Mini rum cake is a delicious dessert for a special occasion. Made from a cake mix base the cakes are soaked in rum and topped with powdered sugar and cherries. With rum in the cake batter and a tasty rum sauce topping these mini cakes are rich and delicious.
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Rum cake at its most basic is a yellow cake soaked in rum, and all that rum gives it a rich flavor and a very moist texture. This recipe makes little mini rum cakes that make a delicious holiday treat.
A great thing about rum cake is that it gets better after it sits for 2-3 days. This makes it the perfect cake for the holidays! You can bake it before the big rush of holiday meal preparations and have an elegant and tasty dessert ready to go.
Whats the Best Rum for Rum Cake?
Dark rum or a spiced rum will give these little cakes a rich, distinct flavor. I used Bacardi Black Rum, which is easy to find and relatively inexpensive. If you use a light rum the taste will be much more subtle, which isn’t really what rum cake is all about.
Can Rum Cake Get You Drunk?
Theoretically, you can become intoxicated from the alcohol in a rum cake, but you’d have to eat excessive amounts of cake. There is a total of 1 cup of rum in this recipe, and while some of the alcohol burns off during cooking some will remain, especially in the rum sauce.
So this is obviously not a dessert to serve to children or if you know your guests have issues with alcohol. But as long as you restrict the dessert to ages 21+ and you only eat a few mini cakes you don’t need to be overly concerned about the alcohol content.
How to Make Rum Cake
1. Prepare the Cake Pan
I use a mini bundt pan to bake the rum cake. This makes little cakes about 3 inches in diameter. These cakes can be eaten in 3 or 4 bites, which is perfect for holiday gatherings.
This recipe makes about 36 of these little cakes, so you either need 3 pans or you need to cook them in batches. I discuss the logistics of batch cooking below.
The mini bundt pan can be a little tricky to get the cakes out of. If you don’t do a good job preparing the pan the cakes will stick. For each batch that you bake you need to use cooking spray on the pan and then flour it.
In addition, you could also bake these in a muffin tin. They wouldn’t look quite as pretty, but the size is very similar. Or you can increase the cooking time and cook one large rum cake instead of 36 small ones.
2. Make the Cake Batter
This cake is pretty easy to make because it uses a boxed cake mix as a base. The cake mix is combined with instant pudding, eggs, water, rum, oil, and vanilla. The cake-making part of the recipe is just dump and mix.
It is easy to overfill the mini bundt pan, which will give you cakes that have a muffin top. It takes only 2-3 Tablespoons of batter to fill the mini bundt cake pan. The batter is thin, but the cake will rise quite a bit. It takes only about 8 minutes to bake the mini bundt cakes in a 350-degree oven.
Wait until the pan of cakes are out of the oven to make the rum sauce. Put the pan of cakes on a cooling rack but leave them in the pan.
3. Make the Rum Sauce
The rum sauce is a combination of butter, rum, and sugar, and it gets very hot and is flammable. You need to give the rum sauce your full attention and be careful while making it.
Take a medium size saucepan and melt the butter over low heat. Once the butter is melted add the sugar and water and bring to a boil.
Once it is boiling let it boil rapidly for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. If you don’t stir constantly the mixture can burn.
After 5 minutes take the saucepan OFF the heat and carefully whisk in the rum. The sauce will bubble up when the rum is added, so be careful it doesn’t bubble out of the saucepan and burn you.
Put the saucepan back on the burner and let it cook for another minute. Take it off the heat and let it cool a little bit.
4. Saturate the Cakes with Rum Sauce
There should be about 2 cups of rum sauce, which you are going to pour all over both the top and bottom of the rum cake.
Take a fork and poke the cakes, still in the mini bundt pan, all over. You are making holes for the rum sauce, so make lots of holes.
To make it easier to evenly saturate the cake pour about 1/3 of a cup of sauce into a GLASS measuring cup. Pour that 1/3 of a cup of rum sauce all over the surface of the cakes, letting it soak into the holes.
Let the cakes rest for about 30 minutes so the rum sauce soaks in. Then invert the pan onto a plate so the cakes come out of the pan.
Now that the mini cakes are right side up poke them all over the top and sides with a fork. Then put another 1/3 cup of rum sauce in the measuring cup and drizzle it slowly over the cakes. It will run down and some will pool on the serving plate, which is fine.
