. I’ve used that recipe here.
After break, I returned to school with a copy of the recipe and all the ingredients to make the cake, which I gave to Meredith. The following Christmas she brought the rum cake to the staff potluck…and shared the recipe.
What’s in a rum cake?
Well, besides rum, 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! Do you have to use a cake mix? Absolutely not. If you’d like to try making it from scratch, here’s a link to a homemade yellow cake mix recipe. There’s also a box of vanilla pudding. Yes, I know, this isn’t a very “healthy” cake. If you’d like to substitute the vegetable oil for something healthier. I use avocado oil.
The original recipe calls for pecans, but you can also use walnuts or a combination of both. I’ve slightly changed this recipe by dividing the nuts and putting 1/2 in the batter and 1/2 in the pan. I’ve found that the nuts fall off the cake, if all of them are on top. Plus I like the look and taste of them in the cake.
What’s the best kind of pan to use?
It’s 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 to make sure you really grease and flour every single crevice of the pan so it releases cleanly. If you use a bundt pan like this one, adjust the baking time as it might cook quicker due to the design.
How long does Rum Cake last?
This is one of those recipes that I think tastes better the second day. The rum has a chance to really soak into the cake. I sometimes also sprinkle a little extra rum on a slice just before serving.
I hope this Bacardi rum cake recipe reminds you of the one from the 70s!
- Vegetable oil for greasing your bundt pan
- flour for dusting the pan
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts finely chopped and divided
- 1 box yellow cake mix (no pudding added)
- 1 small package instant vanilla pudding
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or avocado oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 large eggs
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- Preheat oven to 350*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.
If you like nuts, you nuts, you’ll love this Coffee and Walnut Cake from Christina’s Cucina.