Rum Soaked Southern Coconut Pecan Cake

Recipe Pin
1 hour 30 minutes
12 servings

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Rum Soaked Southern Coconut Pecan Cake is a buttery pecan Bundt that begins with a standard boxed cake mix enhanced with coconut rum!

Old school rum cake is simply iconic. It is sweet and syrupy with a glistening rum glaze, rich with butter, and of course soaked with a coconut Caribbean rum. Given baking is an everyday challenge for me, I am leading you down my deceitful path of a dessert that is only semi homemade.

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a coconut cake on a pedestal, with a knife

All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC

Today’s recipe for a decadent and very, very adult Bundt cake begins with a box of carrot cake mix, instant pudding mix, chopped pecans, and flaked coconut. Oh, and rum; can’t have a rum soaked cake without the rum!

You will need a 10-inch Bundt pan for this cake recipe. For those who will ask, I am using my Nordic Ware anniversary Bundt to achieve this beautifully patterned cake. I have linked to it below under ‘supplies.’

How This Recipe Came About…

Rum soaked cakes and other liquor soaked cakes aren’t new, rather have been a tradition in the Caribbean for as long as rum itself has been a commodity throughout the islands. While visiting Aruba, I had a taste of a rum soaked chocolate cake.

Our hotel greeted its newly arriving guests with a rum punch and a slice of rum soaked sponge cake or the rum soaked chocolate cake which I greedily selected. But could a rum cake with cake mix parallel an authentic Caribbean rum cake? YOU BET!

a slice of coconut cake

Where Does Rum Cake Originate?

The Southern United States is a culturally food rich region. Coastal South Carolina has a deep and directly linked heritage to the West Indies and Caribbean.

Food was only one aspect, but because of this symbiotic relationship, we have traditions adapted from the islands and deeply rooted in Carolina history. The West Indies and Caribbean not only provided South Carolina with a trade resource but architected the paradigm of a plantation society.

This continuous network between the Carolinas and the West Indies, along with the use of slaves, not only shaped our colonial US Southern economy, but also the social characteristics of society and food as well.

Rum Soaked Southern Coconut Pecan Cake

a coconut cake on a pedestal, with a knife

Do You Have The Ingredients Needed To Make Rum Soaked Southern Coconut Pecan Cake? Check The List!

  • all-purpose flour
  • chopped pecans
  • boxed carrot cake mix
  • instant coconut cream pudding
  • unsweetened flaked coconut
  • coconut rum
  • vegetable oil
  • eggs
  • unsalted butter
  • granulated sugar

How To Make RRum Soaked Southern Coconut Pecan Cake?

Put away the baking powder and vanilla. In my never-ending quest to deliver recipes for food that won’t take you so many mins, I bring you today’s method for an easy boxed cake soaked in rum.

Rum for cakes is any kind of rum you like. I have both coconut rum as well as spiced rum on hand. Sometimes I mix them, but for today’s easy rum cake, I am going all coconut.

Gather your ingredients and preheat your oven. Melt a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter and ‘paint’ the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan with half the butter using a pastry brush. Then flour the pan making sure to tap out any excess.

a coconut cake on a pedestal, with a knife

The remaining melted butter is combined with sweet, chopped pecans. Heat them in the butter for just a minute before spooning into the bottom of the prepared Bundt.

Empty the contents of a boxed carrot cake mix, instant pudding, rum, oil, water, and eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Alternatively, use a large mixing bowl and handheld electric mixer.

Mix for a few minutes before adding some flaked coconut. The batter is spooned into the Bundt atop the buttered pecans and then baked.

While the cake bakes, a lovely and balanced glaze of butter, sugar, water, and rum is boiled until it is mildly translucent.

a slice of coconut cake

When the cake is removed from the oven, it’s poked (about one hundred times!) with a long toothpick or the tines of a fork. Half the glaze is slowly ladled over the holes to begin filling them.

The cake is allowed to cool to room temperature right in the Bundt pan before being inverted onto a pedestal. The remaining glaze is ladled slowly over top, and down the sides.

This rum-soaked dessert is then garnished with additional chopped pecans and additional flaked coconut. And there you have it folks, a rum cake from cake mix.

Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…

Really, this rum soaked cake recipe is entirely forgiving. Use a yellow boxed cake mix if the carrot doesn’t sound appealing. Also, it may be necessary to use instant vanilla pudding mix if you are unable to locate instant coconut cream.

If you wanted to make this cake not entirely average, try assembling it as an upside-down cake with pineapple rings or chunks and cherries. Rum soaked fruit cake is wildly delicious!

How Long Does Rum Soaked Southern Coconut Pecan Cake Take To Make?

Set aside one and one-half hours for this cake recipe. The cake alone bakes for one hour.

I like to take my time with the glaze and ladling into and overtop the holes while the cakes cools, about 20 to 30 minutes.

a slice of coconut cake

Can A Rum Soaked Cake Be Made Ahead?

This fabulous and semi homemade Bundt rum cake with pecans may be made ahead by one day. If making ahead, keep the cooled cake in the Bundt pan overnight, however invert, loosen, and reinvert the cake so you’ll not encounter sticking when you go to release it.

If making ahead, I recommend really taking your time ladling the glaze into the holes you make in the cake. Keep plastic film over the cake until ready to invert onto a pedestal or a cake plate.

What Main Dishes Should I Serve When Planning A Rum Soaked Cake?

Cake with alcohol is usually very prevalent around the Christmas and Valentine’s Day holidays. For this reason, I like to serve my rum cake to accompany my Christmas Beef Tenderloin Roast, or a classic and flavorful au poivre sauce over a simple grilled steak.

How To Serve Rum Soaked Southern Coconut Pecan Cake?

If I am truthful, this cake needs NOTHING with it. No ice cream, no whipped cream – nothing.

What I DO enjoy alongside this cake is a cup of strong-tasting decaffeinated coffee or decaffeinated black tea. There is something in the tannins of coffee and in particular black tea that ‘awaken’ the provenance that is RUM!

What Is Rum Made From?

According to Wikapedia, “Rum is a liquor made by fermenting then distilling sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice. The distillate, a clear liquid, is usually aged in oak barrels. Most rums are produced in Caribbean and North and South American countries, but also in other sugar-producing countries, such as the Philippines and Taiwan.”

If You Like This Recipe…

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featured image for Rum Soaked Southern Coconut Pecan Cake

Rum Soaked Southern Coconut Pecan Cake

Jenny DeRemer
Rum Soaked Southern Coconut Pecan Cake is a buttery pecan Bundt that begins with a standard boxed cake mix enhanced with coconut rum!
4.50 from 6 votes
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Glazing 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Caribbean
Servings 12 servings
Calories 443 kcal


  • 10-inch Bundt pan
  • small fine mesh sieve
  • non stick saucepan
  • bamboo kabob or long toothpick
  • stand mixer with paddle attachment or…
  • handheld electric mixer


Ingredients For Rum Soaked Southern Coconut Pecan Cake

  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1 (18 ounce) box carrot cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) box instant coconut cream pudding mix
  • 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut divided
  • 1 cup coconut rum divided
  • 1 cup tap water divided
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar


  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Melt 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter in a small saucepan. Using a silicon pastry brush, 'paint' the Bundt pan with half the melted butter. Use a small fine mesh sieve to dust the flour inside the Bundt, tapping it so it is well floured. Tap out any excess. Set aside.
  • To the remaining half of melted butter, add the chopped pecans and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Scrape the buttered pecans into the bottom of the Bundt pan. Wipe out saucepan and set aside for use for the glaze.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl using handheld electric mixer), combine the dry cake mix, dry coconut cream pudding mix, 1/2 cup coconut rum, 1/2 cup tap water, the vegetable oil, and the 4 eggs. Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed, then mix in 1/2 cup of the flaked coconut.  
  • Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into center. If pick comes out clean, the cake is ready.
  • While the cake bakes, prepare the glaze. Melt the remaining unsalted butter in the saucepan, then add sugar and water. Bring mixture to a low boil for 5 minutes, whisking constantly. NOTE this sugar mixture will be VERY HOT and is prone to BOILING OVER QUICKLY, so do not walk away from the stove even if only for a moment. Continue with the glaze by removing from the heat and add rum, whisking in well.
  • Remove the cake from oven and immediately poke lots of holes all over the top of the cake plunging down about 3/4 of the depth of the cake using a bamboo kebab. Ladle half of the hot glaze onto cake over the tiny holes and around the outside edges where the cake has pulled away from the pan. Cool cake for 1 hour in the Bundt pan. NOTE I like to continue to ladle additional glaze over the tiny holes during the hour-long cool, as I much prefer to have the crumb saturated on the inside versus glazed on the outside. It's okay to use some of the remaining glaze to do this, or to simply keep the remaining half of glaze to finish the cake.
  • Invert cake onto cake pedestal or cake plate.  GENTLY tap the pan to loosen the cake. Use a butter knife to gently loosen any pecans that remain in the Bundt and sprinkle over top the cake. Pour other half (or whatever amount remains) of glaze over cake once it has been inverted onto a cake plate, allowing it to slowly drip down the sides.
  • Garnish with remaining flaked coconut and serve.


NOTE this is a sweet cake due to the amount of sugar and the coconut rum which is why unsweetened flaked coconut is specified
Substitutions For the Carrot Cake Mix you may use any boxed spice cake mix or a boxed yellow cake mix in lieu of the boxed carrot cake mix
Substitutions For the Instant Coconut Cream Pudding Mix you may use instant vanilla pudding mix in lieu of the instant coconut cream pudding mix

The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 443kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 4gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 31mgPotassium: 103mgFiber: 2gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 565IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
Did you love this recipe?Leave a comment and Let me know how it was!

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Recipe Rating


  1. This looks delicious. I am planning to make this for the holiday. Can I use a Carrot cake mix that already has pudding in it? And can I add a extra pack of pudding mix?5 stars

    1. Madison, I DO hope you’ll make this cake for the holiday! It is such a crave-worthy cake I think because of how moist it is and it seems like it’s always the first thing to disappear from my dessert table for that reason. If you have sourced a cake brand that already has pudding in the mix, I shouldn’t think you’d need to add any additional. I have never used a cake brand that came with pudding in the mix, so I cannot say if adding additional would benefit the final bake. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out. The one thing I do not see is the method failing in any way if you do add additional. I feel like there is enough egg to bind, but make sure you are using large eggs. I hope you LOVE this cake!!! x – Jenny

  2. OMG OMG OMG this cake is to die for!!! Sooooo moist and sweet. I made it for my Boo and it is soaking for three days; but I just had to sneak a taste on day 2 and the first bite threw me. He is going to love it? I only hope I can resist another taste before then 😋5 stars

    1. Furaha, no sneaking slices of cake before Boo gets a piece! Lol, but seriously, THANK YOU! It’s amazing, right? Thank you for taing time out of your day to tell me this 🙂 !!! x – Jenny

  3. We really enjoyed featuring your awesome post at Full Plate Thursday,568! Wishing you a Happy New Year and hope to see you real soon!
    Miz Helen5 stars

    1. Happy New Year Miz Helen, and thank you not only for the feature, but for a 2021 filled with your support and friendship!