My Best Recipe For Spiced Rum Cake | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal
Cakes & Tortes,  Sweets

My Best Recipe For Spiced Rum Cake

It’s five-o-clock-somewhere all day long with my best recipe for Spiced Rum Cake. Or as I like to call it in it’s long form: my Spiced Rum Cake with Buttered Rum Glaze. Each incredibly moist cake layer is heavily spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and rum. My rum cake is filled and frosted with a heavenly layer of Rum Swiss Meringue Buttercream and to finish it off I’ve topped my spiced rum cake with a layer of super thick, super delicious buttered rum glaze. Ok ok ok, being honest buttered rum glaze is my up-cycled way of saying homemade butterscotch. But don’t YOU want to say “buttered rum glaze” instead of “butterscotch” when you carry this showstopper of a cake to the table? Either way, RUM… Delicious!

Spiced Rum Cake | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal
My Best Recipe For Spiced Rum Cake | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal

What is spiced rum anyway?

Spiced rum is the technique of combining other flavors (specifically spices) with rum. Rum is made from sugar, and because of that it pairs incredibly well with a variety of spices. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice to name a few. While you can buy commercially produced spiced rum virtually anywhere we’re going to skip that step and spice it ourselves. Why?

  1. We have total control over the flavor of our rum cake this way
  2. It lets us control the quantity of spices used so that nothing overpowers anything else
  3. We’re making a spiced rum cake recipe from scratch here… there’s no cheating on the “spiced” part!

What ingredients do I need to make a spiced rum cake from scratch?

I’m so glad you asked! If you aren’t used to making cakes from scratch DON’T PANIC! They really aren’t that much harder than making cakes with a box mix. And they just taste so much better. I’m also willing to bet that you have most of the ingredients to make my recipe for spiced rum cake already in your pantry. Want to double check? Here we go.

To make my recipe for spiced rum cake you will need:

Yes, this looks like an epic list, but you probably will only need to run to the store for one or two items!

What type of rum should I use in my cake?

Any type you like, really! Some people like their spiced rum cake with Captain Morgan. Other people prefer theirs with Bacardi. As a general rule of thumb, if you like a particular rum, you’ll like it in your rum cake.

Spiced Rum Cake | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal
My Best Recipe For Spiced Rum Cake | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal

Let’s talk about this buttered rum glaze / butterscotch, shall we?

Look, I’m not going to lie to you: I am terrible at cooking sugar on the stove without a thermometer. There are people out there who can clearly identify the “amber” stage of cooked sugar and the “dark amber” stage. I cannot. But what I can do is read a thermometer.

Finding information about the cooking temperature of butterscotch online is actually quite difficult. But don’t worry, I have found it for you. The magic number you want to cook your sauce to is 220°F (104.5°C). From there you’ll let it cool until it hits room temperature and then you’ll dump it onto the top of your rum cake.

Now, when I say “room temperature” I mean old-world room temperature, not Los Angeles in the summertime. Wait for that butterscotch to cool down to 68°F (20°C) before you dump it over your rum cake. This is going to guarantee you voluptuous swaths of butterscotch that explode over the side of your cake.

Those thin little drizzles that are so popular and look like sad icicles on a warm winter’s day? We’re not here for those.

My Best Recipe For Spiced Rum Cake | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal
My Best Recipe For Spiced Rum Cake | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal

Tips on cake decorating

If you’re new to cake decorating (or if you just want a refresher course) please read my article on how to assemble, fill, and frost a naked layer cake. I also talk about a foolproof way to glaze your cake, too. And, truth be told, the cake I built this article around is my Spiced Rum Cake. It’s a win-win!

Other things you might be interested in:

If you’re looking for more inspiration you might enjoy one of these other recipes I’ve posted!

Tag me Instagram @jamandbreadofficial (I love seeing when other people make one of my recipes!) and please consider leaving me a review below if you make my recipe for Spiced Rum Cake. I really hope that you love it, and that you are ON BOARD with making my Spiced Rum Cake a staple of your dessert routine. 

