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Classic Holiday Rum Cake

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Today was a super fun day!!! Why? Because today I made a  Classic Holiday Rum Cake that’s so good it will knock your socks off! 

First, I’ll let you in on a secret! This cake is extremely easy to make and truly an exceptional dessert! Therefore, be prepared and print off several copies of this recipe ahead of time because your guests will probably beg you for the recipe!!!

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Classic Holiday Rum Cake 4

A few weeks ago my mother gave me a rum cake recipe that dates back to the 1970s. Because I seem to always love a good old-fashioned recipe I was excited to make this bundt cake.

Not only does this Classic Holiday Rum Cake taste amazing, but it’s also a super simple recipe and one that can easily be modified to be gluten-free. I just love that option because no one likes to feel left out, right? (You can find a gluten-free option included in the recipe card.)

Classic Holiday Rum Cake 3

When making a gluten-free rum cake you must be careful to find gluten-free rum. Whenever in doubt, it’s always best to contact the company directly and verify if a particular product is considered to be gluten-free. Often a product itself may be gluten-free but may be cross-contaminated during processing or packaging.  (See additional note at the end.)

Classic Holiday Rum Cake 6

The original recipe calls for Bacardi dark rum (80 proof) however I used Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum (70 proof). The cake turned out just fine and the spiced rum adds additional flavor.

Hey, did I mention that there is scrumptious rum glaze drizzled all over the top of this cake? Although most of the glaze soaks right into the cake you’ll see streaks where it cascades over the sides. Therefore, you’ll want to slowly pour the glaze over the cake while it is still warm. As a result, there’s rum flavor in every single bite.

Classic Holiday Rum Cake 1

If you look closely you can see where the rum glaze soaked into the cake in the picture above.

Classic Holiday Rum Cake 2To make Classic Holiday Rum Cake even more festive, garnish each slice with a dollop of whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and green grapes.

Classic Holiday Rum Cake
Yield: 12 Servings

Classic Holiday Rum Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

A delicious and moist rum cake that's perfect for all of your holiday entertainings. A gluten-free version included!


  • CAKE:
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix (GF Option - use a gluten-free cake mix)
  • 1 (3.4 ounces) box vanilla instant pudding & pie filling (GF Option - use a gluten-free pudding mix)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup rum (80 proof) (GF Option - use a gluten-free brand of rum - see list at the end of the post)
  • GLAZE:
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup rum (80 proof) (GF Option - use a gluten-free brand of rum)
  • Optional: whipped heavy cream, maraschino cherries and green grapes (*Do not use maraschino cherries if making gluten-free version)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour 10-inch bundt pan.
  3. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of the pan.
  4. Mix all cake ingredients together. Pour batter over nuts.
  5. Bake 1 hour.
  6. Invert on serving plate.
  7. For Glaze - melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in rum.
  8. Prick top of the cake. Drizzle glaze evenly over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze. Repeat until glaze is used up.
  9. Serve.
  10. Optional: garnish with a dollop of whipped heavy cream, a maraschino cherries, and green grapes.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 


Information regarding gluten-free rum:
Gluten Free Alcohol List 
Is Rum Gluten Free?
Gluten Free Alcoholic Beverages – scroll to the bottom of the page.

Disclaimer: Manufacturer’s formulations and policies may change at any time. Therefore, it’s important to always read product labels yourself and contact the manufacturer with concerns. We have found that most companies are eager to help answer your questions.

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Laura December 20, 2018, 7:41 pm
    I will make this gluten free rum cake tomorrow morning. My gluten free yellow cake mix is 22 oz or 625g. Can I use the entire box mix following your recipe or do I need to weigh out 15.25 oz.? Thank you!
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy December 21, 2018, 8:18 pm
      Hi Laura, What a coincidence because I am also making a gluten-free rum cake tomorrow! Hmmm... my gluten-free cake mix is 17 ounces and it turns out fine. If it were me, I would probably go ahead and use the whole 22-ounce cake mix. If you do, please let me know how it turns out. Merry Christmas! Linda
  • Lacey December 5, 2018, 12:49 pm
    Can I make this in advance and freeze? If so, how much in advance do you suggest?
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy December 5, 2018, 1:29 pm
      Hi Lacey, Yes, I think you can freeze the cake, however, I wouldn't add the rum glaze until right before serving. I would also suggest warming the cake just a tad so that the rum glaze soaks in better. Personally, I wouldn't freeze the cake longer than a week or two. Hope that helps! Enjoy! Linda
  • Theresa December 8, 2017, 3:52 pm
    This is the recipe I've always used too and I have used all different flavors of Rum in it. Gives some different flavors without being to overpowering
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy December 9, 2017, 7:33 pm
      Hi Theresa, Yes, this is my all-time favorite rum cake recipe. I agree it's not overpowering either. Thanks for stopping by and leaving us a message! Linda
  • Bridget December 24, 2016, 7:31 pm
    Wondering if I cool the cake or put the glaze over warm cake? Do I put the glaze on hot or cool it? Making this right now for Christmas desert. Thx
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy December 24, 2016, 9:27 pm
      Hi Bridget, I did allow the glaze to cool a little before I poured it over the cake. The cake was still warm when I poured the glaze over the cake and therefore the cake soaked up a lot of the glaze. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy this recipe. Merry Christmas!!!! Linda
  • Seana Turner December 5, 2016, 8:49 am
    I like this recipe... it is a bit different, and I think is special with the rum. Perfect for a holiday gathering. I had no idea that there was such a thing as GF rum. I'm still learning! My Profile
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy December 5, 2016, 11:05 am
      Hi Seana, Hey, FYI... Anna and I are still learning as we go too. The great thing is that more and more companies are developing products that are certified to be gluten-free. Never be afraid to contact a company to check on a product. I personally do this all the time and thus far, without exception, everyone has been very helpful. Thanks for stopping by and dropping us a note. Enjoy the Rum Cake too! :) Have a good day! Linda

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