Glazed Citrus-Rum Cake is sunshine on a gray winter day

Think buttery-rich pound cake with an infusion of sunshine-bright, freshly squeezed citrus juice and just enough rum to let you know it’s there. Bits of broken pecans stud the top of the cake, forcing you to position your fork in a way that grabs a piece of nut with each bite of velvety goodness. It’s a Bundt cake that only gets better with age as the flavors of the citrus-and-rum-soaked cake develop and ripen when it is stored in a cool place.  It’s Glazed Citrus-Rum Cake.

Billowy batter, speckled with grated zest of clementine, orange and lime, is made with cake flour, producing a fine, yet dense, texture. My original plan was to make the cake with only orange zest and orange juice.  Somehow, before I realized it, most of the oranges were eaten before I got around to making the cake. Luckily, I had plenty of cute little clementines and a couple of limes heavy with juice in my refrigerator. That’s when the cake became a generic citrus cake rather than orange cake.

Rum extract adds subtle flavor to the cake itself. The sweet, tart glaze that soaks into the hot cake has light rum mixed with citrus juice, butter and sugar that simmers until the sugar dissolves. A small amount of rum extract is stirred into the glaze right before spooning over the cake. Poking holes in the cake with a bamboo skewer before spooning the glaze over it, helps the dispersion of the liquid throughout the inside of the cake.

Don’t be alarmed when you get to the part of the recipe that instructs you to cool the cake completely in the pan before turning it out. It will come out without one bit of sticking as long as you are careful to completely grease and flour the pan before spreading the batter inside.

Glazed Citrus-Rum Cake is easy to transport, making it a nice choice to share at potluck meals with friends. If you feel like splurging on fresh berries, this cake is delicious with blueberries or raspberries. But, it’s heavenly just as it is. On a winter brunch table, it’s a sweet surprise. Glazed Citrus-Rum Cake is sunshine on a cold,  gray winter day.

Glazed Citrus-Rum Cake

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons grated citrus zest (orange, clementine, lime)


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange or clementine juice
  • 2 tablespoons light rum
  • 1/8 teaspoon rum extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. Set aside.

Sprinkle chopped pecans over bottom of prepared pan. Beat butter at medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Add rum extract, vanilla extract and grated citrus zest and mix. Spoon batter over nuts in prepared pan.

Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Make glaze by combining butter, sugar, orange juice and rum in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in rum extract.

Using a wooden skewer, poke holes all over the surface of the hot cake in the pan. Spoon glaze evenly over the hot cake in the pan, giving it time to be absorbed into the cake.

Allow cake to cool completely in pan. Turn out onto serving platter. You can get up to 16 slices from one cake. Store tightly sealed in cool place.

7 thoughts on “Glazed Citrus-Rum Cake is sunshine on a gray winter day

  1. Yuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmm! This one I will make for sure. 😉 (BTW, you Are the devil in disguise with all these Goodies from soup to Nuts (PECANS!). And I use Citrus Zest a Lot. It doesn’t turn Bitter like using the juice of a lemon can and the Oil in the zest Holds onto an Added Freshness and Fragrance.

  2. Pingback: Cherry Chocolate Swirl Coffee Cake and Recipe Roundup | The Heavy Table - Minneapolis-St. Paul and Upper Midwest Food Magazine and Blog

  3. Another great recipe that I will need to try. A question — I see it calls for 1 tablespoon baking powder. I checked my cook-books for other pound cakes, and they say 1 teaspoon baking powder. Now …… I’m just checking to make sure. Thanks for the great recipes — and pictures — and write-ups!!!!!!!!!

    • One tablespoon of baking powder seems like a lot, but that is exactly what it takes for this cake, Gladys. Last night we had the Glazed Citrus-Rum Cake with fresh fruit for dessert after an authentic Pakistani meal. Perfect after a spicy meal. Perfect anytime. Enjoy!

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