Rum cake as the name implies is a type of cake that heavily incorporates rum as one of its core ingredients. Naturally, like with any type of cake, the ingredients incorporated into the bake will have a massive impact on the taste. This is especially true when cooking with alcohol as the flavours and quality can vary wildly between different brands of the same beverage. Likewise, even if some rum brands make for good drinking experiences, they may be poor choices when it comes to incorporating them into a rum cake recipe. As such, you may be wondering, what is the best rum for cake baking?

Is it ok to bake cakes with alcohol?

Whilst some people are perfectly familiar and comfortable with cooking and baking with alcohol, others may not be. As such when it comes to following traditional rum cake recipes you may have some reservations

Will Alcoholic Ingredients In Food Make You Drunk?

Baking and cooking in general with alcohol is a very common practice. This is true across the culinary world. Examples of which include adding red wine to beef bourguignon, Pernod to fish dishes, incorporating whiskey into barbecue sauce for pulled pork or indeed rum into a cake.

Whilst alcoholic drinks do contain alcohol when put into food, they are unlikely to be able to get people drunk in most circumstances. Even when possible though, if the food does contain a highly potent alcoholic drink, the dish would need to be consumed in particularly high quantities to have any measurable effect.

The reason for this is that in the vast majority of instances, the heat from cooking will “burn off” most of, if not all the alcoholic content. As a result, only the flavours of the drink will typically be left.

Best Rum for Cake Baking

Do You Have To Do Anything Differently?

Whilst it is perfectly fine to bake with alcohol, it will likely change how you approach a bake. This is because the inclusion of alcohol in a cake mix will inevitably alter the structural integrity.

As a result of this many people will use alcohol in baking with this intent in mind. For example, including a little vodka in a dough recipe will help give the resulting bread a more flaky texture. Conversely, the inclusion of dark rum in cake batter or yellow cake mix will add moistness and additional flavour.

Is There Rum In Rum cake?

Rum isn’t necessarily used in all rum cakes. This is because some people may use rum extract instead of the real thing. However, this is something that isn’t recommended. This is because the flavours provided by rum extracts are often less intense and therefore may make your rum cake somewhat underwhelming as a result.

What Is The Best Rum For Rum Cake?

When deciding on which type of rum you should incorporate into a rum cake it is important to keep in mind a few key factors. Whilst some of these will come down to personal preference, others will fundamentally impact the quality of your rum cake in a negative way.

Can You Use Cheap Rum?

It’s true that cheap doesn’t always mean poor quality. However, if like most people you don’t like drinking cheap, low-quality booze, then why would you like to eat something with that flavour?

The answer is that you probably won’t. This is because traditional rum cakes will often not only contain rum in the cake mix but also be covered in a rum glaze. As such, when making a rum-soaked cake, using poor quality supermarket brand rum, will give it that harsh, cheap taste we all know and loathe.

White Vs Gold Vs Dark Rum?

When making rum cake, typically you’re best off using dark rum rather than white or gold rum. This is because the darker the rum the bolder and richer the flavour tends to be. The reason for this is because darker rum will have been barrel-aged for significantly longer than the white and gold variants.

Best Rum for Cake Baking

As such darker rum is more ideally suited for use in rum cake. The reason for this is that more of the rum flavour will make it through to the final rum cake’s taste. Meanwhile, the flavour from a white rum may be lost entirely.

Whilst white rum-based rum cakes are near enough unheard of, golden rum cake recipes can be easily found. These will often be perfectly fine as they have been aged and therefore have more flavour than white rum. However, they will still have less than dark rum.

Spiced Vs Unspiced Rum?

The difference between cheap and reputable rum brands, or that or white vs dark rum is somewhat objective in the case of a rum cake recipe. However, whether you elect to use a spiced or unspecified rum will mainly depend on your preference. This is because there are rum cake recipe variants for whether you wish yours to have a sweet or spicy taste.

Many different rums will typically either be spiced or unspiced. In fact, some will market themselves as having spiced or dark varieties. However, whether a rum is dark or spiced aren’t mutually exclusive qualities, as seen with brands like Kraken. Naturally, unspiced rums will often be sweeter by comparison. Meanwhile, spiced rums will use a spice blend to provide a distinct flavour and spicy aftertaste.

Best Rum Brands for Baking Cakes

Which type of rum you prefer to use in your rum cake will be something that can only really be found through experimentation. However, even with that said, there are some popular recommendations we can give you to put in your cake mix and rum sauce. Whilst these may not be the cheapest options, they will be mostly very affordable and come from incredibly reputable brands.

Best Rum for Cake Baking

Captain Morgan

Perhaps one of the most widely recognised and popular rum brands is Captain Morgan. Typically these rums will be known for being quite sweet as seen with the dark variant.

However, Captain Morgan spiced gold can offer a mildly spiced option. For an even sweeter and more tropical flavour, though, Captain Morgan Tiki can also add an additional pineapple flavour to your rum cake.

Sailor Jerry

On the other end of the spectrum is Sailor Jerry which is quite strong from an alcohol content perspective at forty percent. Additionally, it is also much more spiced than it is sweet. Despite this though Sailor Jerry still has a sweetness to it, as is characteristic of most rums.

