Italian Rum Cake Recipe

("Starts With a Cake Mix. Shhhhh.")

italian rum cake recipe

This Italian rum cake recipe is one of those Italian cakes I asked my grandma to make me every time I'd come visit. The first time I asked her for the recipe I was about twenty. I was SHOCKED when she told me it was made from a cake mix! I always reverenced this recipe with that magic-grandma-feeling. I was a teeny weeny bit disappointed when I found out. However, I got over it quickly.

I put it in my easy cake recipes collection. And I have a whole side collection of Italian cakes which are box cake mix recipes. Anyway,this is my oldest daughters favorite cake. It's her request for EVERY birthday. Which is nice because it's so easy and very traditional. I bake it for her every year.

The only UNeasy thing about it is - it needs to sit. It needs to be made ahead. The trick in a lot of our Italian Dessert Recipes is to let them sit. It allows for better flavoring. And this Italian Rum Cake Recipe - HAS TO SIT!

Here's why.

The alcohol needs to flavor the cake. It's kinda like sangrias. They gotta sit. (See - how to make sangria and you will know what I mean.)

Just in case you were wondering an Italian rum cake recipe isn't a babka. That's a different type cake.

This is a very "rummy" cake. It's not heavy like a pound cake. It's a yellow cake that will absorb a lot of liquid. Rum. So think yellow cake, wet, and rummy. The big key is - letting it sit. Give yourself at least 12 hours before you need to serve it

And if this isn't exactly what you were looking for - scroll below to see all the Italian cake recipes I have on my site.

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Italian Rum Cake Recipe

YIELD: 1 Bundt Pan or Tube Pan


* 1 box of yellow (NOT LEMON) cake mix

* 1 package of vanilla instant pudding (the 4 serving size) - Oh and wait, you may not need the pudding (see below)

* 4 eggs

* 1/2 oil

* 1 cup of walnuts

* 1/2 cup dark rum


* 1 stick of butter

* 1 cups of sugar (not powdered)

* 1/4 cup water

* 1/2 cup of dark rum


* Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

* Grease the bundt or tube pan

* Pour the 1 cup of chopped nuts over the bottom of the pan

* Mix all the cake ingredients together

* Blend well

* Pour batter over nuts

* Bake for

* While the cake is baking for the hour - prepare the glaze


* Melt the butter in a sauce pan

* Stir in the water and sugar

* Boil the glaze mixture for 5 minutes stirring constantly (Really. Don't walk away to do facebook, pinterest, or even to do "something". Stay and stir.)

* Add the rum AFTER you pull the mixture off of the stove.


* When the cake has cooled and then invert on the serving plate

* Prick the top

* Drizzle and smooth glaze evenly over the sides and top.

* Allow the cake to absorb the glaze as MUCH as possible(yes there will be a small puddle on the plate - but the cake will absorb it the next 12 hours)

* Cover with saran, (put toothpicks on top) or aluminum foil. Try and get a tight seal so the cake will absorb the rum!

WWhat else can I use instead of rum?

I tried it once with rum flavoring. Don't try it. You will never get that bite. Sorry. Nothing will work. An Italian rum cake recipe is what it sounds like - full of rum. We like our alcohol

Can I swap out the nuts?

Yeah, back in the 1980s Duncan Hines had a recipe like this they advertised. I noticed they called for pecans. They would work just fine.

Can I leave OUT the nuts?

I wouldn't. It really wouldn't be much of a cake as far as texture. Sorry. I too have nut-haters. I just let them suck it up. This one has to have the nuts. They can find something else to have.

Can I skip the pudding

Yep. IF the cake mix box says, "pudding in the mix" - you can skip it. I've done it both ways - added it and skipped it. I just didn't want to be UNtrue to my grandma's recipe - so I copied it just the way she gave it to me. (Although I think this recipe has been around awhile and isn't just "hers". Shhhh. It's OK if we still call it "hers".)

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