a baked bundt cake on a cake stand

Box Mix Simple Rum Glazed Bundt Cake with Pecans

A box mix turned into a festive cake: spiked with rum and filled with a layer of pecans that could not be easier to bake.

a baked bundt cake on a cake stand
This beautiful festive cake is perfect for the holidays

I know what you are thinking: really a box mix cake recipe?

From this food blog?

But I was waxing nostalgia remembering the 1970’s when every mom baked the “Bacardi Rum Cake” during the holidays. It was made with Jell-O instant pudding and yellow box cake mix and a ton of booze. I think I must have ingested a few shots as a child not having any ideates cake was full of liquor.

I wanted to re-create this cake and see if it was as good as I remember.

It is.

It is a fantastic cake.

You can whip up this cake in under an hour. Take to a pot luck, a friend or just share it with the family all week. The only problem is manufacturer’s are making cake boxes 3-4 oz smaller than when we were kids. The classic recipe called for an 18 oz. box of yellow cake mix and my grocery store sells box mixes that are a mere 15.25 oz. I added in an extra 2/3 cup of all purpose flour and 1/4 cup extra sugar and used the large box of instant Jell-O pudding mix and not the small.

a slice of cake on a plate
Moist and so tender and packed with delicious rum flavor

Why this recipe works:

  • Old recipe- too sweet. The glaze from the 1970’s was packed with a heaping 1 cup of sugar. Add in the rum and the glaze is much too sweet. We cut the sugar in half and added 2 more tablespoons of butter.
  • We added in more pecans- more nuts gave the box cake a deeper flavor.
  • Dark rum AND More rum- rum means smokey taste and it is much more balanced with the reduced sugar.

Yes, please Santa!

A bottle of rum with other cake ingredients

This cake whips up in a mere matter of minutes because there is not much measuring to slow you down. Watch this cake closely. It if is over-baked, it will dry out and pecans could burn.

You will need a few special items for this recipe:

  • 12 cup bundt pan- buy my favorite here.
  • dark rum
  • yellow cake mix
  • vanilla cook and serve pudding boxed mix
  • bamboo/wooden cake testers
  • Baker’s Joy spray worked very well. Do NOT use 100% spray on oil like Pam. It will pool at the bottom of the pan and leave a burned taste to your batter and the nuts. Butter and flour the bundt pan well if you do not have Baker’s Joy.
a counter of cake ingredients

Simple Rum Glazed Bundt Cake with Pecans

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Meggen Arthur Wilson Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 cup 1 chopped pecans

  • 15.25 oz 15.25 box yellow cake mix

  • 5.1 oz 5.1 Vanilla Cook & Serve pudding box mix

  • 2/3 cup 2/3 all purpose flour, plus more for the pan

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 granulated sugar

  • 4 large 4 eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 ice cold water

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 canola oil

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 dark rum

  • For the glaze
  • 1/4 lb 1/4 unsalted butter, PLUS 2 TBSP

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 water

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 granulated sugar

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 Kosher salt

  • 2/3 cup 2/3 dark rum


  • Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. Sprinkle the 1 cup chopped pecans into the bottom of the pan.
  • Mix all the cake ingredients (cake mix through the 1/2 cup dark rum) together, taking care not to over mix- a few lumps are fine. Pour the batter over the nuts. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Let the cake rest in the pan for 5 minutes. Invert the cake onto a rimmed cake plate. Poke the cake all over with the bamboo skewer/long toothpick or cake tester.
  • While the cake is baking, with about 10 minutes left to bake, melt butter, water, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Let come to a boil . Whisk frequently for 5 minutes. Remove the glaze from the heat and stir in 2/3 cup dark rum.
  • Spoon the hot glaze all over the top and sides of the cake. Serve as is or with ice cream or freshly whipped heavy cream.


Recipe Video


  • If you do not want to use rum, you could substitute apple cider although the cake will have an entirely different taste profile. Boil the cider with the other glaze ingredients.
  • To store, keep under a glass cake plate dome for several days. To Freeze: Wrap in a double layer of plastic wrap and freeze unto 3 months.
  • Make an extra batch of glaze and pour over ice cream when serving the cake for even more rum flavor.
chopped up pecans on a cutting board
a bundt pan filled with batter

Other great recipes with nuts:

a bundt cake on a stand with a slice missing

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