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Side shot of a slice of pecan topped rum cake recipe served on a little white plate
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5 from 3 votes

Grandma's Old-Fashioned Rum Cake

This easy Rum Cake starts with a box of cake mix and is soaked in a rich, butter-rum glaze. The perfect holiday dessert!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword rum cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 480kcal
Author Blair Lonergan



  • 1 cup finely-chopped pecans
  • 1 (15.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • ¼ cup rum
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature



  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan.
  • Sprinkle nuts in the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, rum, water, vegetable oil and eggs. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Pour the batter over the nuts in the pan.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • About 10 minutes before the cake is done, prepare the glaze. In a saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, rum and water. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Leave the hot cake in the pan and use a toothpick or wooden skewer to poke holes in the bottom of the cake. Slowly drizzle about half of the glaze over the bottom of the cake, allowing time for the glaze to soak into the holes and be absorbed by the hot cake.
  • Place a wire rack over a foil-lined baking sheet to catch drips. After about 10 minutes in the pan, turn the cake out onto the wire rack (right-side up). Poke holes on the top of the cake. Gradually drizzle remaining glaze over the top of the cake. A lot of the glaze will soak into the cake, and some will also drip down the sides.
  • Cool completely, then slice and serve!


  • Grease the Bundt pan really well by coating with butter and then dusting with flour. Alternatively, you can use a cooking spray that’s specifically made for baking (like this one). These options will ensure that your cake pops right out of the pan when it’s done!
  • Use a high quality rum that actually tastes good. It will flavor your dessert, so make sure you like the rum that you choose! Either light rum or dark rum will work in this recipe.
  • Glaze the cake while it's still warm so that it soaks up as much of the butter rum glaze as possible. It's also nice to have some of the glaze all over the outside of the cake as it drips down.
  • The cake gets better as it sits, so this is a nice dessert option to prepare the day before you plan to serve it.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 480kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 403mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 321IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 1mg