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Jamaican Rum Cake

Jamaican Rum Cake. The best recipe I’ve tried! A dense yet moist cake infused with a rum & butter syrup that just takes the deliciousness to a whole other level. Utterly irresistible!!

Jamaican Rum Cake photo of a single slice on a clear glass plate

Jamaican Rum Cake.

I’m going to start from the top with a confession. Spouse and I ate this entire cake over the course of several days.

You may think, so what, but that is quite an unusual occurrence in this house. Yes, we make plenty of delicious baked goodies as the hundreds of recipes here can attest. 

Jamaican Rum Cake photo of uncut cake on a glass stand

This cake requires no frosting or glaze. It is perfect as is.

However, we almost never have more than one serving each of anything. We normally freeze the rest or more often, give them to friends and family.

That did not happen with this Jamaican Rum Cake. We found it utterly irresistible! Sliver by sliver, we whittled that cake down to the last deliciously moist crumb.

Jamaican Rum Cake photo of a single slice with title text added for Pinterest

Jamaican Rum Cake photo of a single slice with title text added for Pinterest.

Rum as an ingredient.

Both Spouse and I have a pretty well established love of anything rum flavoured, although neither of us are actually rum drinkers. From our gorgeous homemade Rum & Raisin Ice Cream to our Rum Spice Glazed Pork Tenderloin, amongst many others, it truly is one of our favourite ingredients.

A number of years ago, we took the kids on a Western Caribbean cruise and one of the stops was Jamaica. It seemed every little shop we entered, was selling Jamaican Rum Cake.

Samples were often on hand and I partook in plenty of them. My favourite though was a sort of dense, moist bundt/pound cake that seemed to have the perfect amount of rum soaked in.

On returning home, I naturally tried to replicate that recipe with somewhat limited success. The attempts were all pretty good but not quite all that I wanted in a rum cake.

My attempts at Jamaican Rum Cake.

They were all delicious but lacked that perfect texture I enjoyed so much. Just a couple of weeks ago, I took up the torch again and decided to have another crack at it.

I did my research, looked at 100 different photos on Pinterest and read more than a dozen recipes. Many had a lot in common but several of them had one other thing in common, a rum & butter syrup to soak into the cake when baked.

Jamaican Rum Cake on a clear glass pedestaal with bottle of rum in background

Jamaican Rum Cake.

Now, I had been using straight rum to soak my attempts before which sometimes left the cake too soggy. I’d used a syrup previously as well, but the flavour I remembered wasn’t quite right.

The thing that made the difference in end turned out to be the inclusion of butter in the syrup. It added that missing flavour that I remembered so well. No doubt it helped keep the cake moist as well.

Many of the recipes I read were copies of the King Arthur Flour version, and some were slight variations. Most included a package of instant vanilla pudding mix in the batter.

Since those packages are mostly cornstarch and sugar, and since I don’t like using packaged mixes in my baking, I decided to use corn starch instead and up the amount of vanilla extract. It worked perfectly and gave that dense but soft texture I remembered.

The first stage of mixing should appear sandy in consistency

The first stage of mixing should appear sandy in consistency.

Add in the milk

Add in the milk

Mix until smooth.

Mix until smooth.

Batter will be very smooth after adding the eggs.

Batter will be very smooth after adding the eggs and rum.

Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan

Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan.

The result

After baking and cooling, I had the patience to wait until the next day to cut into it. Many recipes I read gave that same advice and it turned out to be good advice indeed. 

From the first bite, both Spouse and I fell instantly in love. It was so buttery, soft, moist and delicious! Perfection.

I don’t say it lightly, but this was one of the best cakes I ever baked in over three decades of baking. It really is that good!

Syrup for Jamaican Rum Cake beginning to boil

Syrup for Jamaican Rum Cake beginning to boil.

Syrup for Jamaican Rum Cake after boiling for 10. minutes

Syrup for Jamaican Rum Cake after boiling for 7-8 minutes

Poke holes in cake with a skewer

Poke holes in cake with a skewer.

Spoon on the rum and butter syrup

Spoon on the rum and butter syrup

Cover and leave overnight

Love amazing homemade scratch cake recipes? Be sure to check out  our entire collection of  Velvet Cake Recipes from Red Velvet to our incredibly popular Lemon Velvet Cake.
The Velvet Cake Collection 10 photo collage with title text for Pinterest
 

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Jamaican Rum Cake on a glass pedestal stand with title text added for Pinterest

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Jamaican Rum Cake photo of a single slice on a clear glass plate
Yield: 16 servings

Jamaican Rum Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Jamaican Rum Cake. The best recipe I've tried! A dense yet moist cake infused with a rum & butter syrup that just takes the deliciousness to a whole other level. Utterly irresistible!!

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (or other vegetable oil) 
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk (undiluted; straight from the can)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup rum ( I used amber rum)

For the rum & butter syrup

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup rum ( I used amber rum)
  • 1/2  tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

To prepare the cake

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a bundt pan or funnel pan.
  2. To the bowl of an electric mixer, add the flour, corn starch, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter and oil.
  3. Mix on low speed for just a couple of minutes until the butter and oil are well incorporated and the mixture is crumbly and sandy looking.
  4. Mix in the milk and then mix in the eggs one at a time. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well after each egg is added.
  5. Finally, mix in the rum and vanilla extract until the batter is smooth.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Completely cool the cake on a wire rack.

To prepare the rum and butter syrup

  1. Add the butter, water and sugar to you smallest saucepan.
  2. Bring to a slow boil and simmer for 7 or 8 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before adding in the rum and vanilla extract.
  4. The amount of rum you add to the syrup is completely up to you. I like it with the full 3/4 cup but you can use less if you want a less rummy cake.

To add the syrup to the cake.

  1. Place the cooled cake back in the bundt pan. This traps in any syrup that drips over the edges and then absorbs it into the cake.
  2. With a long skewer, poke holes all over the top of the cake, straight through to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Slowly spoon all of the rum and butter syrup, evenly over the surface of the cake. 
  4. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and leave for several hours or overnight.
  5. This cake needs no frosting or glaze. It is perfect as it is. I think a frosting might make it a little too sweet.
  6. Store in an airtight plastic cake container at room temperature.
  7. This cake remains moist for days. The cake was just as good on day four as it was on day one. It didn't see a day five.

Nutrition Information

Yield

16

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 315Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 72mgSodium 260mgCarbohydrates 38gFiber 0gSugar 23gProtein 4g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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21 Delicious Jamaican Food (Best Jamaican Dishes & Drinks Recipes)

Tuesday 30th of March 2021

[…] 11. Rum Cake […]

Deborah Fournier

Wednesday 6th of January 2021

It's nice to see a regional rum cake recipe, they are as diverse as the regions from which they came. In Trinidad and Tobago, it's known as Black cake, then there is Jamaican and Caribbean rum cakes....there are as many different recipes in each country as there are families! And everyone believes that theirs is the BEST lol

Tara

Thursday 31st of December 2020

Thanks for the recipe! It was hard to find one that didn't use a cake mix and/or pudding mix.

Ash

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

This is not a jamaican rum cake. Please stop naming things that you have no idea about. All you had to do is Google jamaican rum cake and you would see what a jamaican rum cake looks like. It's a nice looking cake but definitely not a jamaican rum cake.

Sanetha Perry

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

This cake is too good for words. Very good and easy to make. The hard part is waiting to cut into it...

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