This Bacardi rum cake recipe is the original recipe from Bacardi’s rum, which was published in the 1970s.
It’s surprisingly easy to make, and whether you bake it for a holiday event or just for a tasty treat, this rum cake will get rave reviews!
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Finding The Right Rum Cake Recipe
During my first year of teaching, we had a Christmas potluck at work and 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.
Everyone was baffled that she wouldn’t share the recipe. That Christmas break, I decided to try my hand at making a Bacardi rum cake from scratch.
I experimented with about 3 different recipes for rum cake. Then my mom said she remembered Bacardi publishing a rum cake recipe in the ’70s.
With a little research, we found the original 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 a 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. I gave them to Meredith, who later brought the rum cake to the next year’s potluck and shared the recipe.
What’s In a Bacardi Rum Cake?
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 and eggs. Yes, I know, this isn’t a very “healthy” cake, but you can always substitute the vegetable oil for something healthier. I use avocado oil instead.
The original recipe calls for pecans, but you can also use walnuts or a combination of both.
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.
Finally, what’s a Bacardi rum cake without the rum? I like to use dark rum for the cake’s glaze, and you’ll need around a half cup. Plus some leftovers to drizzle on top of the finished cake!
Use a Bundt Pan To Make Rum Cake!
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 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.
How Long Does Rum Cake Last?
This is one of those recipes that I think 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.
The cake will last for 4 days to a week if refrigerated.
- 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 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
(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.)
CAKE: 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.
GLAZE: 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.
thank you so much! I’m going to check this against the one i have.
thank you so much! I’ve updated it. It was pretty close though. I appreciate it.
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?
The Cake Doctor’s is pretty close, BUT another reader found the original and I’ve updated it…almost identical.
This is such a great recipe, always a hit when I make it. I leave out the nuts.
great tip if you’re allergic to nuts!