Vegan Rum Cake – Just Like the 1970’s Classic!

Sliced rum bundt cake on cake stand and a slice on a plate in the foreground

This vegan rum cake is incredibly moist, rich, and soaked in a buttery rum sauce. This simple yet indulgent pound cake is the perfect dessert for any occasion from a weeknight dinner to a showstopper dessert during the holidays.

Top down view of rum cake with 4 slices cut

What is Rum Cake?

Rum cake is a dessert enjoyed in countries all over the world. For each unique name it has, there’s a variety of ways to prepare it.

This recipe is the vegan version of the Bacardi Rum Cake which gained its popularity during the late 70’s. If you’re not familiar with the original old school rum cake, think: a golden bundt cake made with boxed yellow cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, water and rum to create the a dense and tender cake. It’s then brushed or soaked in a butter rum sauce. Being delightfully indulgent and super easy to prepare, it’s no wonder why it’s so loved!

Top down view of rum cake cooling in bundt pan, with a small pitcher of rum sauce ready to apply to the cake

How to Make Vegan Rum Cake from Scratch?

This homemade rumcake comes together in just a few steps:

  1. Sift the dry ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Combine the wet ingredients in a blender,
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mix
  4. Bake the cake in a bundt pan
  5. Cook the syrup
  6. Cool and soak the cake in the syrup
  7. Enjoy!
Top down view of rum cake on a cake stand just before being sliced

The Classic Rum Cake Goes Vegan

There are some vegan cake and pudding mixes available so veganizing this may have been simpler than the recipe testing I’ve done for this homemade rum cake. I’ve never really gravitated to cake mixes. I have nothing against them, I just find that they tend to be expensive and the dry ingredients for a cake are pretty easy to assemble at home.

That said, I did use custard powder in this vegan rum cake. I really like Bird’s Custard Powder which is naturally egg-free. It gives us that density and tender crumb we’re looking for in a rum cake. The custard powder also gives the cake a nice yellow hue and full flavor.

Some of the classic old school rum cakes include nuts, some of them don’t. I chose not to include them in this recipe but if you would like add nuts, sprinkle 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans on the bottom of the prepared bundt pan before adding the batter.

Magic of Silken Tofu in Vegan Rum Cake

Silken tofu is magical in vegan pound cakes. Now before I lose you, you will not be able to taste tofu in this cake! Silken tofu is usually found room temperature in tetra-paks and are different than the tofus you’ll find in the cooler section at the grocery store. True to it’s name, it’s incredibly silky and very mild in flavor, if not verging on being flavorless. This unique type of tofu adds moisture as well as strengthens the body of the cake so it can take on the dreamy rum syrup. We’re after a tender crumb but not so delicate that it will become gluey and disintegrate under the syrup.

The silken tofu absolutely needs to be blended up to make sure you don’t have flecks of it in your cake. If you don’t have a large enough blender for all of the wet ingredients, you can use a bullet style smoothie blender and blend the tofu and milk together. Once the tofu is completely blended and no fine bits remain, then mix this with the rest of the wet ingredients in a large measuring cup or medium sized bowl.

Vegan rum bundt cake on a cake stand and a stream of rum sauce being poured over the top
Slice of rum bundt cake on a small plate with the partly sliced bundt cake in the background

Make Vegan Rum Cake Ahead of Time

This vegan rum cake actually gets better the longer it sits. For the best flavor, I like to make the rum cake and soak it with half of the sauce the day before I plan to serve it. Once it’s completely cool, wrap it or cover it. At serving time, drizzle each piece with a bit of the remaining sauce.

Love bundt cakes? Try out my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake , Vegan Hummingbird Cake with Vanilla Glaze, or Cranberry Chocoalte Fudge Bundt Cake with Candied Cranberries which is perfect for the holidays. This time year just isn’t complete without pumpkin, so check out this Pumpkin Spice Latte Sheet Cake with Butterscotch Sauce. It’s obviously not a bundt cake but it makes a great addition to the holidays if you’re looking for an easy vegan cake recipe.

If you make this Vegan Rum Cake, please give it a rating in the recipe card or let me know in the comments! I love connecting on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes. You can also follow me on Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for reading along!

Top down view of rum cake with 4 slices cut

Vegan Rum- Just Like to 1970’s Classic!

