Trixie’s Kick-Ass Rum Cake

rum cake

Let me just lead with…this is not a “healthy dessert.” In a former lifetime, I had an alter ego known as Trixie, who baked A LOT. She once made 30 of these at one time as Christmas presents for a team at a workplace that shall not be named. Everyone got drunk at work on these cakes and madness ensued. It was quite fun. I still enjoy a slice of this with coffee on a holiday and have talked about it so much at the studio that….there are demands for the recipe. It’s easier than you’d think….


  • 1.5 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1 box yellow cake mix without pudding in it (it comes out better this way) 18oz
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding 3.5oz
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup dark rum


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 325F.

Lightly butter the inside of a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan. Dust the pan with a bit of the cake mix and tap out the excess into your mixing bowl. Sprinkle the pecans into the bottom of the Bundt pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the remaining cake ingredients on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on medium 2 minutes more. It will seem like there’s a lot of air in the batter — this is what you want!

Pour batter into the Bundt pan. Bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for a half hour while you make the glaze.

Make the glaze: pick a larger saucepan than you think you need — this sauce tends to foam up and no one wants to clean that up. Melt the butter in your too-large pan. Increase the heat to medium and stir in the water and sugar. Yep, it’ll foam up as you bring it to a boil. Stirring constantly, boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum.

Invert the cake onto a plate and poke it all over with a toothpick. You need LOTS of holes to aborb the boozy, buttery, sugary goodness. Drizzle the glaze all over the top and sides of the cake. Keep going until it’s all absorbed.

Now, the hard part: let the cake sit for several hours before cutting it. The glaze needs time to infiltrate the entire cake. I like to make this, let it sit overnight and then enjoy with coffee in the morning. Nothing like adding caffeine to your sugar/alcohol bomb!

Note: if this seems like a long process, you can make the cake one day and then do the glaze the following morning. Still let that cake sit for a few hours before diving in. Don’t skip the glaze! Someone once gave me a rum cake where they’d skipped the glaze step. It was sad. The alcohol cooks out of the cake, leaving the rum flavor — you really DO want the boozy goodness of the glaze.

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