The Best Rum Cake Tortuga Recipe

by

This recipe for Tortuga rum cake is easy and delicious. This rum cake is so good that my husband begs me to make it all the time! When you take a trip to the Caribbean islands, you'll find these tasty cakes in every gift shop, along with the most flavorful rum.

This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase through these links, Betsi's World receives a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

However, I love to make rum cake from scratch! I try to use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, so my rum cake is crafted using locally sourced products including Natalie's Orange Juice, St. Augustine Distillery's Hand-Made Pot Distilled Rum, and locally grown Indian River citrus.

How To Make Caribbean Rum Cake From Scratch

This recipe for rum cake will have you shouting for more. You might be familiar with the famous packaged Tortuga Rum cake you can get in stores. While I would never claim that this is as good as the the original, it definitely satisfies any craving you might have for this decadent cake.

A Caribbean rum cake on a yellow plate on a beige counter top with a silver spatula

There are two type of rum cakes that I have in my recipe collection: one is the basic rum cake and the second is a citrus twist on the traditional recipe! I'll share the basic rum cake recipe first.

Caribbean Rum Cake Recipe

For this delicious rum cake you'll need a package of plain yellow cake mix, without the pudding added. You'll want to buy a package of vanilla instant pudding separately. Then you need some of your favorite rum, vegetable oil, water and eggs!

If you love a little bit of crunch, feel free to add some nuts to this recipe. They won't go into the batter, place them in the Bundt pan after it has been greased and floured!

To prepare the cake, first preheat your oven to 325 degrees and place a rack in the center of the oven. Then, lightly grease your bundt pan and dust it with flour. Make sure to shake out the excess flour. If you decide to use nuts, add them to the bottom of the pan.

mixing yellow batter in an teal electric stand mixer on a beige countertop with a rubber spatula in the batter to make a Tortuga rum cake

Then using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or a spatula mix together the cake mix, pudding mix, rum, oil, water, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend the ingredients together on low for one minute, making sure to scrape down the side of the bowl. Then, increase the mixer speed to medium for 2 minutes until the batter is thick and smooth.

Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top with a rubber spatula and place in the oven. Bake it until it is golden brown and has a spring to it when lightly pressed on with your finger. It should take about 58-60 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let it cool for 20-25 minutes. When the cake has cooled, run sharp knife along the outside of the cake and turn it out onto a serving plate! Then, using a wooden skewer, poke holes in the top of the cake and around the sides for the glaze.

How To Make Rum Cake Glaze

The make the glaze for rum cake you'll need butter, water, sugar, and Bacardi dark rum. First, place butter in a small saucepan and melt it over low heat for 2-3 minutes. Then, add the water and sugar while continuously stirring. At this point, increase the temperature to medium heat, and bring the mixture to a boil. Make sure not to burn it!

making glaze for a rum cake on the stovetop in a pot with a Vitamix spatula in the mixture and a red tea kettle on the side.

Reduce the heat slightly and let the glaze simmer until thickened, for about 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Finally, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum. Spoon the glaze over the cake, allow it to seep into the holes and drizzle down the sides and into the center of the cake.

Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing and enjoy!

a rum cake sitting on a yellow plate on a beige counter top with a red cup in the background

A Citrus Twist on the Traditional Rum Cake

The basic rum cake is delicious, but if you want to elevate this recipe, and really create a crowd-pleaser for your next gathering, try this citrus twist! This rum cake is moist and delicious, and truly it is hard to stop at just one slice. It is my most requested dessert for any function that we attend.

 

How To Make A Citrus Rum Cake

To make this citrus cake you'll need the same ingredients as in the basic recipe, but add fresh orange juice, butter, and grated orange zest. If you really love citrus, try mixing it up by adding one part orange juice and one part pineapple or grapefruit juice!

For the glaze you will need butter, sugar, dark rum, and orange juice. We like to use local orange juice, but use whatever is your favorite.

To prepare the batter, you'll use the same process as with the basic recipe except add in the new citrus ingredients. I love the way this cake smells when it is baking in the oven. It perfumes the whole house!

To make the glaze for citrus rum cake place butter, sugar, rum, and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Then bring the glaze to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook for 2 minutes. Spoon the hot rum glaze over the cake, allowing it to soak into the holes and drizzle down the sides and in the center. Allow your delicious dessert to cool completely before slicing and enjoying!

batter for rum cake in a Bundt cake pan with Natalie's Orange Juice on the left and a bottle of rum on the right sitting on a kitchen counter top

The Best Rum Cake Tortuga Recipe

The Best Rum Cake Tortuga Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

This rum cake is a delicious taste of the Caribbean! Soft and soaked with rum, its a tropical taste that will have you clamoring for more! For a new twist, try the orange citrus version of this rum cake!