This vegan rum cake is incredibly moist, rich, and soaked in a buttery rum sauce. This simple yet indulgent pound cake is the perfect dessert for any occasion from a weeknight dinner to a showstopper dessert during the holidays.
4.79 from 32 votes
Print Pin
Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Rum Cake from Scratch, vegan bundt cake, Vegan Golden Rum Cake, Vegan Holiday Dessert
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Cooling: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 412kcal
Author: Bronwyn


For the Rum Cake:

  • 1 cup plant-based milk
  • 1/2 cup dark rum*
  • 2/3 cup extra-firm silken** tofu***
  • 3/4 cup neutral oil (eg avocado, canola, etc)
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp vegan custard powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

For the Rum Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 tsp salt


For the Rum Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 12-cup bundt pan – wipe down with non-hydrogenated shortening. Do not use vegan butter or margarine. If using cooking spray, do this just before you add the batter so the spray doesn't drip down the pan.
  • Combine the milk, rum, tofu, oil, vinegar, and vanilla in a blender – blend on high until completely smooth scraping down the sides as necessary.
  • In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, custard powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Make a shallow well, and pour in the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix with a spoon, taking care not to over mix. Pour into the prepared bundt pan and bake in the center of the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with a few baked crumbs. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack.

For the Rum Glaze:

  • While the cake cools, prepare the rum glaze. In a small saucepan, combine the vegan butter, water, sugar and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously for 5 minutes taking care not to let it boil over. Remove from heat and mix in the rum – be careful, the mixture will bubble vigorously.
  • Wash and dry the bundt pan, place over the cooling cake and invert the cake back into the pan. Pour the half of the hot rum syrup all over the cake, down the sides and let soak for an hour, and finish cooling. If you pour the half of the sauce over it, you can save the rest to drizzle over the slices of cake at serving time. Otherwise, you can pour all of the rum glaze over the cake for soaking, both options are great. The cake is even better then next day.

Nutrition Info:

Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 336IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg


Storage instructions: Keep wrapped, or under a cake cover stored at room temperature for several days. To freeze, wrap up airtight for up to 1 month and defrost in the fridge before bringing to room temperature. 
*dark rum gives this cake the nicest flavor compared with light rum or spiced rum.
**silken tofu is different than the tofus in the cooler section at the store. Silken tofu is usually sold in tetra-paks, blends up like custard and is almost flavorless. Do not use other types of tofu because they have a very different texture which does not blend smoothly.
***if you can’t find silken tofu, may substitute with 1/2 cup applesauce
Did you make this recipe?Tag @crumbs.and.caramel on Instagram!

41 thoughts on “Vegan Rum Cake – Just Like the 1970’s Classic!

    1. I use Bird’s Custard Powder which is accidentally vegan. You can find it on Amazon ( ), and I have seen in many different grocery stores in the pudding section. If you make the cake, I hope you enjoy it! ~Bronwyn

    1. Hi Nancy! Do you know what the volume of the individual tartlet pan is, and how many cavities there are? Once we know that we can figure out how much we need to reduce the volume of batter and then I can give you an idea of baking time. There’s an automatic serving adjustment in this recipe card, so if (for example), you need to fill a total of 6 cups (which is half of what this recipe makes for a 12 cup bundt pan), you would reduce the serving size down from 16 to 8 (a 12 cup bundt has about 16 servings.) If you send me more info about your pan, I’d be happy to help! ~Bronwyn

  1. you never gave directions about what to do with the 1 1/4 cups of sugar for the cake. I’m making it now for Christmas and hope it doesn’t flop!

    1. Hi Beverley, 1 3/4 cups of granulated sugar is added in with the flour and other dry ingredients. Hope you love the cake, and Merry Christmas! ~Bronwyn

    1. Hi Ashley! The main ingredient in custard powder is cornstarch. I haven’t tested the cake using cornstarch instead of custard powder, but I suspect the flavor may not be as full and the color won’t be as golden. That said, I’m betting it will be delicious! If you try it with cornstarch, I’d love to hear back from you and how it went! ~ Bronwyn

      1. I just wanted to let you know I tried your above suggestion and substituted cornstarch for the custard powder. I additionally added a bit more vanilla to make up for the vanilla in the custard powder and the cake turned out wonderful! Wow, what a treat! Thank you!

