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

Vegan Rum Cake – Just Like the 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.

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.
4.8 from 35 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

Ingredients

For the Rum Cake:

  • 1 cup plant-based milk
  • ½ cup dark rum*
  • cup extra-firm silken** tofu***
  • ¾ 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 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp vegan custard powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

For the Rum Glaze:

  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dark rum
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

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

Notes:

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!

Recipe Rating




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Momoko

Tuesday 30th of March 2021

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.

Sabrina

Friday 13th of August 2021

I’ve made this cake at least 3 times now! It’s amazing! I never have silken tofu on hand so I substitute vegan mayo and it turns out amazing! Best vegan rum cake ever!

Crumbs & Caramel

Tuesday 30th of March 2021

I'm happy to hear this Momoko! Thanks so much for sharing your modification, that's great to know! ~ Bronwyn :)

Susan Skidmore

Monday 8th of February 2021

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!

Lola

Tuesday 3rd of August 2021

I made this cake for company last night. I replaced the custard powder for cornstarch and added a dash more vanilla. It was absolutely delicious! A big hit with my guests. Thank you 🙂

Crumbs & Caramel

Monday 8th of February 2021

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

sabrina6260

Monday 8th of February 2021

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!

Crumbs & Caramel

Monday 8th of February 2021

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

Ashley Dean

Wednesday 30th of December 2020

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?

Crumbs & Caramel

Sunday 3rd of January 2021

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

Kamilla

Monday 28th of December 2020

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 ? Thanks Kami

Crumbs & Caramel

Sunday 3rd of January 2021

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

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