5. Make Two More Batches of Mini Rum Cakes
I have a lot of baking pans, but I certainly don’t have 3 of these mini bundt pans and you probably don’t either. That means these cakes need to be cooked in batches.
Unfortunately, the mini bundt pan will be sticky with rum sauce, so you need to wash and dry the pan in between batches. Then recoat the pans with cooking spray and flour before baking the next batch of cakes.
Once the second batch of cakes is cooked poke them with holes and drizzle them with rum sauce just like the first batch. Then wash the pan again and make the last batch of mini rum cakes.
The rum sauce might crystallize some as it cools. If necessary heat it back up over LOW heat and whisk for a minute or two before pouring it over the cakes. Do not try to heat it in a microwave.
6. Let the Cakes Rest
You can eat these cakes after a few hours, but they will taste even better after a few days. Thanks to all the alcohol the mini rum cakes store well and can be kept at room temperature for up to 10 days.
Can I Freeze the Rum Cake?
Rum cake freezes very well. Wrap the cakes well in plastic wrap and put the cakes in a freezer bag. It will store in the freezer for 3 months. To thaw the cakes put them in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then bring them to room temperature.
How to Serve Mini Rum Cake
I like to top off the mini rum cakes with powdered sugar and Maraschino cherries. Both should be added right before serving. They make the cake look elegant and festive.
This dessert is fancy enough for a holiday celebration! These tender mini cakes are drenched in rum flavor and provide a bite-sized dessert.
Looking for More Dessert Ideas?
Mini Rum Cake
- 1 box yellow cake mix 18.5 ounces
- 1 box instant vanilla pudding 3.4 ounces
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a mini bundt pan with cooking spray and flour the pan and set aside.
- In mixer combine the cake mix, dry pudding, eggs, rum, oil, water and vanilla. Mix on high until smooth.1 box yellow cake mix, 1 box instant vanilla pudding, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup dark rum, 1/2 cup water, 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Put the batter into the mini bundt pan, adding 2-3 Tablespoons of batter to each well. The cake rises a fair bit, so don’t overfill the pans.
- Bake for about 8 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Put the cake pan on a wire rack to cool while you make the rum sauce. Keep the cakes in the pan.
- The rum sauce is flammable and you need to give it your complete attention and stir constantly while you make it.
- Put the butter in a medium size sauce pan and melt it over low heat.1/2 cup butter
- Add the water and sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water
- Once it reaches boiling stir it while it boils for 4 minutes. It will become white.
- Take the pan off the heat and carefully stir in the rum. The sauce will foam up and bubble, so be careful to keep stirring so it doesn’t bubble over the pan.1/2 cup dark rum
- Put the pan back on the burner and cook for 1 minute, still stirring.
- Take the pan off the stove and let it cool slightly.
Soaking the Cake in Rum Sauce
- Take the cake pan, with the cakes still in it, and poke holes all over the surface. These holes will allow the rum sauce to soak into the cake.
- Carefully pour 1/3 of a cup of rum sauce into a glass measuring cup.
- Gently drizzle the rum sauce from the measuring cup onto the cakes in the pan. Use 1/3 of a cup of the rum sauce.
- Put the cakes aside to rest for half an hour.
- Invert the cake pan onto a serving plate to remove the cakes from the pan. Gently loosen the cakes around the edges if necessary to remove them. Stab the cakes all over on the top and side with a fork to make more holes.
- Put another 1/3 of a cup of rum sauce into the glass measuring cup. Slowly drizzle it over the cakes, allowing it to soak in.
Make More Cakes
- If you only have one mini bundt cake pan you will need to make the cakes in batches. Wash the pan, dry it and prepare it with cooking and flour again.
- Once the next batch of cakes are baked poke them with holes and drizzle them with sauce just like the first batch. If the rum sauce has crystallized during the wait heat it on low heat on the stove for a few minutes.
- Repeat this until you are out of batter and rum sauce.
Serve the Rum Cake
- The rum cakes need to rest at least 2 hours before serving and the flavor will continue to improve for 2-3 days after making.
- When you are ready to serve dust the cakes with powdered sugar and top with maraschino cherries.
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Nutrition facts are estimates.