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XXXtra Rummy Rum Cake Recipe

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home." She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated."

Moist and Flavorful Rum Cake

Moist and Flavorful Rum Cake

Rum Cake Made From Scratch

I was barely old enough to sit at the dinner table without a booster seat when I first heard of rum balls. My grandmother had filled a tin full of them, and Mother was raving. When I found out they were cake-like, I knew I had to try them. "You're too little," explained my mother. "There's Jell-O for you."

Jell-O! We'd have to see about this! No way would I settle for jiggly, artificially-colored gelatin while the adults ate delectable, sugar-covered cake balls. I calmly finished dinner and retired to my bedroom. Sometime in the middle of the night I awoke with a jerk. Rum balls! How could I forget? I sneaked down in the cover of winter darkness, floor boards creaking gently under my stocking feet.

Once in the living room, I popped open the tin and peeked inside: Grandma's snowball puffs awaited. Without hesitation, I popped one in my mouth, then shuddered as the rum ball burned a trail down my throat. Phew! I spit out the remainder in the trashcan, and then carefully covered the evidence of my mischief with some crumpled newspaper.

Nevertheless, my obsession with liqueur-spiked sweets stayed with me. And as an adult, my tastes changed considerably. Unlike the rum balls I sampled as a child, this rum cake is meltingly moist and cloyingly sweet.

Say goodbye to boring rum cake: dry, heavy, and flavorless with only a hint of rum flavor. Say "yes" to cake that is incredibly moist, tender, and packed with real rum flavor. You have to taste it to believe us . . . this is the best rum cake you'll ever sink your teeth into.


  • Use a 10-cup bundt pan for this rum cake.
  • Thoroughly grease and flour the bundt pan so the cake doesn't stick.
  • Beat whites until stiff peaks form.
  • Remove cake from the oven as soon as a toothpick tests clean and not a minute longer!
  • Don't be shy about poking holes in the cake. You want the rum syrup to soak every inch of the cake.
  • Allow cake to cool thoroughly before attempting to unmold it.
  • Serve rum cake with cold milk or a cup of hot coffee or tea. Enjoy!
  • There's a high-altitude version of this recipe if that works better for you!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

1 hour

1 hour 20 min

serves 8–10

Favorite Rum Cake


  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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Read More From Delishably

Here's a visual of the process to make XXXtra Rummy Rum Cake.

Here's a visual of the process to make XXXtra Rummy Rum Cake.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Thoroughly grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan.
  3. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Measure milk and rum in a large measuring cup. Add vanilla.
  5. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add yolks and beat well.
  6. In three additions, alternately blend flour mixture and milk mixture into sugar/egg mixture, starting and ending with flour.
  7. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  8. Gently fold into cake batter with a rubber spatula.
  9. Pour into prepared bundt pan and slide into hot oven.
  10. Bake for 40–50 minutes, or until a tester toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  11. While cake is baking, prepare rum syrup. (See below.)
  12. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes.
  13. Using a toothpick, poke holes all over bundt cake.
  14. Slowly pour rum syrup all over cake.
  15. Allow cake to cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes.
  16. Carefully unmold bundt cake. While it is still slightly warm, wrap in plastic and store overnight.
  17. Pour rum glaze over completely cool cake.
  18. Serve with milk, hot coffee, or tea. Enjoy!
Homemade Vanilla Scented Rum

Homemade Vanilla Scented Rum

Rum Syrup


  • 1/4 cup butter, salted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum


  1. Combine butter, sugar, and rum in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Allow to cool before use.

Rum Glaze


  • 1/3 cup salted butter, melted
  • 2–4 tablespoons dark rum, to taste
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Pour melted butter and rum into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add powdered sugar and blend with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth.
  3. Drizzle over cooled bundt cake.
Moist Rum Cake

Moist Rum Cake

Questions & Answers

Question: How can I make sure the rum bundt cake will turn out moist?

Answer: This recipe yields a moist cake, just be sure not to over bake it. Poke the cake with a toothpick 5 minutes before the end baking time and remove the cake as soon as a few point crumbs are all that clings to it.

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