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Rum Bundt cake on a cake stand with one piece sliced with whole strawberries and sunflowers in the background.
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Appleton Rum Cake

Start with a cake mix and end up with a moist, delicious rum cake to serve for a holiday or any occassion or give as a gift!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Cooling Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Caribbean
Keyword: Appleton Rum Cake, Cake, Tropical
Servings: 12
Author: Jurga

Special Equipment

  • 10" Bundt pan


  • Cooking spray, or vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 15.25 ounce box yellow cake mix butter recipe, ** If using a cake mix with pudding in it, see Gr8 Tips below!
  • 1 3.4 ounce instant vanilla pudding mix, (I prefer Jell-O)
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ½ cup amber rum, Appleton or another amber rum

Butter Rum Sauce

  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup sugar, granulated
  • ½ cup amber rum, Appleton or another amber rum


Rum Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325℉.
  • In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand beater, beat the eggs and then gradually add the oil, water and rum. Add the cake mix and vanilla pudding. Mix and set aside.
  • Generously grease a 10" Bundt pan with cooking spray or liquid vegetable shortening (use a pastry brush to make sure you cover every crevice of the pan so the cake releases easily after baking) or vegetable shortening in a stick form using a paper towel or your fingers.
  • Spread the toasted nuts over the bottom of the Bundt pan.
  • Stir the cake batter then slowly spoon the batter evenly over the nuts. When finished, tap the bottom of the pan on a work surface to release any bubbles in the batter. 
  • Bake for 50 minutes to one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  • When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes (cooling longer in the pan will cause the cake to stick to the pan prior to flipping it).
  • After 10 minutes, tap the bottom of the pan on a work surface to help loosen the cake, carefully lay your serving plate over the top of the bundt pan then invert the pan. The cake should drop out of the pan. Remove the pan and prick the top and the sides of the cake with a long toothpick, skewer or fork.

Butter Rum Sauce

  • While the cake is baking, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from the heat and add the rum.
  • Brush half of the sauce over the top and all sides of the cake until all of it is absorbed. This can be done while the cake is warm or when completely cool. You may continue to use all of the sauce or reserve half to glaze over the cake when serving.


Great 8 Tips:

  • ** If using a cake mix that already has pudding in the mix, you will use 3 eggs instead of 4, and ⅓ cup of oil instead of ½ cup. The amount of water is the same at ½ cup.
  • The longer it sits, the better it tastes! I recommend baking it the day before serving.
  • These cakes are perfect to send as a gift because the rum acts as a preservative.  At Christmas time, they are often shipped to soldiers overseas. Divide the batter and bake in disposable foil baking pans.  Once cool, remove the cake and put a bit of the butter rum sauce at the bottom of the pan and replace the cooled cake.  The foil will hold the sauce against the cake to let it absorb.
Tried this recipe?Mention @Great8Friends or tag #gr8food!