Bacardi Rum Cake Original Recipe

As an Amazon Affilate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.

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.

Rum cake slice on a plate with fork.

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.

Glazed Bacardi rum cake on a plate.

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.

Crushed nuts in the bottom of a floured bundt pan.

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.

Pouring rum cake batter into bundt pan.

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!

Slice of Bacardi rum cake on a festive holiday plate.

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.

rum cake close up

Bacardi Rum Cake

The original Bacardi Rum Cake recipe from The Cake Mix Doctor, By Ann Byrn.
4.95 from 58 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Resting time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 slices
Calories 312 kcal



  • 2 Tablespoons 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 vegetable oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup dark rum


  • 4 ounces butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum


  • 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.


If using yellow cake mix with pudding already in the mix, omit instant pudding and use 3 eggs instead of 4 and 1/3 cup oil instead of 1/2


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 312kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 4gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 327mgPotassium: 134mgFiber: 1gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 241IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts


  1. Bacardi Rum Cake
    (This is the original recipe transcribed from my Dad’s collection of “Absolutely Favorite Recipes”. Literally it is the cut out page of paper photocopied because he was not about the hand over the original.)
1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts
    1 18 1/2 oz. package yellow cake mix
1 3 and 3/4 oz. Jello-O Vanilla Instant Pudding and Pie Filling
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup Wesson vegetable oil
    1/2 cup Bacardi dark rum (80 proof)
    *If Using yellow cake mix with pudding already in the mix: omit instant pudding, use 3 eggs instead of 4, 1/3 cup oil instead of 1/2.

1/4 lb. butter
1/4 cup of water
1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup Bacardi dark rum (80 proof)

    Cake: Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube or 12 cup Bundt pan, sprinkling the nuts over the bottom of the pan. Mix all the cake ingredients together until you have a smooth consistent batter, then pour into the tin over the nuts. Bake for 1 hour. Cool and invert onto a serving plate – pricking the top and sides. Make the Glaze. Spoon and brush glaze evenly over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze. Repeat till glaze is used up.
    Glaze: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the water and sugar. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Stir in the rum.
    Optional: Decorate with a border of sugar frosting or whipped cream.
    ( I wanted to email directly but wasn’t able to. I found your recipe and wanted to share this with you since it also answers so many of the questions.

  2. It says you have the original but you’re giving us the recipe for the cake Doctor. We can easily get hers, already. Do you have the original?

  3. 5 stars
    The many recipes online use the CURRENT cake mix and instant pudding packages. The true recipe –as you printed. thank you! — is an 18.5 oz. cake mix; now the packages are 15.25 oz. The Jell-O instant vanilla pudding mix used to be 3.75 oz.; it’s now a 3.4 oz. package. Corporate greed run amok.

    Re: the rum cake, my late brother and I were going on a 12-day fishing trip down the length of the Baja California peninsula, and I’d been baking the rum cake for a few years, so I made one to see just how long it would last in the dry desert heat. On Day 10, I split the remaining chunk between us, and it was just as moist as on Day One! The REAL difficulty was in waiting so long to finish it off!

    I have only ever used pecans, but then again, I’m a snob and long-time cook and a former caterer. I raised my kids by myself when they were 5 and 3, and I had become disabled and unable to work, so I made dinners from cuisines around the world so they wouldn’t notice how destitute we were. And yes, at the end of the month, there were times when I said “I had a late lunch” or “my back pain killed my appetite (true enough!)” because there wasn’t enough food for all of us. I even was at a total loss until I remember the kid’s story about “Stone Soup,” so I read them the book and we went out on the dirt access road in the forest to find their own rocks to give the soup “the best flavor.” In went leftover meats or gravies; any frozen or leftover vegetables, and beef or chicken stock, whatever we had. They loved it so much they would ask for it every couple of weeks!

    Both kids are in their early 30s, and my daughter has given me the best grandsons ever. Both of my kids are terrific cooks, and my daughter was a vegetarian until health concerns forced her to eat meats again, and she did terrific dinners. My mom bought me a high-carbon steel chef’s knife from Solingen, Germany in 1973, and I’ve told my grandsons whoever is the better cook inherits the knife. I went over for tacos last night, and my daughter had my older grandson, who’s 8, frying the corn tortillas a few seconds on each side. He did two dozen of them, each one cooked perfectly. So what did he say to me? Not “Hi, Papa!” but “I’m GOING to win the chef’s knife!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating