Buttered Rum Pound Cake

Just bowls, a whisk and spatula are needed to make this tender, buttery pound cake recipe.

Buttered Rum Pound Cake

The batter is flavored with orange, vanilla and dark rum. We absolutely love it served in slices with a big dollop of whipped cream. It is also lovely served with any juicy fruit, especially berries.

How to Make Rum Pound Cake

Not only do we add strong, dark rum to the cake batter, it is also added to a syrup that gets soaked up by the cake just as it comes out of the oven. The syrup is simple to make — just water, sugar and rum.

How to Make Buttered Rum Pound Cake

Since the cake is warm, as you brush it all over with the syrup it soaks in the flavor and moisture of the syrup. That’s what really makes this pound cake recipe over the top.

Adding the rum syrup

– This Recipe was Sponsored by Gold Medal Flour –

We love the addition of rum, but you could certainly use your favorite liqueur — just make sure it is strong, otherwise the flavor will be lost. We’re thinking Grand Marnier or aged tequila would be a great alternatives.

Buttered Rum Pound Cake

  • PREP
  • COOK

This pound cake is very simple to make — just bowls, a whisk and a spatula are necessary. The cake itself is flavored with orange, vanilla and dark rum. Just as the cake comes out of the oven, we drench it with rum syrup. Divine. The rum used really needs to be dark and strong — otherwise it gets lost. We use an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan for this. If you are using a 9-by-5-inch pan, check for doneness 5 minutes before the baking time stated below.

1 loaf, approximately 8 slices

You Will Need

Pound Cake

1 1/3 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour, we used Gold Medal

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch ground cloves

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (240 grams) granulated sugar

2 teaspoons orange zest

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream

1 tablespoon dark rum

8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Rum Syrup

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons dark rum


  • Make Batter
  • 1Center a rack in the oven and heat to 350º F. Butter and flour an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other.

    2Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves together, set aside.

    3In a large bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together until the sugar is moist and fragrant with the orange. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until blended then whisk in the cream and rum.

    4Switch to a large rubber spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, stirring gently until they disappear and the batter is smooth. Fold in the melted butter in 2 parts. The batter should be smooth and thick.

  • Bake Cake
  • 1Pour batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Make the rum syrup as soon as the cake goes into the oven.

    2After 30 minutes in the oven, check the cake for color. If it looks like it is browning too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil.

  • Make Syrup
  • 1As soon as the cake goes into the oven, stir the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar melts, then bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum. Transfer syrup to a heatproof bowl or cup and let cool.

  • To Finish
  • 1When the cake is done, transfer it, in the pan, to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the cake and place right side up on the rack. Position the rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.

    2Using a toothpick or thin skewer, poke holes all over the cake. Brush the cake with the syrup. Do this slowly so the cake has a chance to absorb the syrup. Cool the cake to room temperature, slice and serve. (We love adding a dollop of whipped cream. Fresh fruit is also nice).

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Recipe inspired and tweaked from Dorie Greenspan’s Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes. The recipe can be found in her incredible book: “Baking: From My Home to Yours” – we highly recommend it.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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11 comments… Leave a Review
  • Amanda June 18, 2023, 3:07 pm

    Made a tropical version of this for Father’s Day and it was delicious! Swapped the heavy cream for sour cream, orange zest for lime and included dried (unsweetened) pineapple chopped up and soaked overnight in banana rum for favor and texture. It was a hit! Used lime juice and zest and more banana rum for the glaze, but if you don’t want alcohol you could omit the rum on top.

  • ghost December 25, 2020, 6:17 am

    i made this for christmas this year! I’m happy to have found a rum cake for a loaf pan. It’s my very first time making one. It was SO moist and flavorful and very fun to make. It’s one of the best cakes ive ever made. I have some notes, however.

    My cake wasnt yellow but brown inside and it had domed and cracked like a pound cake im more used to.it didnt look like your pictures.

    i did have to cook mine 20 minutes longer for the pick to come out clean but that might be elevation differences. also, i dont know how deep i had to poke holes or how many so i stabbed it a bunch like a potato trying to get at least half way. the rum had sunk to the bottom of the cake. i have no clue how that happened.

    this is also my first time zesting an orange. i only got about one teaspoon of it but only had one orange so i just went with it. it still had a HUGE orange flavor. i feel like if i had used two like in the recipe, it would have blasted my entire family into orbit.

    This was still a really really good cake. Very easy AND tastes incredible. my family loved it. i would recommend anyone looking at this to try it, but maybe watch the orange.

  • Roxane September 4, 2019, 8:08 am

    Hi! First off, I want to say: I love your website! <3 Also, I was wondering if I could substitute heavy cream with single/liquide cream? If not I'll get some at the store 😉

  • Bee Gianni May 18, 2018, 11:35 am

    This cake looks fabulous, I love the Rum Syrup.

  • Isabelle December 4, 2014, 9:27 pm

    Hi, do you think I can bake this in mini loaf pans like a 5×3 loaf pan? So I can make them as giveaways for the holidays. Thanks!

    • Adam March 2, 2015, 2:37 pm

      You should be able to. The bake time will be a little less, though.

  • Suze January 19, 2014, 3:35 pm

    How long would you recommend the cake will last after baking it?

    • Joanne January 22, 2014, 10:06 am

      Once cooled and wrapped, the pound cake should last a few days at room temperature and a little longer in the refrigerator. (We like keeping it chilled in the refrigerator).

  • Julie December 17, 2013, 1:28 pm

    I want to make this but in mini loaf pans how would I adjust the cooking time????

    • Joanne December 18, 2013, 11:52 am

      HI Julie, We have not tried adapting this recipe to smaller pans, but mini-loaves tend to bake for about 30 minutes. (Depending on how “mini” your pans are, of course).

      Here’s what we suggest: Reduce the temperature by 25 degrees or so then bake a test loaf. Check for doneness around 20 minutes and go from there, checking with a toothpick every few minutes. Hope that helps!

  • Deb December 16, 2013, 3:02 pm

    This looks so delicious. Cloves and oranges were made for pound cake!


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