Okay, so just because I don’t drink doesn’t mean I never consume alcohol – and the following cake recipe DEFINITELY has some alcohol in it!

Ladies and gentlemen, if you’ve never had the pleasure, let me introduce you to Tortuga Rum Cake!


Oh my goodness! What a delightful treat! We brought back a bottle of Tortuga Rum from the Cayman Islands, and I, as I mentioned, don’t drink. Yet I have this bottle of rum… Hmmmmmm… I decided I had to try and make one of the famous Tortuga Rum Cakes the island is famous for. Am I ever glad I did! The actual recipe is a family secret, but as with almost any secret, a few keywords into Google, and a reasonable facsimile appeared!

I scanned several different sites, but the recipe was the same in all of them – word-for-word – except for the one that started out with a box of yellow cake mix… I don’t think so….. But I digress…

As I said the recipes were virtually all the same (I must be drunk… I’m repeating myself!) and all calling for Whaler’s Vanille Rum — Hawaiian-style rum. HA! I mock them! I have the real McCoy! Off to the kitchen I head, recipe in hand!

The cake itself was fairly basic and easy to make. It’s the rum syrup poured over the top while the cake is still hot that sets it apart from all others! far apart…..


The cake fell a bit in the oven – I have no idea if it’s actually supposed to, or not – but the perfect indentation in the cake made for the perfect reservoir when pouring on the rum syrup. It just seeped right in amd made for a really yummy center!

I must admit I was also worried about taking it out of the pan. Bundt pans and I don’t always see eye-to-eye. But only the tiniest crumb broke off, and it was a snap to place it back – and the gooey syrup glued it right in place!

The cake is rich, moist, butter-and-rum heaven on a plate!

This one, I shall make again!



***Basic Cake Mix:***

2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter — cut in bits
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

***For The Cake:***

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 (3.5oz) pkg vanilla pudding mix — Instant Type
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs
1/2 cup Whaler’s Vanille Rum — Hawaiian-style rum (I used real Tortuga – neener-neener!)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

***Rum Soaking Glaze:***

1/2 cup butter — not margarine
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Whaler’s Vanille Rum — Hawaiian-style rum (ibid)

Tortuga Rum isn’t available to the public for sale. || Except in the Cayman Island’s that is… || It is only made for use in the production of the cakes in the Caribbean Islands. A substitution of Whaler’s Vanille Rum is a close runner-up.

For the Basic Scratch Mix: Use an electric mixer on low speed to combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until the mix is the consistency of fine gravel, and all of the particles are almost equal in size. (Basic Cake Mix may be stored in a container in the refrigerator for 3 months. This makes about 5 cups of mix and may be multiplied for other recipes as needed)

For the Cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a large (12 cup size) bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle the chopped nuts into the bottom.

Place Basic Cake Mix, pudding mix, milk, eggs, rum, oil and vanilla in a large bowl and combine on medium speed with an electric mixer for about 2 or 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl halfway through. Batter should be very smooth. Pour into prepared bundt pan and level out top.

Bake until fully golden and tester comes out clean and cake springs back — about 55 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack while making soaking glaze.

Rum Soaking Glaze: In a small saucepan combine butter, water and sugar. Bring to a boil carefully as mixture boils over very easily. Reduce to a simmer and cook until sugar is dissolved and syrup is combine well and a little thicker. Remove from heat and add the rum and mix to combine.

While cake is still cooling, pour hot syrup into and on top of cake. There is a lot of syrup and if cake doesn’t soak it up right away just wait a couple minutes and add the rest. It will take time to soak it up.

Cool cake completely in bundt pan before turning out onto serving platter. This cake is delicate, so once it is turned out, it cannot be moved around easily. Can be eaten when fully cool, but better the next day.