Coconut Rum Cake

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Coconut Rum Cake is made with vanilla cake mix, sweet coconut, and spiced coconut rum. It's a special adult dessert for holidays and celebrations!

coconut rum bundt cake on a red and white floral cake stand with icing drizzle
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Why You'll Love This Cake

Coconut Rum Cake is filled with tropical flavors and a surprising boozy finish. This dessert is perfect for special occasions or holiday parties with adult friends and family.

Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream if desired. But, most of all, enjoy the memories you'll make when serving this popular cake.

Since this dessert is made in a bundt pan, it's fun to try different types of pans (ad) when you make this recipe. I've used every type there is over the years, and they all turn out beautifully.

If you're a coconut lover, you'll also flip over Pumpkin Coconut Bark and this amazing Coconut Mojito recipe.

coconut rum cake on a floral cake stand

How to Make Coconut Rum Cake

The magic starts by greasing and flouring a bundt pan, then crumbling a cup of chopped pecans into the bottom.

bundt cake pan with pecans in the bottom of it

In a mixing bowl, add dry cake mix and dry pudding mix, then mix together gently. Add rum, water, oil and eggs, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in coconut and stir well.

batter being mixed for cake.

Pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. While the cake is baking, make the hot rum glaze by boiling together butter, sugar, water, and coconut rum.

batter in bundt pan being baked in the oven

Once the cake comes out of the oven, grab a fork and start poking holes in the top of the cake while it's still in the pan. Next, pour half of the hot glaze onto the cake and allow it to soak up the icing completely.

Rum Cake with pecans on top.

Serving Suggestions

Allow the cake to cool for one hour, then invert it onto a serving plate or cake stand. Tap on the bottom of the bundt pan with a dull knife several times and the cake should pop out on the plate.

Luckily, the glaze helps make this happen!

Drizzle the other half of the glaze on top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides and onto the cake plate to create a lovely presentation.

coconut rum bundt cake on a red and white floral cake stand with icing drizzle

Recipe FAQS

What rum is the best for rum cake?

Any type of spiced rum is great to use in a rum cake. In this recipe, coconut rum is used, but you can substitute white rum or dark rum if desired.

How long does rum cake last?

If you're lucky enough to have left overs, a rum cake will last up to 5 days. It's best to wrap it tightly and keep in the refrigerator.

The Story Behind This Cake

Our family has fond memories of my father-in-law enjoying the icing on his slice of Coconut Rum Cake during the holidays. He would always scoop the icing off the top, and eat the cake later.

When my son grew up, he started requesting a rum cake for his birthday (which happens to be on Christmas Eve). So, every year, I make his favorite cake and watch him scoop up the icing just like his Granddaddy did.

This cake is definitely not kid friendly. It's got a little kick and is best served to adults over the age of 21.

More Holiday Treats

If you like this recipe, you'll love my other holiday treats...

Recipe Card

coconut rum cake on a cake plate.

Coconut Rum Cake

Coconut Rum Cake is a special dessert for holidays and celebrations. Enjoy with your adult family and friends...and let the fun begin!
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Calories: 368kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.



  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1 box 18 oz vanilla cake mix
  • 1 3.4 oz pkg. vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup coconut rum
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs


  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup coconut rum



  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan, then crumble nuts into bottom.
  • In a mixing bowl, blend together dry cake mix (just use the dry mix without adding any ingredients listed on the box), dry vanilla pudding, coconut rum, water, oil and eggs.  
  • Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed, then stir in coconut.  
  • Pour batter into bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
  • Remove cake from oven, then use a fork to poke holes in top of cake.
  • Immediately pour half of glaze onto cake and cool cake for 1 hour.
  • Invert cake onto cake stand or serving plate.  Tap bottom of bundt pan with knife a few times and cake should pop out.
  • Drizzle the other half of the glaze on the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.


  • Melt butter in a saucepan, then add sugar and water.
  • Bring mixture to a boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and add rum, stirring well.
  • Pour half of glaze over hot cake, then allow to cool.  Pour other half of glaze over cake once it has been inverted onto a cake plate.


  • Any type of rum can be substituted if you can't find coconut rum. 
  • Sprinkle entire cake with more shredded coconut as a garnish if desired. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
  • Disclaimer: Coconut Rum Cake contains alcohol and is intended for adults age 21 or over. 


Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 45mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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  1. 5 stars
    Just love this idea, and with the box cake, it is a quick one to try and prepare at home.

    1. Hi Debby! I've never tried it, because the rum has to seep down into the cake, but you could certainly give it a try!

  2. 5 stars
    I can’t bake a cake to save my life! But I had a lot of extra coconut rum from a Coquito recipe and decided to find another recipe to use it in.
    This recipe was absolutely AWESOME! Usually when I dare to bake a cake, it is never shared with anyone because they are so…unsightly!😵‍💫 I eat a portion over a few days then throw the rest away!
    After following this recipe, I made a cake that I was proud to share at a Christmas party! It was a BIG hit! Some parents even let their children have a sliver! (Not my idea!)
    The only “bump” was the cake mix measurement. Your recipe called for an 18oz box of Vanilla cake mix and I couldn’t find one in 4 different grocery stores and none of the brand names had that measurement. Apparently, this is not a new phenomena! After googling the problem, I was informed how to add to the amount of cake mix!
    I will definitely make this cake again!
    Thanks for sharing this foolproof and wonderful recipe!

    1. Thank you Lisa! So happy this coconut rum cake worked for you! You just need a regular box of cake mix. They used to be bigger when I wrote this recipe. I'll be sure and correct it so you don't have to add anything to it again! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Oh. My. Goodness. This cake was TO DIE FOR! Like the author’s son, I think I’m going to request it for my birthday every year, too! The only change I made was to add a few dashes of salt to the batter. Oh, and I was about 1/8 cup shy of the one cup of coconut rum, so I finished off the full cup with Myers Dark Rum. It was a party hit and so delicious, thank you for the recipe!!!

  4. 5 stars
    Just the name of this cake caught my attention. I’m a coconut lover and coconut rum adds a little adventure to this delicious cake. As mentioned by others the pecan topping makes this easy to make cake even more memorable. I didn’t prepare the sauce as directed , my bad, I got a little too enthusiastic adding the rum before instructed but it still turned out good. You can definitely taste the rum in this cake so don’t serve to younger kids

    1. Yay, Donna! I'm so glad you made this cake because it is one of our favorites. It's definitely an adult version! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    This cake is so moist and flavorful. My favorite way to serve is with a little whipped cream. Man, it IS hard not to eat the topping separately!

  6. 5 stars
    This cake is to die for! The topping is so good that it is tempting to eat that by itself and then go back for the rest. So good with whipped cream or ice cream.

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