Can You Get Drunk from Rum Cake?

No other cake gives me a buzz like a good ol’ slice of rum cake. 

No really, legally speaking, you might actually get a buzz from these alcohol-infused goodies. So it’s wise to eat them in moderation no matter how yummy they are and avoid driving afterward!

Rum cake is any cake made with rum. They’re particularly popular in the Caribbean, especially around the holiday season. Last Christmas, I had a request from a South African client for a Christmas fruit cake, but instead of brandy, he wanted rum.

That was the first time I made a rum cake and I’ve been officially converted. 

I’m Angie, I’m a self-taught baker with a baking side hustle. In this article, I will show you whether or not you can get drunk off rum cake. 

Let’s dive into it!

How Much Rum is in a Rum Cake?

Depending on how big your cake is and the recipe you follow, the answer to this question will vary. My favorite recipe for Jamaican rum cake calls for ½ a cup of rum in the batter and ¼ cup more for the sauce. 

In my case when I was preparing my Christmas fruit cakes for the order, I soaked my raisins in a cup of rum overnight. The rum was completely soaked up and I baked it with all of my rum-soaked raisins. 

On top of that, I had to regularly “feed” my cake with more rum throughout the course of a month, a few tablespoons at a time, leading up to Christmas. 

Of course, most of the alcohol in the cake evaporates during baking when it’s reached a boiling point, but not all of it. There’s also alcohol in the sauce, the frosting, and the cake soak.  

How Much Rum Gets You Drunk?

It depends on your tolerance.

Actually, not only that but factors such as your age, weight, metabolism, and what you’re eating or drinking while having rum also plays a part in determining how much of it gets you drunk. 

Rum has a concentration of 40% ABV. You can refer to the following charts from Healthline to calculate for yourself how much alcohol will it take for you to reach drunkness.

That said, with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08%, you are considered legally impaired for driving. For an average woman, it takes about three drinks an hour to reach 0.08% BAC, and about four drinks an hour for an average man. 

Can You Get Drunk off Rum Cake?

As unlikely as it is, it’s possible to feel slightly buzzed off eating too many pieces of rum cake. 

As I mentioned before, most of the alcohol that is infused in your cake batter will evaporate in the oven. From just the sauce and the remaining alcohol, it’s not too likely for you to reach an intoxication level which we usually describe as being drunk. 

If you’ve eaten so much rum cake that your BAC is above 0.08%, you will be considered legally impaired for driving. 


Here I’ll answer some commonly asked questions about the topic.

Can rum cake make you fail a drug test?

Yes, you can test positive in a drug test for alcohol from eating alcoholic desserts. 

Can you get drunk off alcoholic desserts?

It depends. I say this because drunkness is defined differently for different people. You may not feel the effects of alcohol after having some alcoholic desserts but the alcohol can still be detected in your body through your blood, urine, breath, and more. 

Does alcohol burn off in rum cake?

Alcohol in rum cakes does partially evaporate during the baking process in the oven, but not all of it. You also need to keep in mind that many rum cakes are soaked with rum post-baking. 

What is the shelf life of rum cake?

The alcohol and sugar content in your rum cake can significantly extend its shelf-life. Storebought, tightly sealed Tortuga rum cakes are best if consumed within 12 months of purchase. Refrigeration or freezing will prolong this time. Homemade rum cake is good for up to three months in the freezer.

How long does alcohol stay in your system?

There are several ways alcohol is measured. According to Cleveland Clinic, in blood, alcohol can be detected for up to 12 hours. In breath, it will linger for up to a day, and in urine, five days. 

Final Thoughts

There’s a saying in Japanese, “Otona no amasa”, which literally translates to “Grown-up Sweetness”. Rum cakes are the perfect example of this. As nice as it is to be able to enjoy this grown-up sweetness it is also nice to be responsible. 

Though it is unlikely that you will get drunk from a slice of rum cake, do remember to eat in moderation, especially if you plan on driving, and to avoid even the slightest chance of drunk driving.

Have you ever tested positive on a DUI test after eating rum cake? Let us know in the comments!

About Angie
I am a self-taught baker. I’ve been baking for over 10 years and started my own home baking business as a side hustle. I was born in Hong Kong and spent a pretty big chunk of my life in Canada. If you’re ever looking for me, I am probably there whisking vigorously away in the kitchen.

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