Saturday, January 3, 2015

At Home: Italian Spiced Rum Cake

For the holidays, I wanted to surprise my father and make one of his favorite desserts, Italian rum cake.  I looked for an easy recipe online, and stumbled upon multiple ones that use a box cake mix as the base.  My Italian grandmother would be shocked, I know, but let's face it - I'm all about easy when it comes to baking...At Home.  To make it even extra festive, I used spiced rum instead of regular dark rum for the glaze to create this Italian Spiced Rum Cake.  Plus, that is Keith's favorite kind of rum, so was what we had in the house already.  The only uneasy thing about this recipe is that it needs to be made well in advance and then left to sit to allow for better flavoring.

Italian Spiced Rum Cake
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix with "pudding in the mix"
  • (if no pudding in the mix, add 1 package of vanilla instant pudding)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup dark spiced rum
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or almond slices
For the glaze:
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup dark spiced rum

- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Pour the nuts over the bottom of a non-stick bundt pan.
- Mix all the cake ingredients together according to box directions.
- Blend well and pour batter over nuts.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.


- While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze: Melt the butter in a sauce pan.
- Stir in the water and sugar.
- Boil the glaze mixture for 5 minutes stirring constantly. (Be careful - it can burn easily!)
- Pull pan off the stove, and add the rum. Stir and set aside.
- When the cake has cooled completely, invert onto a serving plate.
- Prick the top of the cake in a few spots and drizzle glaze evenly over the sides and top.
- Cover with saran wrap (put toothpicks on top) or aluminum foil, so it is not directly touching the top of the cake.  Try and get a tight seal around the sides and bottom so the cake will absorb the rum.
- Allow the cake to absorb the glaze for at least 12 hours.  (There will be a small puddle on the plate, but the cake will absorb it all over time.)
- Remove saran wrap when ready to serve. Slice and enjoy!


This is not heavy like a pound cake, rather a moist yellow cake. The big key is - letting it sit. Give yourself at least 12 hours before you need to serve it.  Using the spiced rum gave a slightly different holiday flavor, and it was still a hit with my dad.  We enjoyed a slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


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