Tortuga Rum Cake

Tortuga Rum Cake

“Why is the rum always gone?” Are you a Pirates of the Caribbean fan? I remember when I saw the first commercial on TV…I was horrified!! Un-dead ghost skeletons…in a Disney movie? I think my kids were about 10 and 13 at that point, and neither was too keen about scary movies. So that was that…or so I thought…..

My parents took all of the grand kids on a Disney cruise that year and Pirates of the Caribbean became my daughter’s absolute favorite movie! In fact, one of the first things she said when she got off the plane was “you have to buy Pirates of the Caribbean when it comes out on video!” So I did…now it’s to the point now where we know all of the words, not many surprises left after all these years, lol.

Well this Tortuga Rum Cake is a very nice surprise!! It’s moist and airy like a pound cake, but topped with chopped pecans and soaked in RUM!!  Jack Sparrow would be in rum heaven.

This is one of my trickiest Cocktail Cakes, but it is still really simple to make…and well worth the effort!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously spray the inside of a 12 cup bundt pan with baking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking powder, salt, butter, and oil. Beat on low until mix resembled small pebbles…..

Add the eggs, milk, rum, and vanilla extract. Beat until well combined and smooth, scraping the sides as needed…..

Evenly sprinkle the chopped pecans or walnuts into the bottom of the bundt pan…..

Pour in the cake batter, tap on the counter to remove air bubbles, and bake for 55 to 60 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.

Remove cake from oven and set on a cooling rack to cool while you make the Rum Syrup.

In a small saucepan, combine the butter, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until sugar is dissolved and begins to thicken…..

Remove from heat and stir in the rum. Slowly begin to pour the syrup over the cake {while still warm, but it doesn’t have to be immediately}.

Allow syrup to soak in and continue until all syrup has been used…..

Allow cake to cool completely in the pan {preferably overnight}. Carefully remove cake from the bundt pan. This cake is rather delicate and you can not move it once it is on the cake plate. 😉

The outside is sweet and slightly crunchy. The inside is moist and almost delicate, and the rum flavor mixed with the butter is pure heaven!!

If you do not have official Caribbean rum, any gold rum will work…just make sure you use a good quality rum or it will taste bitter…trust me on this one. 😉 I happened to have a bottle of rum from St. Croix sitting around from when the kids went on that cruise, and I decided to put it to good use.

I used the name Tortuga Rum Cake because of my love of Pirates of the Caribbean, but this cake is not an exact copycat of the original. I do not like walnuts, so I used pecans…and I did not use the exact rum sold in Tortuga, but rum is rum, right? 😉


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Prep time

15 minutes

Cook time

1 hour

Total time

1 hour, 15 minutes

Meal type


Vacation at home with your very own Tortuga Rum Cake.


  • 2 Cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups granulated sugar
  • 3.5 Ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2/3 cups safflower oil
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used unsweetened cashew)
  • 1/2 cup Caribbean rum
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Caribbean rum
Read the whole recipe on Cooking With Curls