      2. Hi Julie! Thanks so much for the update! Good to know that the cornstarch + extra vanilla works well especially if custard powder isn’t in as common in some homes. I’m so happy you enjoyed the cake! 🙂 ~Bronwyn

    1. Hi! No, vegan custard powder is mostly cornstarch with some flavor. Egg substitutes vary in their ingredients – some have cornstarch but many don’t. If you don’t have custard powder, you can use cornstarch instead and increase the vanilla by a tsp or 2. I hope you enjoy the cake! ~Bronwyn

  2. The silken tofu, what brand did you use?The extra firm silken is throwing me off. My husband lovesssss rum cake, since going vegan he has been craving it! Please help, as it is our 10 yr anniversary and I want to surprise him!

    1. Hi there! I used Mori-Nu – you can check it out here: Silken tofu is similar to regular tofu in that there’s varying firmness. The firmer it is, the less water content. That said, don’t use regular tofu in this cake. If you can’t get your hands on silken tofu, you can use about 1/2 cup applesauce instead with similar textural results. I hope you both enjoy the cake! Happy Anniversary! ~Bronwyn

      1. You have made our 10 yr – beach getaway picnic anniversary, a success! I used the 1/2 cup applesauce and the corn starch. It came out so great, I swear I saw tears in his eyes!! Paired it with some fruit, bread and good beer! Thanks again for this perfect 10/10 recipe!!

      2. Aww! Thanks so much for letting me know! I’m so happy that you both enjoyed the cake and that it added so much to your anniversary. You made my day 🙂 Wishing you both much happiness for many years to come! ~Bronwyn

  3. Hello there!
    Thank you for this recipe!
    I am very excited to try to make your Rum Cake however, I am making it for my bother and myself and we are both Gluten intolerant. do you think making it with any of the gluten free flours it will work?

    1. Hi Marlene! Thanks for your interest in this recipe! While I haven’t tested this specific recipe with gluten-free flour, I have had success in making other vegan cakes gluten-free by using an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend which includes xanthan gum in the list of ingredients. If the all purpose gf flour blend you’re using does not, you can add 1.5 tsp of xanthan gum to the dry ingredients. Whisk really well for even distribution. If you do try this recipe, I hope you both enjoy it! Let me know how it goes! ~ Bronwyn

  4. Hi,

    Thank you for this recipe! I plan to make it for my husband’s birthday. I was wondering is it regular applesauce or unsweetened? Also does anyone have the ratio for cornstarch & vanilla to replace the custard?

    1. Hi Janel! I tested the recipe with unsweetened applesauce. As for custard powder, you can substitute it with an equal amount of cornstarch and add 1 tsp extra of vanilla (so a total of 3 tbsp + 1 tsp or 50 mL). I hope you and your husband enjoy the cake – Happy Birthday to him! ~ Bronwyn

  5. Making this tonight! I bought two boxes of the silken tofu but when I measured the 2/3 cup I ended up only using 1/2 of one box. Does that sound about right?

    The batter wasn’t as wet as regular cake mix but I also know it will moisten once I pour the rum mix over it at the end.

    1. Hi Chyna! Thanks for trying the recipe 🙂 Yes, that sounds about right re: the tofu. This cake is denser than a standard sponge cake so that it doesn’t become soggy and fall apart once the rum sauce/glaze is applied and soaks in. I’d say it’s more like a pound cake in texture. I hope you enjoy it! ~Bronwyn

  6. thanks so much for your delicious recipe! i’ve made this rum cake 4 times, and it just comes out lovely every time. i live at higher altitude, so i leave out 1/4 flour but the rest is just as a you have suggested. delicious! thank you!!

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know! So happy that you’ve enjoyed the cake so much, and for sharing your experience with it high altitude! ~Bronwyn

  7. Strange question! Can I pre-blend the wet ingredients and keep them in the fridge (for up to 12 hours or so). I plan to surprise my boyfriend with this cake for his birthday and make it while he sleeps but the blender will wake him up. Thanks!
    PS I have the Bird’s custard powder en route from Amazon!

