Cuban Rum Cake With Homemade Rum Syrup (Gluten Free)

This Cuban Rum Cake is rich and moist, getting its unique flavor from a dark spiced rum, vanilla, and banana liqueur. While this recipe may not be for the kids, it definitely will be a holiday hit with all the adults.

Cuban Rum Cake With Homemade Rum Syrup (Gluten Free) - The Well Essentials #glutenfree #rumcake #holidaydesserts #christmas (5).png

This post is in partnership with my friends at Green Valley Creamery. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make The Well Essentials possible.

Growing up my Dad loved rum cake. I always remember him ordering it at local bakeries and not really getting what all the fuss was about — or why he wouldn’t let us have any. But now that I am an adult I fully appreciate the deliciousness that is rum cake, and I have to agree with my Dad that it is by far one of the best cakes to enjoy during the holidays (or anytime of year for that matter).

While rum cake may not be the prettiest or best decorated cake on the holiday table, thanks to that generous rum syrup it sure is one of the most delicious.

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When it comes to making rum cake there are so many different recipes, but for this recipe I opted to be inspired by the Cuban Rum cake. In Cuba, rum cake is one of the most popular desserts to enjoy during the Christmas holiday and I can promise you that it is sure to transport you to warmer weather with it’s vanilla and rum flavor.

For this rum cake I partnered with my friends at Green Valley Creamery who make the only organic, and sustainably produced lactose free dairy products on the market. Rather than using vegetable oil in this recipe I opted to swap the oil for Green Valley Creamery Greek Yogurt for a healthier alternative. Personally I love using Greek Yogurt in recipes as it can often be used to help moisten a dessert, and this cake is no different.

What makes this particular rum cake special in my opinion though is the combination of banana liqueur and dark rum that is baked into the cake itself, and is also used in the rum syrup that is poured over the cake once it is cooked. While the rum syrup may seem like an afterthought in this recipe, it really is the star of the show. By pouring the rum syrup over the cake you fill all of the spongey holes of the cake with a deliciously sweet syrup, which makes for an incredibly moist, and rum filled dessert.

Cuban Rum Cake With Homemade Rum Syrup (Gluten Free)


  • 8 oz butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup whole milk lactose free yogurt from Green Valley Creamery

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup cane sugar

  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup dark rum

  • 1/4 cup banana liqueur

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 cups gluten free flour

  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar for dusting, or to taste

Rum Syrup

  • 4 ounces butter

  • 3/4 cup dark rum

  • 1/4 cup banana liqour

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup cane sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

  • In a large mixing bowl combine butter, yogurt, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, rum, banana liqueur, and vanilla extract. Beat until well combined.

  • Next, in a separate mixing bowl combine gluten free flour, arrowroot powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and grated lemon.

  • Whisk well to remove any clumps and then slowly begin to add the dry ingredients into the wet.

  • Once a dough forms and ingredients are well combined, pour into a well greased bundt pan.

  • Bake for ~45 minutes or until the cake is cooked all the way through.

  • Allow to cool entirely before pouring rum syrup over cake and sprinkling with powdered sugar.

Rum Syrup

  • To make the rum syrup melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.

  • Next add the rum, vanilla, sugar, and salt and slowly bring to boil (stirring consistently or it will burn) and then reduce to simmer.

  • Allow to simmer for about 8 minutes and then remove from heat. Store in a small jar until ready to pour over cake.