I was talking with a friend about the holidays and he mentioned the best dessert he’d ever eaten was a homemade chocolate rum cake. Sure, the baker was actually a professional chef. But, I’ve never even heard of, let alone, had a chocolate rum cake, so I had to try. There are so many different chocolate rum cakes out there, but after searching through lots of recipes, this one seemed to have the most stellar reviews. I changed a few things up to make this my own, but I can definitely tell you it’s really delicious.
What is Rum Cake?
Rum cake is a dessert that contains rum. In the Caribbean, rum cakes are a traditional holiday dessert. Rum cake is actually a descendant of figgy pudding, much like fruit cake. Traditionally, rum cakes contain dried fruits that have been soaked in rum for months and then added to the dough. In the U.S., rum cakes have been popular since the 1970s, some copying the traditional Carribean styles, others changing them up. Clearly, my chocolate rum cake recipe is quite different because it does not contain any dried fruit. But like fruit cake, it does contain nuts and like rum cake, it does contain rum.
How to Make Chocolate Cake with Rum from Scratch
The recipe I made is semi-homemade. But, if you are a purist, you can definitely make a chocolate cake with rum from scratch. This homemade chocolate cake recipe has tons of good reviews and looks delicious. This recipe also looks amazing had as great reviews. I haven’t tried either of them, but given the reviews, I think either would be a safe bet. The first recipe appears to be darker chocolate, at least in the frosting. The second one seems a little more milk chocolatey.
If you do decide to try one of these scratch-made recipes, I’d suggest replacing 1/2 cup of liquid with rum. For example, if it calls for milk or water, replace with 1/2 cup of rum. You can also use my glaze recipe to coat the cake instead of using their frosting recipes. Another option would be to infuse the cake with the glaze once it comes out of the oven. You can do this by poking holes throughout the bottom of the cake, and then pour the glaze over it so the glaze can run into the holes. This creates a very moist cake.
A Semi-Homemade Recipe
If you decide you want to skip a few steps vs. the scratch-made cake, then my recipe is for you. The best part about this chocolate rum cake recipe is that it is super easy to make. I would call this a semi-homemade recipe since it calls for a cake mix recipe. If you really want to make your own chocolate devil’s food cake, this recipe has really great reviews. The major change I made to this recipe was to use mini Bundt pans instead of one large Bundt pan. That really changes up the baking time. If you do use a full-size pan, you will need to bake it closer to 50 minutes rather than only 20.
The other major change I made was adding the rum glaze all over the top and inside of the cakes. The original recipe called for only pouring it on the bottom. Honestly, their suggestion wouldn’t have worked for me because the glaze didn’t soak in as much as I think they intended. I also poked holes into each of the cakes to get the glaze to sink into the cake.
Overall, this is definitely a recipe I’ll make when everyone wants a delicious chocolate cake. They were so moist and really yummy. I had some leftover batter that I used to make a version without nuts. Those were also a hit. For reference, the batter made 10 mini Bundt cakes. The rum flavor is mild at best, so if you do want a stronger rum flavor, I would suggest replacing the water in the cake and the glaze with rum. I haven’t tried it yet, but I feel pretty sure it would ramp up the rum flavor in a major way. Either way, this cake is too good not to try!
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Chocolate Rum Cake
1 box Chocolate Devil’s Food cake mix
1 3.9-oz box instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
1/2 cup Golden Rum
1/2 cup Pecans; chopped
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup Golden Rum
1/4 cup Water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease mini Bundt cake pans with butter (can use one 10-inch Bundt pan. Place chopped nuts in the bottom of the Bundt pans. With an electric mixer, beat cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 cup golden rum on high speed for 2 minutes. If you want a strong rum flavor, add 1 cup of rum and remove the water. Pour the batter into the prepared pan over the top of the chopped nuts. Bake at 325 degrees F for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (oven times vary, do not overbake).
While the cakes are in the oven, make the rum glaze. In a saucepan combine 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup of rum, and 1/4 cup of water. Bring mixture to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Pour immediately over the cake as soon as you remove it from the oven, slowly so the rum glaze doesn’t run over the edges of the cake pan. Poke holes in the bottom of the cakes and slowly pour rum glaze over the cake as soon as you remove it from the oven. You can use all of the glaze on the bottom of the cakes, or you can save some for the top.
After pouring the glaze on the bottom of the cakes, let them stand for 30 minutes and then turn out onto a serving dish so the glaze has time to soak in. I reserve about half of the glaze for when I turned out the cakes and then added more glaze on the top of each cake and let it run the sides. Enjoy!