Italian Rum Cake Recipe: Easy, Delicious & Moist!

Rum cake is a classic Italian dessert that has been delighting taste buds for years. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a slice of this delicious treat or make it yourself, an Italian rum cake recipe is the perfect way to go. Its combination of creamy flavors and zesty citrus makes it an irresistible treat that can be enjoyed any time of day!

If you’ve ever wanted to make your own Italian rum cake but were intimidated by the process, fear not! This article will provide you with everything you need to know about making this delightful dessert. From gathering the right ingredients and tools to baking tips and tricks, we’ll cover it all so that you can feel confident in creating your very own version of this beloved cake.

So if you’re ready to take on the challenge of making a traditional Italian rum cake, then read on! We guarantee that following these steps will give you a delicious result that will have everyone begging for seconds.

Types Of Italian Rum Cakes

Italian Rum Cake, a treat that the sweet toothed love
Italian Rum Cake, a treat that the sweet toothed love

Italian Rum Cakes are a delightful and delicious dessert that can be enjoyed by all. Whether you’re looking for an impressive centerpiece for a dinner party or a special treat for the family, this italian rum cake recipe is sure to please.

The traditional Italian Rum Cake consists of three layers: a layer of sponge cake, a layer of chocolate pastry, and a layer of vanilla pastry. To make the cake, start by preheating your oven and greasing two round cake pans. Next, slice the sponge cakes into four even slices and place them in the bottom of each pan. Then spread one layer of chocolate pastry over one pan and one layer of vanilla pastry over the other pan. Finally, top each with another layer of sponge cake before baking in the oven for about forty minutes or until golden brown on top.

Once cooled, carefully remove the cakes from their pans and stack them together with a thin layer of buttercream between each layer. When finished, you will have an impressive layered rum cake that looks as good as it tastes! Serve warm or cold with some fresh fruit on the side – your guests will be sure to love it!

Ingredients & Supplies Needed

Italian Rum Cake ingredients - Photo: Marcellina In Cucina
Italian Rum Cake ingredients – Photo: Marcellina In Cucina

Making a delicious Italian Rum Cake is no small feat. As with all baking recipes, you must have the right ingredients and supplies in order to create an amazing dessert. For this recipe, you will need vanilla extract, rum syrup, egg yolk mixture, egg whites, granulated sugar, maraschino cherries, all purpose flour, pastry creams and cold cream. Additionally, you will need two round cake pans and several wooden spoons for stirring.

It’s helpful to prepare all of the ingredients and supplies before beginning your cake. Measure out the flour and sugar into separate bowls so they are ready when needed. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk together until combined. In a separate bowl combine the rum syrup with a teaspoon of vanilla extract for added flavor. Finally, add in the cold cream to make a thick custard-like mixture perfect for spreading on top of your cakes later on.

Once everything is ready to go it’s time to start baking! Follow the instructions provided in this recipe closely for best results. With just a few simple steps you can easily create a showstopper Italian Rum Cake that will be sure to impress your family and friends!

Please check the full long ingredient list in the recipe card below.

Preparing The Cake Batter

Preparing the cake batter for Italian Rum Cake - Photo: Dani's Cookings
Preparing the cake batter for Italian Rum Cake – Photo: Dani’s Cookings

Now that you have all of your ingredients and supplies prepared, it’s time to start making the cake batter. Begin by using an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slowly add in the granulated sugar while still mixing on medium speed. Once the mixture is thick and glossy, add in one teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix again until just combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolk mixture, all purpose flour and cup of water until smooth. Then begin folding this mixture into the egg white mixture with a wooden spoon. It’s important to be gentle while stirring so as not to deflate the air bubbles that are forming in the batter. Once everything is fully incorporated, pour it into two greased round cake pans and bake in a preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Once your cakes have cooled, use a pastry cream to fill them and then spread with custard-like rum syrup topping. Sprinkle powdered sugar over top for sweetness and garnish with maraschino cherries if desired. Finally, place both cakes onto one large cake dish before serving for a stunning Italian Rum Cake masterpiece!

Baking The Cake

Time to get baking! This is the part that will make your Italian Rum Cake truly come alive. Start by taking out all of the ingredients you need for your cake batter: vanilla pastry cream, heavy cream, sponge layer, milk over egg yolk, plain gelatin, chocolate cream, cups granulated sugar, cups cake flour and vanilla paste. Now get ready to be amazed as all of these flavors combine together in a few simple steps.

Begin by combining the vanilla pastry cream and heavy cream in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Spread this mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch round pan. Then place the sponge layer over top and press down gently with your hands to help it adhere to the cream layer. In another bowl mix together the milk over egg yolk and plain gelatin until combined. Then pour this mixture over top of the sponge layer and spread evenly with a spatula.

