Authentic Caribbean Rum Cake Recipe

Learn the secrets behind making one of the most celebrated Caribbean treats with this rum cake recipe.

From "Caribbean Vegan"
April 2018

  • Rum cake is one of the most recognizable dishes of the Caribbean.
    Photo by Matthew Benson
  • “Caribbean Vegan” by Taymer Mason is a full guide to bringing authentic and vegan Caribbean cuisine into your daily life.
    Photo courtesy of The Experiment Publishing

Yield: 8 servings

Caribbean Vegan (The Experiment, 2016) by Taymer Mason makes the colorful flavors of the Caribbean available to vegans, with over 200 authentic recipes straight from the islands. These recipes range from the classic Caribbean dishes to new and inventive recipes cooked up by Mason. The following excerpt is her recipe for authentic Caribbean rum cake.

There are two common rum cakes in the Caribbean. One, called “black cake,” is made during Christmas holidays and for weddings using rum-soaked fruit. The other is made like a regular cake and has a buttered rum glaze, which is this recipe.



• 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) plus 2 tablespoons dark rum, preferably Mount Gay
• 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) white rum, or additional dark rum
• 2 tablespoons falernum (see Island Tips)
• 1/2 cup (75 grams) raisins
• 1/2 cup (115 grams) vegan margarine
• 1/2 cup (115 grams) vegetable shortening
• 1 cup (200 grams) light brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons warm water
• 1 tablespoon Ener-G egg replacer
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups (250 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon pink or sea salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
• 1 cup (240 milliliters) nondairy milk
• 1 tablespoon molasses

Rum Glaze

• 1/4 cup (60 grams) vegan margarine
• 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) water
• 3 tablespoon brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) dark rum, preferably Mount Gay


1. To make the cake, pour 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) of the dark rum, the white rum, and the falernum over the raisins and let them soak overnight in a covered container.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Grease a 9 × 3-inch (23 × 8 centimeters) Bundt pan.

3. Cream the margarine and shortening with the sugar until fluffy using an electric mixer. Whisk the water and egg replacer together, then add to the sugar mixture, along with the vanilla essence. Stir until evenly incorporated. Add the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and mix until just incorporated.

4. Stir the vinegar into the milk, then mix into the batter. Fold in the raisins and their liquid, the molasses, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of dark rum.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until brown and the top of the cake springs back when gently pressed.

6. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Combine the margarine, water, brown sugar, and vanilla essence in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat and stir in the rum.

7. Glaze the cake as it cools. Let cool completely before serving.

Island Tip: Falernum is a flavored syrup from the West Indies. It is full of tropical flavors, including lime, ginger, and almond. Look for it in well-stocked liquor stores. For a stunning presentation, toss slivered almonds with sugar over medium heat for a few seconds and decorate the cake.

More from: Caribbean Vegan

Trinidadian Doubles Recipe
Caribbean Island “Burger” Recipe
Classic Barbadian Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Recipe from Caribbean Vegan: Meat-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Authentic Island Cuisine for Every Occasion, Expanded Second Edition © Taymer Mason, 2016. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.

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