For even more recipe ideas you can follow me on Pinterest!


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My Best Recipe For Spiced Rum Cake | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal

My Best Recipe For Spiced Rum Cake

  • Author: Matthew Smedal
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: A 3-layer 6″ cake, or a 2-layer 8″ cake 1x
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


It’s five-o-clock-somewhere with my best recipe for Spiced Rum Cake. My Spiced Rum Cake is frosted with a Rum Buttercream and topped with a homemade Rum Glaze.



for the spiced rum cake:

  • 2 cups cake flour (280 grams)
  • 3/4 cup sugar (150 grams)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (140 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 2 sticks of butter, at room temperature (230 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (250 milliliters)
  • 1/4 cup rum (60 ml)

for the rum Swiss meringue buttercream:

  • 2 sticks of butter, at room temperature (230 grams)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (100 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons water (30 milliliters)
  • 2 egg whites (60 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup buttered rum sauce

for the buttered rum sauce:

  • 5 tablespoons butter (580 grams)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (100 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, at room temperature (80 milliliters)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons rum (45 milliliters)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Butter and flour three 6” (15cm) cake pans or two 8” (20cm) cake pans.
  3. Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer (flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves) and mix on low to combine. Add the butter tablespoon by tablespoon until the mixture resembles course sand. Combine the vanilla extract, eggs, and buttermilk in a medium sized liquid measuring cup and whisk to combine. With the mixer still on low, slowly add your nonalcoholic liquid ingredients to your dry. After the nonalcoholic liquids have been incorporated whack the mixer up to medium and mix for about 90 seconds. Turn the mixer to low, slowly add the rum, and once added whack the mixer back up to medium and mix for 30 seconds. Your batter may look a bit curdled. This is totally fine.
  4. Divide the batter between your pans and bake for 22-28 minutes (for 6” pans) or 18-24 minutes (for 8” pans). The cakes are done when the tops bounce back after you tap them / when they temp internally around 200°F (93°C). 
  5. Let the cakes sit in their pans for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pans, remove the cakes, and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
  6. Meanwhile, make your buttered rum sauce by melting your butter in a medium saucepan. When the butter is almost all melted add in your brown sugar and salt and stir to combine. Keep the heat low and stir until the brown sugar dissolves into the butter and runs off your spoon in a steady, even stream. Add your heavy cream in a slow and steady stream, stirring constantly to combine it with the butter and brown sugar. Keep stirring and cook until the temperature reaches 220°F (104.5°C). Turn off the heat, add in your vanilla and rum and stir to combine. Transfer your hot buttered rum to a heatproof container and refrigerate until it’s cooled to an old-school room temperature of 68°F (20°C).
  7. Now make your rum buttercream: combine your egg whites, sugar, and water in the bowl of your stand mixer and place it over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture has come to 160°F (71°C). Immediately transfer the bowl to your stand mixer and — using the whisk attachment — whisk on medium high until stiff peaks form (about 4 minutes). Swap the whisk for the paddle and slowly start to beat in your butter, tablespoon by tablespoon. The frosting will collapse and you will think you have ruined it, but you have not. Have faith. Once all your butter is added whack the mixer up to medium high and beat for about 5 minutes or until a gorgeous, soft, airy, frosting has developed. Add in your vanilla and a quarter cup of your cooled rum sauce and beat until just combined, about 1 minute.
  8. Assemble the cake: choose your sturdiest layer for the bottom of your cake. Frost the cake using 1/2 cup of rum Swiss meringue buttercream between each layer and another 1/2 of frosting on top. Scrape the remaining frosting around the sides of the cake in a rough pattern. Don’t worry too much about the look of this, it should look a bit rustic. Place the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
  9. Remove the cake from the freezer and pour your buttered rum sauce onto the top of the cake. Using a spoon, encourage the sauce to roll over the sides of the cake in a few places.
  10. Slice and serve.

Keywords: cake, rum, spiced rum cake, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, buttermilk

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