Following that combine 1 cup granulated sugar with 2 cups cake flour in another bowl before adding in 4 teaspoons of vanilla paste and 1 teaspoon rum extract. Mix until everything is fully incorporated before pouring it into the pan on top of everything else. Finally bake in a preheated oven at 350F (175C) for about 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top. Let cool before serving for an amazing Italian Rum Cake experience that everyone will love!

Making The Syrup

Making The Syrup for the cake
Making The Syrup for the cake

Once your cake is baked and cooled, it’s time to make the syrup that will give our Italian Rum Cake its signature flavor. Start by boiling 1 cup of water in a medium-sized pot on the stove. Once boiling, add in 1 cup of sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Then reduce the heat to low and add ¼ cup of rum. Simmer for 5 minutes before taking off the heat and allowing to cool.

This syrup will be poured over top of the cooled cake before serving, so make sure you wait until it has cooled before doing so. To assemble, pour half of the syrup over top of the cake and spread evenly with a spoon or spatula. Now you can start layering! Begin by adding a layer of custard filling followed by a layer of rum syrup and then one last layer of pastry cream or chocolate cream if desired.

After everything is layered up nicely, finish off with one final drizzle of rum syrup over top for an extra boost in flavor. With your Italian Rum Cake now complete, you’re ready to indulge in a truly delicious dessert experience that everyone will love!

Finishing Touches

What’s the final touch for a bakery-style Italian Rum Cream Cake? Sprinkling it with rum! Just before serving, take your cooled cake and place it onto a cake plate. Then use a cake ring or two round cake pans to cut out the center of the cake. Now you can fill this empty space with almond coconut cake filling, or any other homemade or store-bought filling of your choice.

Once your filling is in place, it’s time to finish off this authentic Italian Rum Cake recipe with the final toppings. Place the top layer back on top and then brush the entire surface with remaining rum syrup. This will give our cake an extra boost in flavor and make it look like something from a professional bakery! To complete, sprinkle some grated almonds or coconut flakes over top for an added crunch and presentation.

Your Italian Rum Cream Cake is now ready to be served! Enjoy this flavorful dessert that is sure to please everyone at your table.

Substitutions & Variations

If you’re looking for a way to spice up your Italian Rum Cream Cake recipe, there are plenty of delicious substitutions and variations you can make. For starters, why not try swapping out the rum syrup for a vanilla pod syrup? This will give the cake an extra hint of sweetness and floral notes. You could also opt for rum-sprinkled chocolate custard instead of the almond coconut filling. Just follow your favorite recipe card and you’ll have a creamy, decadent filling in no time!

For those who want to take their Italian Rum Cake experience to the next level, consider baking two cakes from one oven. Layer them on top of each other with the almond coconut filling between them and sprinkle sliced almonds or chopped hazelnuts over the batter before baking. Once cooled, sandwich together with more almond coconut filling if desired. Then brush with rum syrup and sprinkle some grated almonds or coconut flakes over top for presentation. Voila – you have an amazing wedding cake aka ‘Double Layer Italian Rum Cake’!

No matter how you choose to dress up your Italian Rum Cream Cake, it’s sure to be a hit at any gathering – whether it’s an intimate dinner party or a large scale reception. Whether you opt for substitutions, variations or keep it classic – this is one dessert that will definitely leave everyone wanting more!

Serving The Cake

Once you’ve prepared your Italian Rum Cream Cake, it’s time to serve it! Begin by gathering a chilled bowl and a bladed knife for cutting the cake. You will also need cups of heavy whipping cream for the topping.

Start by slicing a generous layer of cake from the top of the Italian Cake. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the cake layers with rum syrup. Place the cut cake in the refrigerator while you make the cream mixture. In a separate bowl, mix together heavy whipping cream, sugar, dark cocoa powder and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.

Once combined, use a spatula to spread the cream over each layer of cake before assembling them back together. For extra special presentation, use two sheet cakes to create one large double layer cake and frost with chocolate whipped cream. To finish off your masterpiece, refrigerate overnight or until firm before serving.

TIP: Make sure to refrigerate any leftovers as soon as possible to keep your Italian Rum Cream Cake moist and delicious!

Pairing Ideas With Italian Rum Cakes

When it comes to pairing ideas with Italian Rum Cakes, the possibilities are endless! From vanilla cream layers and rum sprinkled bundt cake to Italian pastry cream and Italian sponge cake, there’s something for everyone. For a classic pairing, start with cake bases like yellow cake or type of foam cakes made from cake flour. Then top off each layer with a flavored cream mixture or custard made from heavy whipping cream, sugar, dark cocoa powder and vanilla extract.

