MeMe's Rum Cake

Photo by LeNell Camacho Santa Ana
Photo by LeNell Camacho Santa Ana

I’m big on baking things from scratch, but our family’s favorite cake from grandma’s kitchen involved boxed cake and pudding mixes.  Her rum cake was a must-have for all family gatherings.  Being a teetotaler, MeMe always used imitation rum flavoring instead of the real stuff.  Now that I’m a big girl, I’ve used everything from bourbon, Scotch, absinthe, and, yes, even real rum, sometimes super high proof real rum.  I like to stay away from the mainstream cake mixes full of who-knows-what so I have recently been using organic yellow cake mix and an organic vanilla pudding mix from Whole Foods or a store that sells similar products.

This cake is always better the next day after the flavors have melded together--or after you’ve recuperated from drinking as much as you put in the cake.


  • .5 cup (118 ml) Pecans
  • 3.75 oz (111 ml) Vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pkg yellow Butter recipe cake mix
  • .5 cup (118 ml) Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (236.5 ml) Rum or other spirit of choice (Editor's note: for a good high proof rum, we recommend Cruzan 151)


  • 1 cup (236.5 ml) Sugar
  • .5 cup (118 ml) Butter
  • .5 cup (118 ml) Rum or other spirit of choice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a tube pan (I love to use the old aluminum tube pan that has the removable bottom).  Put nuts on the bottom of the pan.  Mix the other ingredients for the cake in the mixing bowl for 2 minutes.  Pour into the pan.  Bake for 50-60 minutes. When the cake is just about done, start mixing the other ingredients for the glaze and boil for 2 -3 minutes. Pour on the glaze and let it cool.