Almost Tortuga Rum Cake

"Next best to the original! On our visit to the Caribbean, we brought home the best Rum Cake I've ever had.... in fact it's the very best of all cakes I've ever had!!! I then thought I'd send for some to be shipped to us and found the price to be $35 for the med. size ( I paid $18 on the Island) So my search for the recipe began! You can not purchase Tortuga Rum ANYWHERE except in the Caribbean - Whaler's Vanille Rum should be a close match. This next best copy-cat comes from Newsgroup"
photo by pincus photo by pincus
photo by pincus
photo by Lynn in MA photo by Lynn in MA
photo by Lynn in MA photo by Lynn in MA
photo by Lynn in MA photo by Lynn in MA
photo by kvnrykvn65 photo by kvnrykvn65
Ready In:
1hr 40mins




  • Basic Cake Mix: In a large mixing bowl, combine basic cake mix ingredients.
  • On low speed combine ingredients until the mix is the consistency of fine gravel, and all particles are about the same size.
  • This mix may be contained and stored for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.
  • For the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Spray a large Bundt pan (12 cup) with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on the bottom.
  • Place Basic Cake Mix, pudding mix, milk, eggs, rum, oil, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and combine on medium speed with electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes, scrape down the bowl halfway through.
  • Batter should be very smooth.
  • Pour into Bundt pan.
  • Bake for about 55 minutes- until fully golden and tester comes out clean and cake springs back.
  • Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack while making the soaking glaze.
  • Rum Soaking Glaze:

  • Combine butter, water and sugar in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil carefully as mixture boils over very easily.
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook until sugar is dissolved and syrup is well combined and a little thicker.
  • Remove from the heat and add the rum, mix to combine.
  • While cake is still cooling, pour some of the hot syrup on top of the cake, allowing it time to soak in (this may take a few minutes as there will be a lot of syrup) continue to add syrup until all of the syrup is added.
  • Allow cake to cool completerly in pan before turning out onto serving platter.
  • This cake is delicate, so once it is turned out, it can not be moved around easily.
  • Can be eaten when fully cool, but even better the next day!

Questions & Replies

  1. I make this cake all the time. Everyone I know loves it. Question though......a few times when I’ve been making it, the egg yolks go hard - like they’ve been boiled - once I crack them into the bowl with the other ingredients. Anyone know why this might be happening?
  2. What brand rum have people had good luck using for this recipe?


  1. Delicious cake however, I found that we liked the glaze better with the rum cooked WITH the butter, water and sugar rather than adding it at the end. It gave the syrup a wonderful flavor. Adding the rum at the end just tasted too....raw. Thank you!
  2. AMAZING! I get rave reviews from everyone who tastes it and it is soooo easy! Easy way to look like a PRO! I use a yellow or butter cake mix instead of the basic and you can interchage the puddings. Pistachio, banana and french vanilla have been awesome. Also, you can make MORE glaze if you like to put on top and bottom. Cake needs to sit overnight if possible. Thank you for this recipe!
  3. Made this for Christmas with good family reviews. I also tryed a individual 6 count, small bundt pan for smaller cakes. The recipe makes about 14 smaller bundt cakes if using the 6 count, small bundt pans. The kicker here the smaller cakes are terrific for individual gifts and are absolutly fantastic with hot coffee.
  4. I never liked rum cake because it usually tastes like someone just poured an entire bottle of booze over it. This one is different. It tastes heavenly! I substituted Cruzan Vanilla Rum, Banana Cream pudding mix and pecans instead of what's called for. EVERYONE will be asking for this recipe. Make it for Thanksgiving and enjoy the compliments.
  5. I have made it several times with Rum at home... I personally love mixing 1/2 Meyers rum and 1/2 light rum with a tsp of vanilla bean paste. IT IS BY FAR THE BEST CAKE I HAVE EVER EATEN!!!!! People LOVE this cake, never a crumb left! I will have to try the whalers Rum next time! A great recipe Trust me folks you can't go wrong with this one!!


  1. I added 3 tablespoons of powered milk (do not add water) and an additional tablespoon of oil in the cake batter. When making the Rum sauce, I heat the sugar, butter, water and my homemade vanilla extract and bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool half way down before adding the Rum before pouring over the hot cake. Doing this give the full effect of the Rum and it mellow out beautifully once the cake is cooled. For a more indulgent groups, I will bath the cake with a full shot of Rum every day for 3 days before serving but do offer a warning for those who are sensitive to the effects of alcohol.
  2. Be careful!!!! When I printed this recipe for some reason the rum glaze ingredients include vegetable oil and vanilla. They only appear when you print them. When you read it online and in the recipe directions it says just water, sugar, butter and rum which is the correct recipe. I use coconut rum and it is delish!
  3. I find the large cake difficult to cook through. Today I substituted coconut rum for vanilla run and coconut for the walnuts and made mini Tortugas in a muffin tin. Much quicker to cook and judge doneness. I reserved 1/4 cup of the glaze and basted it on grilled pineapple. I served each mini Tortuga with a ring of grilled pineapple, and some pineapple/coconut ice cream.
  4. I had a banana and part of a can of pumpkin and instead of vanilla out of chocolate pudding mix along with chocolate chips
  5. Awesome cake. I think that it is better than the one I had in the Cayman's. If you want to have the chocolate version, substitute Chocolate Jello mix. You are limited only by the Jello pudding flavors. I made a P-nut butter cup version by substituting the vanilla pudding with chocolate and add 1/2 cup creamy p-nut butter for the oil. Pour a half recipe of the rum glaze then drizzle with chocolate ganash (?)



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