For an even more decadent experience, top the finished product with chocolate shavings or fresh fruit such as raspberries and blueberries. And don’t forget about the rum syrup – you can brush it onto each layer for extra texture and flavor or drizzle it over the top for added sweetness.

No matter what your preference is, Italian Rum Cakes are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth! Whether you’re looking for a show-stopping centrepiece or just an everyday indulgence, these cakes will hit the spot.

Storage Instructions

When it comes to storing your Italian Rum Cake, there are a few tips that you should keep in mind. After all, you want your delicious creation to be just as flavorful and moist when it is served as it was when you first created it! Here are a few storage instructions you should follow:

  1. Store the entire cake on an inch or two-inch cake board and cover with an inch or two-inch cake ring.
  2. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and store in a cool, dry place.
  3. For best results, refrigerate the cake for up to three days or freeze for up to one month.
  4. Before serving, let the cake come to room temperature before unwrapping and serve with at least one tablespoon of butter per slice!

Storing your Italian Rum Cake properly will ensure its flavor and texture remain intact for your next celebration cakes or addition to your collection of favorite cake recipes!

Tips For Perfect Results Every Time

Creating a delicious Italian Rum Cake is an art form that requires attention to detail and a few kitchen tricks. For perfect results every time, here are some tips you should keep in mind:

First, prepare the ingredients before you start baking. Gather all of your supplies such as a medium saucepan, cake rack, hot milk, fresh lemon rind, cream frosting, unflavored gelatin, rotary beater, chilled beaters and eggs yolks. Preheat the oven and grease two 8-inch round cake pans.

When making the batter for the cake, it’s important to carefully measure out each ingredient and mix them together slowly. Don’t overmix or rush through this step—it could lead to a dry or dense cake! After scraping down the sides of your mixing bowl with a rubber spatula, pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes until lightly browned on top.

Finally, when it comes time to decorate your Italian Rum Cake with the creamy frosting of your choice, make sure you have enough time to let it cool completely before adding it on top. This will prevent the frosting from melting off or becoming too runny while still allowing it to spread evenly across your cake. With these tips in mind and lots of practice in the kitchen you’ll be able to perfect this classic Italian dessert!

History & Origin Of Italian Rum Cakes

The history of Italian Rum Cake dates back to the 16th century when it was first created in the small town of Amalfi, Italy. This traditional cake is one of the oldest recipes from the country and has been enjoyed for centuries by locals and visitors alike. The classic Italian Rum Cake consists of a buttery sponge cake that is soaked in a rum-infused syrup and then topped with cream frosting. It’s a delicious dessert that can be served at any occasion, from birthdays to dinner parties!

Rum sprinkled cakes have been around for quite some time, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that they became popular in America. During this time, cake mix box recipes were all the rage and people started adding rum flavoring to their cakes. It didn’t take long before Americans discovered how delicious these boozy cakes could be! Nowadays, you can find Italian Rum Cake recipes everywhere from cookbooks to online food blogs.

If you’re looking for an easy way to make your own Italian Rum Cake at home, you don’t need much more than some basic cake ingredients like flour, sugar, butter, eggs and milk. You’ll also need some rum or other flavored liqueur to give it that distinct flavor. Once your batter is ready, pour it into a greased 8-inch round cake pan and bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown on top. After letting the cake cool completely on a wire rack or cake plate, add the optional gelatin mixture (made with cold water) before frosting with your favorite cream frosting recipe. This decadent dessert is sure to please both adults and children alike!


As a baker, you may have wondered what the difference is between pound cake and butter cake, why your butter cake isn’t moist or fluffy, and what makes gooey butter cake so good. In this FAQ section, we’ll answer these questions and more.

What is gooey butter cake made of?

Gooey butter cake is made of a cake mix, cream cheese, butter, and eggs, and it has a sweet, gooey filling on top.

What are Italian cakes made of?

Italian cakes are made with a variety of ingredients, including pastry cream, sponge cake, chocolate, and rum. Tiramisu, for example, is made with ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, and coffee.

What is the difference between pound cake and butter cake?

Pound cake is made with equal parts butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, while butter cake is made with butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, but in different proportions. Pound cake is more dense and has a tighter crumb, while butter cake is more tender and moist.

What is the secret to super moist cake?

The secret to super moist cake is to not overmix the batter, to use enough fat (butter, oil, or eggs), and to add some sort of liquid, such as milk or sour cream.

Why is butter cake called butter cake?

