rum-drenched vanilla cake

Someone brought a rum bundt cake into work last week, and oh my god, was it good. Tender, extremely moist, and intensely rummy, I could hardly resist grabbing one wedge after another. My officemate, who apparently has far better self-control than I, cut herself a piece and set it aside until the end of the day, six or seven hours later. She regretted the wait as soon as she bit into it and realized that, by then, the rest of the cake was gone. Clearly we needed to get the recipe.

It turns out that the recipe is a doctored cake mix, which just proves that of all the types of prepared, processed foods, cake mix is probably the best at imitating, and in some cases perhaps surpassing, the completely homemade version. And although I can hardly believe this cake I had could be improved upon, and I don’t think the chemicals in one boxed cake mix recipe is going to knock me dead, I’m still too stubborn to use a boxed mix.

A web search yielded nothing but that same recipe, cake mix and oil and rum, over and over. I started thinking of what cake recipe of mine I’d adapt to imitate the recipe I was finding, resigning myself to doing some experimenting.

It took me five days to make the connection that I was searching for a from-scratch rum cake, and I was planning to make rum-drenched vanilla cakes over the weekend. I’m not so smart.

My first impression was that Dorie’s cakes weren’t as moist or tender, although they were fluffy and light with plenty of rum flavor.  Two days later, the cake had ripened, and its texture was very similar to the one I’d eaten at work.  In the future, I might replace the melted butter in the cake with oil, which I think makes cakes moister, but other than that, I think I have my from-scratch rum bundt cake recipe, and I didn’t even have to experiment.

Wendy chose these cakes for Tuesdays with Dorie, and she has the recipe posted. I doubled the salt.

One year ago: Comparison of three white cake recipes
Two years ago: Apple Cheddar Scones


  1. These sound great! I wonder if they would work with any other kind of liquor 😉 The shape of the cakes is so cute! I want a bundt pan, it’s my favourite cake shape 🙁


  2. Your mini bundts are adorable! I skipped last week’s TWD because I had a bunch of cakes to make for co-workers. The very last one I made was a black forest cake and then find that our TWD recipe is chocolate and cherries! Duh! I really should look farther ahead!

  3. I think rum makes most baked goods better!

  4. what a wacky coincidence! (“i’m not so smart”..haha!) this is a great recipe, but now that you mention replacing butter with oil, i am very curious…

  5. Every time you post little cakes I twitchily start browsing kitchenwares online and I swear my husband can sense it from the other room.

  6. My mom made amaretto bundt cakes a few months ago and Oh.My.God was it absolutely amazing. Seriously, my new fave dessert, or breakfast, or lunch.

  7. Think you might be on to something with the oil replacing butter idea. Bundt cakes with oil in them are usually very moist.

  8. This cake looks lovely! I think I’d top it with some vanilla whipped cream and strawberries for a mini strawberry shortcake.

  9. it’s so perfect looking!

  10. Don’t you love it when a plan comes together. Love the little bundts. Perfect.

  11. I love my cake really moist, so I’m also guilty of using oil a lot, lol! You have a perfect looking bundts here! You just gave an idea on what to make this weekend for my twin boys play date. I think they will going to love this little bundts with icing on top and some colorful toppings. I’ll serve it with punch drinks and perhaps a banana sundae. Can’t wait for weekend, lol!

  12. Those are darn cute. I’m with you on the cake mix. Can’t use it.

  13. Your mini bundts look gorgeous. I love the color. Thanks for baking with me this week.

  14. What a happy coincidence 🙂

  15. I loved how these “ripened” after a day or two – I totally agree! Bypassed the rum, but went with orange liqueur – still good, but now I want to experience the rum route! Exquisite photography – they look wonderful!

  16. Unfortunately none of my cake made it past the first day…maybe i’ll have to do this again to see it at it’s prime!

  17. But where’s my pineapple! jk – I’m glad it turned out well for you, hopefully I will have a chance to experiment too!

  18. Bunnies4Buddha says:

    I <3 the beautiful, vintage cloth used in the backdrop of this photo shoot; and I guess the cake looks good too 🙂

  19. Great looking cake! I have made mine with hazelnut syrup. Hubby doesn’t care for rum in his desserts. 🙂