Made from scratch without the crutch of cake mix, this homemade rum cake is perfectly moist, extra buttery, and flavored with rum. Top with boozy butter rum glaze and serve warm or cold. Review recipe notes prior to beginning.
- 1 cup (130g) finely chopped pecans
- 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks; 345g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- zest from 1/2 orange (about 1 Tbsp)
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120g) full fat sour cream, at room temperature*
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120ml) rum or spiced rum*
- 1/2 cup (120ml) milk, at room temperature
Butter Rum Icing
- 3 Tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) rum or spiced rum*
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- small pinch of salt (a bit less than 1/8 teaspoon)
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 10-inch bundt pan. Spoon pecans evenly into the bundt pan.
- Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and orange zest together until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The mixture will look curdled; that’s ok– it will come together when you add the dry ingredients.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and begin mixing on low speed. As the mixer runs, slowly pour in the rum and milk. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat until the batter is completely combined. Batter is thick.
- Pour/spoon the cake batter evenly over the pecans.
- Bake for 55-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean with just a couple lightly moist crumbs. This is a large, heavy cake so don’t be alarmed if it takes a little longer in your oven. Mine always takes about 55 minutes.
- Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 45 minutes to 2 hours inside the pan. Then, invert the slightly cooled bundt cake onto a wire rack or serving dish. (You can glaze and serve it while warm, or wait for it to cool completely.)
- Make the glaze: Melt the butter with the rum in a small saucepan over medium heat. If using the microwave, melt the butter in the microwave, then stir in the rum. Stir in the vanilla extract, salt, and confectioners’ sugar. Drizzle warm glaze over cake before slicing and serving. Glaze quickly thickens and sets as it cools. If desired, serve with maraschino cherries.
- Cover leftover cake tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the entire cake ahead of time (before topping with icing). Cover cooled cake and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before icing and serving. Baked cake can be frozen up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature (if desired) before icing and serving.
- Sour Cream: You can use 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Just as moist and delicious!
- Rum: Use your favorite rum including light rum, dark rum, or spiced rum. See How Alcoholic is This Rum Cake above the recipe. If desired, swap the rum in the cake and glaze for milk.
- Pecans and/or Orange Zest: Both are optional, but add incredible flavor. I don’t recommend leaving out either. Replace the pecans with walnuts, if desired.
- Layer Cake: Use my vanilla cake recipe and replace 1/2 cup of buttermilk with 1/2 cup of rum. (Use 1 cup buttermilk + 1/2 cup rum.) Sprinkle the bottom of each lined cake pan with 1/3 cup chopped pecans before adding the batter. Replace 2-3 Tablespoons of milk in the frosting with rum.
Keywords: rum cake, bundt cake, pecans, Christmas cake