Butter cake is called butter cake because it is made with butter as the primary fat.

What kind of liquid is used in baking butter cake?

Milk is often used in baking butter cake to add moisture and tenderness to the crumb.

Why is my butter cake not moist?

Your butter cake may not be moist because you overmixed the batter, used too much flour, or baked it for too long. Adding some sort of liquid to the batter, like milk or sour cream, can also help make the cake more moist.

Why is my butter cake not fluffy?

Your butter cake may not be fluffy because you didn’t cream the butter and sugar together enough, or because you overmixed the batter. Using cake flour instead of all-purpose flour can also help make the cake lighter and fluffier.

Why is gooey butter cake so good?

Gooey butter cake is so good because of its unique combination of buttery, sweet, and gooey textures, which make it incredibly rich and indulgent. It’s also very easy to make and can be customized with different flavors and toppings.

Bottom Line

Italian rum cakes are a delightful dessert that can be enjoyed any time of year. Whether you’re looking for an easy holiday treat or just a delicious way to end a meal, this classic Italian recipe is sure to please. While the process may seem intimidating at first, with just a few simple steps and some patience, even novice bakers can create a moist and flavorful cake that everyone will love.

In Italy, rum cakes have been made for centuries and often served during special occasions such as weddings or religious holidays. The rich flavor of the rum syrup complements the light spongy cake in a way that can only be described as heavenly. To illustrate this idea, it’s like eating a slice of sunshine on a warm summer day- you feel instantly transported to an idyllic landscape where everything is perfect and serene.

Whether you’re looking to impress your dinner guests or just satisfy your sweet tooth, Italian rum cakes are an excellent choice. With their unique combination of flavors and textures, they make any occasion more special and memorable. So why not give this recipe a try? You won’t regret it!

Italian Rum Cake, a treat that the sweet toothed love

Italian Rum Cake Recipe

A delicious and moist Italian rum cake with layers of vanilla and chocolate pastry cream, sponge cake, and rum syrup. Topped with maraschino cherries and sliced almonds, this cake is perfect for any occasion.
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Chilling time (in refrigenetor) 4 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10
Calories 501 kcal


  • 2 (8 or 9-inch) cake pans
  • Electric mixer or rotary beater
  • Medium saucepan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Wooden spoons
  • Rubber spatula
  • Bladed knife
  • Pastry bags and tips (optional)
  • Cake dish
  • Cake board or plate
  • Cake ring (optional)
  • Cake rack



  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Chocolate Pastry Cream:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Rum Syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum


  • Sliced almonds
  • Maraschino cherries


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, and mix until just combined.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 5-7 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  • To make the vanilla pastry cream, heat the milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat until just simmering.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour, and cornstarch until pale and thick.
  • Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  • Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and transfer to a chilled bowl to cool.
  • To make the chocolate pastry cream, heat the milk and chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium heat until just simmering.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour, and cornstarch until pale and thick.
  • Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  • Return the mixture to the saucepan
  • Using a bladed knife, trim the tops of the cake layers to make them even.
  • Place one sponge cake layer on the cake dish and brush it with the rum syrup.
  • Spread a layer of vanilla pastry cream on top of the first cake layer.
  • Add the second sponge cake layer on top of the vanilla cream layer and brush it with the rum syrup.
  • Spread a layer of chocolate pastry cream on top of the second cake layer.
  • Add the final sponge cake layer on top of the chocolate cream layer and brush it with the rum syrup.
  • Chill the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • In a medium saucepan, mix together 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup of rum and 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Stir well and set aside to cool.
  • Once the cake has chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and pour the cooled sugar syrup over the cake, making sure to cover the entire surface.
  • Garnish the cake with maraschino cherries and sliced almonds.
  • Chill the cake for an additional hour before serving.


To save time, you can prepare the vanilla and chocolate pastry creams in advance and refrigerate until ready to use.
Make sure to trim the cake layers evenly to ensure a stable and level cake.
For a more pronounced rum flavor, you can increase the amount of rum used in the syrup.
This Italian rum cake is a delicious and elegant dessert perfect for special occasions or anytime you want to impress your guests. Enjoy!

Your Own Notes


Calories: 501kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 9gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 199mgSodium: 175mgPotassium: 189mgFiber: 1gSugar: 55gVitamin A: 623IUCalcium: 150mgIron: 1mg
Keyword ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, Tiramisu
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Chef Chloe


Chloe is passionate about creating unique dishes that draw on the flavors of her favorite cultures. She loves experimenting with new ingredients and pushing the boundaries of traditional recipes. Her enthusiasm for cooking is infectious, and she is always eager to share her creations with friends and family.