    1. That’s a great question, Erika! I haven’t done it but I don’t see why it would cause any issues! Once you pull it out of the fridge, give it a good whisking before pouring it into the dry ingredients. I suspect the oil will rise to the top and you’ll want everything to be nicely blended before adding to the dry ingredients. This is such a sweet gesture you’re planning, and I hope you guys love the cake! Happy Birthday to your boyfriend! ~ Bronwyn PS If you’re looking for other uses for the custard powder, type “custard” into my search bar and you’ll find other recipes that use it. I’m a big fan of it in recipes, but it makes a lovely treat on its own per pkg instructions 🙂

    1. Hi Gabby! You can use 1/2 cup applesauce instead of the tofu. I hope you enjoy the cake! ~ Bronwyn

  8. We don’t eat processed sugar in our house. What do you think would be a good substitute? Maple syrup? Coconut sugar? If so, how much would it require?

    1. Hi Catherine! I would use coconut sugar as it’s very similar chemically/physically to granulated sugar. The cake will have a more caramel flavor which should be really nice! I’d be extra diligent in greasing the pan very well before baking due to the fructose in the coconut sugar which might make the cake a bit stickier. I wouldn’t reduce the amount of sugar though as it’s important to the structure and flavor of the cake. Maple syrup wouldn’t be a great substitute for this recipe as written because it’s liquid and will throw off the dry/wet ratios. I hope you enjoy the cake! ~ Bronwyn

  9. Hi,
    I tried making this cake but it turned out very gooey.
    I found all the ingredients and followed the recipe exact. The only difference was the flour. I used Pamela”s vegan gluten free flour blend that said 1-1. When I added the liquid to the flour it was becoming very dry, clumpy and sticky. I added more milk and got goo.
    What do you think went wrong ?

    1. Hi Kami! The cake should not be gooey at all – the texture is between a sponge cake and a pound cake. It’s a heartier cake so that it strong enough to keep together once the rum sauce soaks in after baking. The results you got may have to do with the type of gluten-free flour you used, the amount you used (over measuring is a common error) and then perhaps adding too much liquid to compensate. I have experimented with different all-purpose gluten-free flours and have found them to vary a lot in quality. Some create very gummy, wet cakes, others create dry cakes with a bitter undertone if chickpea flour is in the mix, and others have behaved very similarly to regular flour. While I haven’t tried it in this recipe, I’ve heard great things about Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 GF Flour blend (the one without chickpea flour in it, it’s in a blue bag.) Hope this helps! ~ Bronwyn

  10. If I wanted to make this a plan Vanilla Cake without the rum am I able to do that or will I need a liquid to substitute the 1/2 rum cake that goes into that cake?

    1. Hi Ashley, while I haven’t tried this, I’d recommend making up the rum with 1/3 cup more vegan milk and add extra vanilla extract – I’d go from 1 tbsp vanilla to 2-3 tbsp. If you try this, I’d love to hear how it goes! ~ Bronwyn

      1. Omg it was amazing 🙂 I made it for a friend and I replaced the rum with 1/2 more almond milk and added 2 Tbsp of Vanilla extract 🙂 it was wonderful

  11. Wow! What an amazing recipe. So, I used applesauce instead of silken tofu, added a rum icing (atop the glaze the next morning), and baked it in a half sheet pan. This rum cake came out divine! I made it for a Superbowl get-together and everyone loved it. I will definitely be making it again! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Love that you tried it as a sheet cake! So happy you and your guests enjoyed it! Thamk you for taking the time to let me know 🙂 ~Bronwyn

  12. I have the cake baking in the oven right now. I just realized I’m out of granulated sugar needed for the sauce. Can I use light brown sugar or coconut sugar as a substitute? Please advise. Thanks!

    1. Hi Susan, I’d use light brown sugar – it’ll provide a slightly richer flavor which should be really good! Hope you enjoy the cake! ~ Bronwyn

  13. I made this today (2/3 of the recipe) with noted cornstarch + extra vanilla extract (instead of using vegan custard powder). Turned out brilliant and tasty, I like how it is not overly sweet, but just right! I used a 10-cup Nordic bundt cake for the 2/3 recipe.

    1. I’m happy to hear this Momoko! Thanks so much for sharing your modification, that’s great to know! ~ Bronwyn 🙂

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