Holiday Rum Cake With Yellow Cake Mix And Pudding

An easy holiday rum cake recipe made with yellow cake mix, French vanilla pudding, Bacardi Rum, and topped with chopped pecans. Serve this for a Christmas or New Year’s party or as part of a holiday brunch menu.

How can you pass up a moist yellow bundt cake soaked with a rum glaze? Trust me, you will be singing praises with this one. This is one of those recipes I tend to make only around the holidays, usually about a week before Christmas. I find myself making it about every other year. My family is in luck this year as the Bundt pan came out of the cupboard to make another showing, so rum cake for everyone!

An Easy Rum Cake

One of the reasons I enjoy this holiday rum cake recipe is because it is quick and painless to make since you start with a pre-packaged cake mix. You can mix up the batter and have it in the oven within about 20 minutes. Also, I would encourage you to begin making this in the morning if you want to serve it for an evening dessert, so you have enough time to apply the glaze.

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This cake will taste even better if you make it a day ahead, as the flavors will have time to mellow. Also, this cake freezes well, so if you find yourself out of holiday before the cake is gone, go ahead and throw a portion in the freezer. It tastes great in the springtime too.

Pecans Optional for this Holiday Rum Cake

You can choose whether to put the pecans on top, but I find it adds a nice crunch and flavor. Make sure you use fresh pecans. My husband and son say you need to serve this with vanilla ice cream. 🙂

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rum cake slice

Holiday Rum Cake Recipe

Holiday Rum Cake

An easy holiday rum cake recipe made with yellow cake mix, French vanilla pudding, Bacardi Rum, and topped with chopped pecans.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dark rum, pecans, pudding, yellow cake mix
Servings: 12
Author: Laura Warnke


  • 1 cup chopped pecans optional
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 3.4 ounce small package instant French vanilla pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup dark rum 80 proof (I used Bacardi Gold)


  • 1 stick of butter 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dark rum

Kitchen Equipment Needed

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Electric hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Bundt Pan
  • Medium Saucepan


  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Grease and flour a Bundt pan.
  • Sprinkle 1 cup chopped pecan pieces on the bottom of the Bundt pan (optional).
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, instant French vanilla pudding, eggs, water, oil, and rum.
  • Beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes or beat by hand with a whisk until smooth and satiny.
  • Pour batter evenly over the pecan pieces into the bundt pan.
  • Bake the rum cake for 1 hour at 375 degrees.
  • During the last 15 minutes of baking make the rum glaze. In a medium sauce pan, place the stick of butter, water, sugar, and rum for the glaze and stir until the glaze comes to a rolling boil and all of the sugar dissolves. Let cool for a few minutes.
  • When the cake is done baking, let it cool for a few minutes and turn out the cake by inverting it onto a large plate.
  • Poke holes in the side and top of the cake with a fork.
  • With a ladle, begin pouring some of the glaze over the hot cake, covering it so that the glaze begins soaking into the cake.
  • Once the glaze has soaked in, flip the cake back into the Bundt pan and poke more holes in it. Continue to ladle the glaze onto the rum cake.
  • Throughout the day, continue to keep ladling the glaze over the cake until it cannot absorb any more glaze. Continue this process until all of the glaze is used up. This may take a few hours.


*Monika, a visitor to this site, suggests decreasing the water in the glaze to 1/4 cup for a more intense flavored glaze. (I prefer the glaze recipe as written above, but everyone has their own tastes.)
*Make sure you use fresh pecans.

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