This delicious pumpkin rum cake is incredibly moist with a comforting pumpkin spice flavor. It’s soaked in a butter rum sauce that complements the pumpkin perfectly to create an elevated, but simple, fall dessert. This pumpkin rum cake combines elements of my favorite rum soaked cake and pumpkin bundt cake to create a delicious fall dessert. It’s incredibly moist and the pumpkin spice flavor pairs perfectly with the butter rum glaze that soaks into the cake after it’s done baking. I love to add a layer of pecans to the cake for a delicious crunch – but that’s totally optional.
Making the Perfect Pumpkin Rum Cake
We start by making the perfect pumpkin bundt cake that’s infused with just a hint of rum extract. The pumpkin spice flavor comes from brown sugar, warm spices, vanilla and, of course, pumpkin puree. Oil, 3 eggs and pumpkin give the cake its incredibly moist and tender crumb.
You’ll start by whisking together the dry ingredients, then in a separate bowl whisking together the wet ingredients and sugar.
The dry ingredients are then whisked into the wet ingredients until evenly combined and no lumps remain. Easy peasy.
Ensure that the pan is well greased and lightly floured – even if using a nonstick pan. Bundt pans are notoriously bad for getting your cake stuck, so be sure to get into all the creases and cavities of the pan.
You’ll add the chopped pecans to the pan and then pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. The cake will bake in your preheated oven for about 50-60 minutes.
Butter Rum Sauce
As the cake is cooling, it’s time to get on with the rum sauce. You’ll melt together butter, rum, sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved and then bring to a gentle boil for about 5 minutes for the sauce to thicken.
After carefully inserting the bundt pan and letting the cake slide out, you’ll poke holes in the warm cake with a toothpick or wooden kebab skewer (I wouldn’t use anything that’s as thick as a chopstick). Then brush the cake with the rum sauce. You want to be very generous here so that the sauce sinks into the cake and goes into the holes made by the toothpick.
I like to reserve any leftover rum sauce for guests to pour over their own slice if they’d like a stronger rum flavor.
Baking Tips & Tricks
- Rum extract is used in the cake batter, whereas rum is used in the butter rum sauce. Rum extract can be found in the baking aisle of your grocery store near the vanilla extract. You can leave out the rum extract from the cake batter if you don’t want to buy an ingredient that you won’t often use.
- I use dark rum for this recipe, but light rum works too. You don’t need to go out and buy anything overly fancy for baking. I like using a rum that hints of caramel or warm spices.
- Be sure to use pumpkin puree and not canned pumpkin pie filling – these ingredients are different and aren’t substitutes for one another.
- Do not overmix the batter. Overmixing will lead to a cake with air tunnels.
- Bake times can vary by 10-20% depending on your oven and the exact shape of your bundt pan. When the cake is done baking, it shouldn’t have a wobble to it if you gently nudge the pan. You should start to see it pulling away from the edges of the pan and an inserted toothpick should come out clean or with a few moist cake crumbs. It shouldn’t be coated in cake batter or gooey cake crumbs.
- I recommend using a simple bundt pan instead of one with very intricate details. The more intricate your bundt pan, the more difficult it can be for the cake to slide out of the pan.
- I use homemade pan release to grease my bundt pan. You can buy pan release in baking stores, or make your own with shortening, oil and flour. Whisk equal parts together (I typically use ¼ cup of each). Then you’ll spread it on the pan. Then you’ll store the rest in the fridge – it will last months, so you’ll then always have some.
- If not using pan release, be sure to grease and flour the pan very well.
And if you’re looking for more delicious pumpkin desserts, then be sure to try:
- Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pumpkin Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Sauce
- Pumpkin Brownies
Pumpkin Rum Cake
- 12-cup bundt pan mine is 10.5 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep
Pumpkin Bundt Cake
- ¾ cup chopped pecans optional
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (313 grams)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup canola oil (240 ml) or vegetable oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- ¾ cup brown sugar (158 grams) light or dark
- 3 large eggs whisked
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon rum extract
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (210 ml) NOT canned pumpkin pie filling
Butter Rum Sauce
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter (75 grams)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- ⅓ cup rum (80 ml) I used dark, spiced rum
- 3 tablespoons water (45 ml)
Pumpkin Rum Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
- Add the chopped pecans to a cookie sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes, or until the appear toasted.
- Remove from the oven and turn down the temperature to 325F (170C).
- Grease and flour the bundt pan, being sure to get into every crease. Alternatively, brush the pan with pan release (this is what I did).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, whisked eggs, vanilla extract and rum extract.
- Then whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. I typically do this about ½ at a time. Once you no longer see lumps, stop mixing. Be sure not to overmix the batter.
- Add the toasted pecans to your prepared pan.
- Then spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 50-60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. You should start to see the edges of the cake pull away from the outside of the pan. If you're unsure, I'd recommend baking for a few extra minutes to ensure that the cake is fully baked.
- Cool in the pan about 20 minutes, then carefully invert the pan so that the cake slides out onto a wire rack.
Butter Rum Sauce
- Add the butter, sugar, rum and water to a small saucepan over low heat.
- Melt together as you gently whisk the ingredients together.
- Bring the sauce to a boil for 5 minutes while gently stirring.
- Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, gently poke holes in the warm pumpkin cake.
- Brush the cake with the butter rum sauce, letting it soak into the cake. I typically use about ½ of the sauce and pour the rest into a gravy boat. Then when serving, guests can choose to pour more sauce onto their piece.
- Pecans: Pecans are optional. Measure pecans after chopping.
- Spices: Feel free to substitute the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice.
- Rum Extract: Rum extract can typically be found in the baking aisle of your grocery store, near the vanilla extract.
- Pumpkin Puree: Be sure to use pure pumpkin and not canned pumpkin pie filling.
- Rum: I used dark, spiced rum. There is no need to buy anything expensive for this recipe.
- Storage: Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Nutrition: Nutrition details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 slice, assuming the cake is sliced into 12 uniform pieces and that it's made with pecans and that all the butter rum sauce is used.