Best Rum Brands to Use for Rum Cake

Mmm, rum. Mmm, rum cake. If you’re a fan of the delightful flavor of rum like I am, then you need to try your hand at rum cake. Just keep in mind that you should be using high-quality dark rum to make your cake. Otherwise, the flavor simply won’t be right.

Hey, there! My name is Michelle, and there are two things I love doing: drinking and baking. Why not combine the two? Rum cake has been a crowd favorite for plenty of years. And while I don’t make it all the time, it’s still a fun cake to enjoy every once in a while.

Are you planning on making a rum cake? Then you need to know the facts. Below, you will discover some of the best options for rum cake – plus a few other little nuggets of information you won’t want to miss out on.

Who’s ready to drink some rum? Or, should I say, bake some rum cake?

Does Rum Cake Really Have Rum?

Before we dive into the top rum picks for rum cake, let’s make something clear: yes, rum cake really has rum in it. However, it’s typically not an overwhelming amount that will cause eye squints and head shakes when you take a bite. 

Instead, rum cakes add “just the right amount of rum” to bring about the flavor without being too harsh. That little dose of rum gives the cake some much-needed added depth that is highly enjoyable by most people.

Don’t be afraid to eat rum cake out of fear of getting drunk. While it’s technically possible, it’s improbable. Again, rum cakes don’t have a massive amount of rum. You’d probably have to eat the entire cake before you end up feeling a “buzz.”

Best Rum for Baking

The best rum for rum cake is almost always dark rum. Dark rum has the perfect combination of richness, sweetness, and depth, the ideal pairing for putting together a rum cake.

However, not all rum cakes are created equal. For example, if you’re going for a Caribbean-Style Rum Cake, the flavor profile might be better suited for a flavored rum rather than a plain dark rum.

That said, you have to pay attention to your complementary flavors and ingredients when making a rum cake. 

Best Brands for Rum Cake

If you don’t consider yourself a rum enthusiast, you might be scratching your head walking down the alcohol aisle. After all, there are a lot of rum options. Which one’s best for your cake? Here are a few of my top picks.


When I think of rum, Bacardi is the first thing that comes to mind. It’s been around for 150+ years, and the original recipe has never been altered. This Puerto Rican rum is notably one of the better options for baking (especially rum cake) and has a wide range of flavor options from spice to banana, coconut to peach. 

Brugal Gold

If you’re on a tight budget, you will love the fact that Brugal Gold is on the cheaper side. But it doesn’t compromise on flavor. Brugal Gold has a nice pinch of spice yet has a velvety smooth and vanilla-y flavor. There are even subtle hints of orange to take your rum cake to the next level.

Captain Morgan

Ah, Captain Morgan. An instant classic. Aside from Bacardi, Captain Morgan is another extensively famous rum that always comes to mind. The Original Spiced Rum is excellent whether you mix a drink or bake a cake. It comes with the ideal amount of spice and is ultra-dark, leaving your rum cake with that classic dark, caramelized hue.

Cruzan Blackstrap Rum

With a relatively similar flavor to blackstrap molasses, it’s no wonder why this spicy number is an excellent choice for rum cake. Cruzan Blackstrap Rum is the rum to use if you’re looking for a hefty dose of spice that will really entice the taste buds.

Sailor Jerry

Oh, Sailor Jerry. I’m sure you have found your way to many parties across the globe. But I’m sure you’re also prevalent in rum cakes. The spice and bitterness of Sailor Jerry are exactly what rum cake needs. It won’t disappoint!


Last but not least, we have Tortuga. This is one of the best options for rum cakes because of the collection of flavor notes in every sip. You’ll be wowed by the vanilla, almond, citrus, and coffee tastes of this rum. You can also opt for one of their many other delightful flavors for baking, such as coconut or cream.


Now you know what rum brands to look for in the grocery or liquor store. If you still have a few questions about this topic, keep reading. I have found some of the most commonly asked questions that you might want to know the answer to.

Is Captain Morgan rum good for baking?

Most definitely! Captain Morgan is a classic in almost every situation that calls for rum, whether you’re making a drink or a cake. In rum cake, it is delicious thanks to its sweetness, spice, and bitterness.

What is the best rum for fruit cake?

The best rum to use for fruit cakes can vary widely depending on the type of flavor profile you’re going for. For example, if you want to give your fruit cake a spicy undertone, any of these rums will do. If you want more sweetness, opt for a rum with flavors like cherry or banana.

What’s the best rum for tiramisu?

The best rum for tiramisu will be dark rum so you can use any of the brands listed above. If you don’t want to go with a dark rum, you can also opt for coffee liqueur or amaretto. Even marsala wine is a good sub for rum in tiramisu.

Which alcohol is best for cake?

Rum will always be a clear winner, but other alcohol can also be used for particular cakes. Common baking alcohol includes gin, bourbon, amaretto, liqueur (different flavors), and wine. It’s all about pairing the ingredients of your baked good with the complementing alcoholic beverage.

Final Words

Rum cake is oh-so-delicious, but you won’t achieve the flavor profile without actual rum. I suggest using Bacardi, Brugal Gold, Captain Morgan, Cruzan Blackstrap Rum, Sailor Jerry, or Tortuga. Try to match the flavor of your rum cake recipe with the rum you choose.

Have you ever made rum cake? What kind of rum do you like to use? Which do you think is the best? Share with us!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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  • Phil

    Try some Stroh rum that was specially developed for baking with coke it is a super drink!