The distinct flavours of black pepper, ginger and nutmeg also have some distinctive spice notes. Meanwhile, the toffee, cinnamon and vanilla notes complement it with a variety of sweet flavours.

Cruzan Blackstrap Rum

This bittersweet molasses heavy rum makes for a distinct rum cake. It has something of a spicy kick to it which is contrasted with sweetness as a result of the molasses. As a result, the spice will build up with every bite you take in a way that isn’t overpowering to the rest of the flavours. However, due to the kick Cruzan Blackstrap Rum has, you’re best off using it in moderation in a rum cake.

Pussers Rum British Navy

Pussers is a navy rum that is often aged in old bourbon barrels. This gives it a distinctly sweet oakey taste. However, this is complemented with a delicate hint of allspice and dark pepper to give it a bit more kick.

Brugal Gold Rum

This dark rum from the Dominican Republic strikes a great balance between sweet and spicy. As a result, it can make an excellent rum cake that strikes a perfect balance for all tastes. Additionally, the butter, caramel and vanilla notes will add some distinctive extra flavours to the final cake.

Bacardi Gold Rum

Like Brugal Gold Rum, this Bacardi rum is a nice middle point between sweet and spicy. However, where Bacardi Gold Rum (or Carta Oro) differs is that it is considered an amber or gold rum rather than a dark rum. As such it has a slightly lighter taste. Despite this though, when used in a rum cake, notes of caramel, vanilla, banana and almond flavours will be present, along with orange zest and oak.

Best Rum for Cake Baking

Tips for Baking with the Best Rum for Cakes

When it comes to baking rum cakes there are a few simple techniques that can elevate your bake from good to great. These will be little steps that are easy to do and won’t make the baking process all that more complex. They may add a little bit more time to the whole process, but trust me, it’ll be worth the investment.

Poke Holes In The Cake Before Glazing

This might seem an odd thing to do but trust us on this one. Poking holes in the cake before glazing will help the cake absorb more of the glazing and soak deep into the cake. This will result in a rum cake that is much moister than it would otherwise be.

When doing this the more holes you poke into the cake the better. This will help even more of the glazing to soak in. However, the holes should only be small enough to help this process and not damage the bundt cake shape. As such a toothpick inserted into various parts of the cake or using a skewer to poke the holes will both be good methods.

Additionally, try to poke the holes in a way that they are evenly distributed. This is because doing so will result in the flavour being even and consistent across the cake. Otherwise, it may be more concentrated in certain parts.

Take Your Time Whilst Glazing

I know that it’s tempting to get this part done as soon as possible. Especially with the sweet smell of rum cake wafting around your kitchen. However, taking your time with the glazing will definitely pay off big time.

This is true with the initial pouring process since you’ll want to ensure that the rum cake has an even coating. Doing so, especially in conjunction with evenly spaced out holes will help the flavour to be more consistent throughout the cake.

Once glazed you should also allow it to cool completely at room temperature on a cooling rack. Whilst the warm cake may still be good if allowed to cool the overall result will be much better. This is because the cake will have had time to soak in more of the glaze. As a result, the cake as a whole will be much more flavourful and moist.

Best Rum for Cake Baking

So What Is The Best Rum For Cake Baking?

The best rum for baking a rum cake is typically a dark rum, although certain gold/amber rums can also be good rum options. More specifically than that though, finding the perfect rum for everyone is not really possible. This is because some may like the sweetness provided by Captain Morgan whilst others prefer the spice of a Sailor Jerry.

As such, if you’re an enthusiast or drinking rum, then one of your favourite dark rums may be the ideal choice. However, if not all that familiar with rum then whichever option above sounds most appealing to you will probably be your best bet.

FAQs: Choosing the Best Rum for Cakes

Can Rum Cake Make You Drunk?

Despite rum cake containing rum, it is unlikely that you will get drunk from eating it. This is because most of the alcohol will be burned away during baking, leaving just the rum’s flavour. However, whilst most of the alcohol will be gone some may still remain. As such if eating an extremely large amount of rum cake, you could potentially begin to feel drunk.

How To Store a Rum Cake?

Rum cake can either be stored at room temperature or in the fridge. Either way, it won’t go bad for a while due to not containing anything like heavy cream that perishes quickly. Additionally, having rum and sugar as core ingredients will help it stay good longer as they will somewhat act as preservatives. Due to this, whether it is stored in the fridge or at room temperature is more a question of if you prefer your rum cake to be cold or not rather than preservation.

Can You Freeze Rum Cake for Longer Storage Time?

Rum cake can be frozen in order to extend shelf life. As such many people will often prepare it in batches, freeze it and then thaw when desired. When freezing rum cake though it is recommended to store it in a solid container to prevent the cake from being bashed and damaged.

Are There Many Variations of Rum Cake?

Rum cake has many different variations with many diverse names such as rum baba, golden rum cake or rum-soaked cake. Some of these are simply just alternate names whilst they may also be used for unique spins on the rum cake. Additionally, certain types of rum cake recipe will be distinct from one another depending on the type of rum used during baking such as the Bacardi rum cake.