Caribbean rum cake freshly baked.

To Die For Caribbean Rum Bundt Cake

Unless you are trying to score with someone who is in AA, this cake should be at the top of anyone’s list of recipes to help them get laid. It will impress and amaze. I have made it five times and I wouldn’t consider another rum cake recipe—it’s that good. The cake becomes incredibly moist because after baking it, you soak it over night with butter rum sauce. Visit the King Arthur Flour website for the Caribbean Rum Cake recipe. But first, read through this step-by-step guide on how make this bodacious bundt cake by PJ Hamel who writes for the King Arthur Blog.

Here’s a visual of the ingredients you will need:

list of ingredients for rum cake

And here are some to the things I’ve learned about this cake after baking it a number of times…

Bigger Is Not Better

Be sure to use a 10-cup Bundt Cake pan instead of a 12-cup pan. That’s because this recipe is perfect for a 10-cup Bundt Cake pan. With all of the eggs in this cake batter, you are creating something that is half-soufflé and half-cake. So it will rise but then fall as it cools. Then you’ll be drenching the top of the cake with a delicious butter-rum sauce after poking it with a skewer. The butter-rum sauce will soak in over night.

Beware the Butter Rum Flavoring Oil: A Great Addition, However…

When I first saw that King Arthur only recommends ¼ teaspoon of Butter Rum flavoring oil, I thought “WTF—if ¼ teaspoon is good, ½ a teaspoon should be better!” So when my bottle of LorAnn Butter Rum Flavoring Oil arrived from Amazon, I foolishly gulped down a ¼ teaspoon to taste it. My mouth still burns at the memory. Butter Rum kerosene is more like it.

A ¼ teaspoon of the Butter Rum Flavoring Oil is the perfect amount! Do not use more. It might give your cake a weird chemical undertone. On the other hand, don’t skip the Butter Rum Flavoring Oil, because the cake tastes incredible with a ¼ teaspoon of it.

Cruzan Dark Rum: Good Price, Good Taste

When I needed to buy rum for my Caribbean Rum Cake, I asked for advice from the manager at the liquor store up in Newport, which is the nearest decent-sized town. As it turns out, this dude knows his rum. He cautioned me against the usual advice to buy the cheapest rum just because it’s for baking as opposed to drinking. He said there are some rums that taste so bad they will even ruin a cake.

He strongly suggested I go with Cruzan Rum, which is a lower priced run but not rock bottom. He said it’s a rum he’d be happy to drink or cook with any day. Cruzan Rum occasionally goes on sale for $21.95 for a liter including tax, which is an awesome deal. If you can find it that cheap, grab a couple of liters and hide them in your pantry.

The Best Bundt Cake Pan Ever

Batter in bundt cake pan before and after baking.

My favorite bundt cake pan filled with Caribbean Rum Cake batter and just out of the oven and ready to be drenched with butter-rum sauce.

I have a couple of Nordic Ware Bundt Cake pans, but this one is by far my favorite. This solid Bundt Cake pan turns out a well-baked cake with beautiful clean swirls.

I only paid $24 for this Nordicware beauty a few years ago, but now it’s $40.  Go figure. There is a commercial version of this puppy with an identical design that is almost $70, but I can’t tell you what the difference is. The $40 version works great.

Sidosir makes a companion mini bundt pan in silicone that allows you to create six mini cakes that I think would look incredible surrounding the mother ship cake from the big pan. I also just discovered that Nordic Ware makes a loaf version of the bigger bund pan. It looks pretty cool, but I have no experience with it and so I can’t make any recommendations.

Learn From My Bundt Pan Epic Failure

This was going to by one of my entries at a large county fair. When I flipped the bundt pan to release the cake, this is what came out. The rest of the cake stuck to the inside of the pan. I tried this same cake one week later, with the same tragic result. So I phoned Nordicware, and they were able to quickly diagnose the problem:

Even though the pan looked like it was well washed to me, they they said this happens when there is a slight coating of cake on the bundt pan that’s left over from prior bakings. (This makes sense, since I would try to be gentile when washing the pan so I wouldn’t damage the coating on it.)

The Nordicware people recommended I get a professional cleaning product made by Dawn called Power Dissolver that they said would cost an arm and a leg, but given that the State Fair was coming up, I felt I had no choice. I sprayed the bundt pan well and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then I scrubbed it with a bristle brush, which they recommended.

Also, the Nordicware people suggested I use a baking spray that has flour in it to coat the pan as opposed to the spray I’d been using from Costco. I tried Baker’s Joy which you should be able to get at your local grocery store and it worked well.

As for preparing Bundt Pans for baking, here’s some sound advice from the Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book:

“Our preferred method is to coat a nonstick Bundt pan thoroughly with baking spray, which contains both oil and flour. For those who don’t have baking spray, we recommend applying a paste of melted butter and flour. Using melted butter instead of more common softened butter makes for a thinner paste that can be easily applied to every nook and cranny using a pastry brush.”

Nordicware also recommended that when you take cake out of the oven, let it cool for 10 minutes and then flip it before letting it completely cool. So don’t leave it in the Bundt pan for more than ten minutes to cool, unless the recipe says so or it’s a cake like this one where the butter rum sauce has to soak in overnight. In that case, I now put the cake back in the oven the next day at 325 degrees for about ten minutes, pull it out, flip it and pray.

Fortunately, with these measures taken, my Bundt cakes have all started to release well.