Homemade orange rum cake

13.9.22 | Recipe by Renz

This is a moist Caribbean-inspired rum cake with a great citrus flavor. Light and delicious, this orange rum cake is just the type you need on your holiday table. A decadent rum-infused cake that is super moist with orange and lime zest and an orange juice rum glaze.


Overhead shot of an orange rum cake on a white cake stand decorated with powder sugar and citrus rinds.

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For the holidays I think it is very important to have desserts ready to serve. Guests always want some type of sweet along with all the savory we are going to consume.

This orange cake is another one to have on display. It's a rum soaked cake in a citrus sauce that is light, and moist with hints of orange juice and rum.

And since this is a special occasion, let's make this delicious rum cake look fancy by putting it in a bundt pan. Your guest would be wowed.

They would also be wowed with my other rum soaked cake, a black fruit cake. So just go ahead and have them both on your dessert table.


Rum cake ingredients

This cake recipe really follows a basic cake recipe using your popular ingredients.

Ingredients needed to make a rum soaked orange rum cake.

  • Butter - you can use salted or unsalted butter. Just know that salted will give it a little salt taste. Some people actually like the contrast of flavor.
  • Sugar - I prefer to use granulated sugar because I find it creams better than brown sugar
  • Orange - we need the juice and the orange zest so try getting a medium orange.
  • Lime - also need the juice and zest of the lime.
  • Buttermilk - I don't ever buy buttermilk since the smallest size is too much, I usually just make my own.
  • Rum - Any kind can be used. See the section below where I talk about types.
  • Citrus peel for garnish


How to make orange rum cake from scratch

This cake will make you feel like a professional baker. It's a very easy cake process that creates a wonderfully flavored cake.

Prep work

First, get your butter and eggs to room temperature prior to using them.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. We don't want to wait till later down then have mixed batter and it sits while the oven gets preheated.

Sift together your dry ingredients and set them to the side.

If you are making buttermilk yourself, make it now and set it aside.

Zest your lime and oranges, then cut them in half and juice them.

Properly butter and flour your pans. Some people also like to use parchment paper. Personally, for a bundt pan with a lot of grooves, I use a spray then take a brush and spread it out all over the pan.

Mixing the batter for the cake

We start with our fundamental method of creaming sugar and butter until it's light and fluffy on medium speed.

Butter and sugar to be creamed and then zest of the lime and oranges added to creamed butter.
One image for butter and sugar then creamed butter and sugar with citrus zest.

Add the zest from the orange and lime to the mixture. Then beat in your eggs. Do the eggs one at a time and make sure each one mixes in before adding the other.

We now want to add our flour mixture and the buttermilk, alternating between the two. Combine till smooth. Try not to overmix.
Alternating of buttermilk and flour added to creamed butter mixture.
Adding buttermilk and flour to the creamed butter mixture.

Add the cake batter to the pan and set to bake for an hour or so. It should be golden brown in color, the cake should have left the sides of the pan, and a knife inserted comes out clean.

Cake batter in a tube pan about to be baked.

Making the rum glaze

Halfway through baking, it's time to make this simple glaze.

Juice your oranges and lime and then strain them into your saucepan. Add the balance of the sugar and bring it to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the rum.

Boiled citrus and rum glaze to be placed on cake.
Citrus rum glaze

Once the cake is ready, pour the glaze over the cake in the pan. You might see it filling up in the center, that's okay. You can decide how much of the glaze you want to add, but I suggest no less than half of what you've made.

There's just something about rum-soaked cakes.

Pair this with:

I usually have a slice of cake for different reasons. Something sweet after savory food or just randomly feeling for something sweet.

If it's the option after food, I would just have a slice of cake by itself.

Randomly feeling for something sweet? I'll pair it with some ice cream like soursop or some vanilla ice cream.

If no ice cream a nice drink for nonalcoholic I would pair it with fruit punch or if you really want some more rum, a rum punch.

Completed citrus rum cake with powdered sugar and citrus rind.

How to store rum cake

We hardly ever have any of this delicious cake left over, but if you happen to do then here are some best practices.

Finish it the next day:

If you think you are going to finish the rest quickly, then you can just take some plastic wrap and securely wrap the cake. This will help to keep in the moisture. This can be left at room temperature for up to three days or can be placed in the fridge.

Completed citrus rum cake with powdered sugar and citrus rind.

Have for more than three days:

If you think it will last longer than that, then you can place it in the freezer. If you are going to freeze it you can wrap the whole cake. I would double wrap for the freezer.

Or you can cut the rest up into pieces and wrap each piece individually. This way you would just need to grab a piece to warm up when ready. For more protection from frostbite, I would also wrap foil after doing the plastic wrap.

When ready to use, you can defrost at room temperature.

Pulling out a slice of rum cake from the main base.

Is light or dark rum better for rum cake

I don't personally find one is better than the other. I use whatever I have on hand to use. I have used Bacardi, Puncheon, Rhum Barbancourt, Wray, and Nephew. Any rum, whether white or dark, can work

Slices of rum cake on white plates with gold forks.

Toppings for rum cakes

I have a simple dusted powdered sugar and citrus rinds decorating the cake but there are other options.

You can:

  • Leave it plain.
  • Use chopped nuts of some kind like walnuts or pecans.
  • Desiccated coconut flakes.
  • Icing.

Did you make this recipe? If you did please let me know how you like it by leaving a comment and/or review in the recipe card below.







Other great Caribbean cakes: