Rum Cake Recipe: Easy Hack for Moist Rum Cake

February 12, 2018 by Heather Cabaniss

Everyone needs a no-fail, easy to whip up Rum Cake Recipe! They are always a hit – especially this time of year. Your sweetheart will certainly appreciate an old fashioned Rum Cake dessert on Valentine’s Day!

Rum Cake Recipe on a white serving dish with a close up shot of the side of the cake

 Hi everyone, this is Heather from Totally Tailgates stopping by today with one of our favorite desserts for entertaining. This Rum Cake Recipe has made debuts on Christmas Eve, Valentine’s Day and even Super Bowl & March Madness parties- it’s a hit with the guys! After noshing on traditional tailgate fare like Buffalo Chicken Dip, Sweet & Spicy Chicken Wings and Game Day Hot Corn Dip, a rich, sweet dessert is always a must. And hey, this dessert features RUM! 🙂

Rum Cake Recipe Shopping List

  • boxed cake mix
  • instant pudding

Here’s why this Rum Cake Recipe is my absolute FAVORITE: boxed cake mix & instant pudding are the base of the ingredients! I made several scratch Rum Cakes when Copa & I were newlyweds, only to have the cake turn out less than extraordinary.

Rum Cake recipe from above sitting on a white serving platter.

I gave up on this traditional dessert until I came across my Great Aunt Amy’s handwritten recipe. She used boxed cake mix & instant pudding to enhance the flavoring and to keep it simple. Lots of her recipes featured instant pudding. I think it must have been such a novelty when it was invented in 1940’s that savvy cooks immediately jumped on the instant pudding band wagon!

This Rum Cake Recipe yields a rich, moist cake. Like, seriously good!

Rum Cake Recipe Tips

  • Grease that Bundt pan! Don’t be shy with your new BFF…the non-stick cooking spray!
  • Prick top and sides of the cake many, many times to allow all the yummy glaze to infiltrate the cake.
  • For a super moist cake, I let my Rum Cake come to room temperature after glazing, then I cover the entire cake (top/sides/bottom) with plastic wrap. This seals in the moisture. I let the cake rest like this overnight, and serve the following day. You CAN serve same day, but the cake loves to soak up that rum overnight!

A slice of the rum cake recipe with confectioners sugar on top

 In addition to the boxed mixes, you just need eggs, rum, oil, water, nuts, butter and sugars. That’s it! Great Aunt Amy used imitation rum extract in her original Rum Cake Recipe, which might be an option for you, too. If you are feeling fancy, you can dust each decadent slice with a bit of confectioners sugar. I like feelin’ fancy, so I always break open the box of sugar!

Rum Cake recipe on a white serving dish with a dark background

Rum Cake Recipe

Everyone needs an easy, no-fail Rum Cake Recipe! This is the cake your sweetheart will love for Valentine’s Day dessert, and a good Rum Cake is always welcome around the holidays!

Rum Cake Recipe

An easy no-fail rum cake recipe made with minimal ingredients.

Course Dessert
Servings 8 people
Author Heather Cabaniss


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup light rum
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 tbs brown sugar

Rum Glaze

  • 1 1/2 stick butter (either salted or unsalted - both work)
  • 1/4 cup room temperature water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light rum


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 

    Spray Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray, making sure all pan crevices are equally coated. Spray it again for good measure.

  2. Finely chop the pecans and place them in the bottom of the Bundt pan. Evenly drop the brown sugar on top of the pecans.

  3. In a large bowl, mix together the yellow cake mix, instant pudding, eggs, water, rum and oil. Pour batter over the brown sugar/pecan mixture. 

  4. Bake the cake for 1 hour - do not over bake this cake! Your cooking time may need to be adjusted based on your pan; black pans need less cooking time. 

  5. While the cake bakes, prepare the glaze: melt butter in a medium saucepan and then stir in water & sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the glaze from the burner and pour in rum. Stir thoroughly. Return the saucepan to the burner and heat the glaze for a minute or two.  

  6. When the cake is finished baking, remove it from the oven and pour about 1/3 of the glaze on top of it while it is still warm and in the pan. Let it sit like this for a few minutes. 

  7. Turn the cake onto a serving platter. Prick top and sides of the cake with toothpicks or a fork. Repeat this multiple times! Pour remaining glaze evenly on the top and sides of the cake. 

  8. Let the cake return to room temperature. Cover the cake with a domed cake lid OR cover it entirely with plastic wrap. (The latter method is preferred.)

  9. Let the cake rest, covered & coated in the glaze for a minimum of 2-4 hours before serving. The cake is best if allowed to rest covered overnight. 

Hi there! I’m Heather from Totally Tailgates….the home of Southern Sideline Hospitality. Join me for the best game day foods, fashions and stops along the way! Want to know all about sorority recruitment? I have a series on rush tips for PNMs and their mamas – it’s never too early to plan for rush!

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If you liked this Rum Cake Recipe you might also like….

From left to right: Red Velvet Heart Cake Cookies,  Gluten Free Banana Snack Cake Strawberry Cake.

Instant Pot Asparagus Risotto Homemade Steak Fries Best Ever Potato Salad

Dairy Free Pound Cake – Simply Whisked

Homemade Red Velvet Cheesecake – Restless Chipotle


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