Holiday Tradition: Aunt Gay’s Rum Cake


Every family has their own holiday food tradition, maybe even a few.

The sweet treat that I look forward to every year around this time is my Aunt Gay’s Rum Cake. For me, the Christmas season would not be complete without it.

In late November, she begins baking dozens and dozens of Rum Cakes for friends and relatives. And every November, I eagerly await its arrival at my front door. Actually, it’s not just me —  my husband and even a few of my friends feel the same way!


See that stuff left behind on the plate? You’re gonna want to scrape and eat every sugary, buttery morsel of it.


Aunt Gay hand delivers to most of the recipients, but for those that live far away, she carefully wraps and ships them. When I lived in California, she even sent them clear across the country to me! Now that I’m a little closer to home, she makes sure that I get mine when we see each other on Thanksgiving Day.

If the cake makes it through the long Thanksgiving weekend, we’re doing good. Honestly, in a perfect world, I would keep it around for weeks before finishing it off because the longer it sits, the better it gets.

But seriously, it’s really, really difficult to keep it in the house for more than a few days. And this isn’t a small cake! I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and sometimes do).

So while I’m sharing the recipe, I’m giving you fair warning and will not take the blame if you devour it in 2 days time!

Aunt Gay’s Rum Cake

Serves 20


Cake Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 box (18 1/2 oz) butter golden cake mix

1 instant vanilla pudding (3 3/4 oz)

1/2 cup light rum

1/2 cup water

4 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable cooking oil

Rum Glaze Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1 stick butter

1/4 cup light rum

1/4 cup water


Rum Glaze Directions:

Place all ingredients in small saucepan and boil for 2-3 minutes.

Cake Directions:

Place cake and pudding mixes in large mixing bowl. Add rum, water, oil and

eggs; mix for 2 minutes. Grease and flour a bundt pan or a tube pan.

Pour chopped nuts in pan first and then pour batter into cake pan and bake at 325

degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Remove from oven and poke small holes in cake and start to pour some of the warm Rum Glaze on it. After a few minutes turn cake out of pan onto cake plate and poke more small holes around the top of cake and gradually pour the rest of the Rum Glaze over cake.

Best if made a few days ahead of time and let cake set in a cool place.

It gets better and better with time (if you’re able to refrain from eating immediately, that is!)