Ingredients

Basic Rum Cake

  • 1 Package plain yellow cake mix (without pudding added)
  • 1 Package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding
  • 1/2 Cup rum
  • 1/2 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 4 Large eggs
  • **You can add nuts to this recipe if you like nuts. Finely chop 1 cup of pecans or walnuts, and place in bundt pan AFTER it has been greased and floured.

Rum Cake Glaze

  • 4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Bacardi dark rum

Citrus Rum Cake

  • 1 Package plain yellow cake mix (without pudding added)
  • 1 Package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 Cup orange juice (we like to use Natalie's Orange Juice)*
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) of butter (we like to use a good, rich European butter - unsalted) - melted
  • 1/4 Cup dark rum
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange zest from 1 medium orange
  • *If you like a citrus rum cake, use 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup pineapple juice OR grapefruit juice as a substitute for the 1 cup of orange juice

Citrus Rum Cake Glaze

  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 Cup dark rum
  • 1/4 Cup orange juice

Instructions

Rum Cake Recipe

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a Bundt pan and dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour.
  2. Sprinkle the nuts on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Mix together cake mix, pudding mix, rum, oil, water, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend together with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.
  4. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping the sides down if needed. The batter should look thick and smooth.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared Bundt pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.
  6. Bake cake until golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, approximately 58 to 60 minutes.
  7. Remove pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Run a long sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a serving plate. 
  9. Take a long, thin, wooden skewer and poke holes in the top of the cake and around the sides.


Rum Cake Glaze

  1. Place butter in a small saucepan and melt it over low heat, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the water and sugar, stirring. 
  3. Increase the temperature to medium heat, and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat slightly and let the glaze simmer until thickened, 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. 
  5. Remove pan from heat and stir in the rum. 
  6. Spoon the glaze over the cake, allow it to seep into the holes and drizzle down the sides and into the center of the cake.
  7. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing.


Orange Citrus Rum Cake

  1. Grease and flour bundt pan, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Shake out the excess flour.
  2. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, orange juice, melted butter, rum, eggs, and orange zest in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop and scrape the sides down, and mix on medium for 2 minutes. The batter should look thick and smooth.
  4. Pour into the bundt pan, smoothing out the top, and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  5. When cake is golden brown, and springs back when pressed down with your finger, it's ready to come out of the oven and cool down for 20-25 minutes on a wire rack. 
  6. Run a long sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a serving plate. 
  7. Take a long, thin, wooden skewer and poke holes in the top of the cake and around the sides.


Orange Citrus Rum Cake Glaze

    1. Place butter, sugar, rum, and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat.
    2. Bring the glaze to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook for 2 minutes.
    3. Spoon the hot rum glaze over the cake, allowing it to soak into the holes and drizzle down the sides and in the center of the cake.
    4. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing.
Nutrition Information
Yield 24 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 445Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 85mgSodium 453mgCarbohydrates 54gFiber 1gSugar 32gProtein 6g

How to Serve the Best Rum Cake

Though eating a simple slice of this delicious rum cake will satisfy any sweet tooth, you may want to consider serving each slice of rum cake with vanilla ice cream – perfect for a steamy hot day. Topping a slice of this delicious dessert with homemade whipped cream and sliced strawberries or blueberries makes a beautiful serving that will have your family and guests believing that you slaved all day in the kitchen. Serve with coffee, and you have an easy dessert hit that everyone will rave over!

No matter how or when you serve this delicious dessert, you can be sure that people will be clamoring for more! 

You can also try serving this Caribbean cake with our homemade, no-churn salted caramel pecan ice cream!

Have you ever tried the Tortuga recipe in the Caribbean? Let us know in the comments below!

 

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Two Romantic Coastal Holiday Getaways – Betsi's World - […] Stop in and take a free tour of the St. Augustine Distillery. We love this distillery – our favorite…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hello, I'm Betsi!

Welcome To My Travel World.

Relationships are the cornerstone. Let us help you discover how to unplug, destress, and travel - after all, Travel is a LIFE SAVER! Betsi is a freelance journalist and the founder of BETSI'S WORLD, an online travel website. She is a traveling storyteller whose passion lies within sharing the depth and beauty of the destinations she visits. Betsi and Jim, her travel companion, travel the world while documenting their adventures and Read More...
Skip to Recipe