Banana Rum Cake

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Banana Rum Cake is moist and decadent, with notes of banana, vanilla, caramel, and a subtle spiced rum flavor from Captain Morgan’s that’ll make your toes tingle! It’s the most wonderful dessert for the most wonderful time of the year! 

banana rum cake recipe.

This super easy banana cake recipe proves that you can take a year-round favorite, switch things up just a little bit, and have a mindblowing holiday dessert that’s dressed to impress!

banana rum cake ingredients.

Banana Rum Cake

Holiday rum cake is luscious and luxurious, and this spiced rum cake is made with fruit you can find all year long!

Plus, there are no fancy ingredients – just dig into your pantry and pull out the baking staples. 

It is a truly special treat that will add a bit of homemade flair to the holiday dinner table.

If you love sweet banana treats, my banana nut coffee cake muffins are perfect for a weekend brunch! Or, make some ice cream, pancakes, or a refreshing smoothie!

mixing ingredients for banana rum cake recipe.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Spiced Rum – The rum flavor is not at all overpowering. Captain Morgan’s has spices that pair perfectly with the banana for an ultra rich and moist result.

    But, if desired, you can leave out the rum and simply enjoy a banana cake with cream cheese frosting!
  • Bananas and Lemon Juice – Use extra ripe ones for the cake batter, and somewhat firmer ones to slice for the garnish.

    A splash of citrus juice prevents them from browning too quickly.
  • Cinnamon and Nutmeg – These flavors really make the cream cheese frosting spectacular!

    They can be left out for a simpler flavor, or you can substitute pumpkin pie spice!
  • Heavy Cream – To make the homemade whipped cream garnish.

    You can opt for store-bought, but homemade is firmer, so it holds the banana and pecan garnish better.
  • Pecans – Nuts are a classic in spiced rum cake, but can be left out or replaced with a nut topping of your preference. 
baked banana rum cake.

Banana Cake Recipe Notes

Use room temperature ingredients. 


This is important for proper blending of the cake batter. Cold ingredients, (especially eggs) don’t incorporate as easily or completely.

So, give the eggs, butter, rum, and bananas some time on the counter before you start.

You’ll also want the cream cheese and butter for the cream cheese frosting at room temperature.

Important! For whipped cream, it’s just the opposite! Keep the cream chilled until you’re ready to start whipping. 

iced and sliced banana rum cake

Storing and Freezing Cake

Looking for a holiday rum cake you can make in advance? Look no further!

This easy banana cake recipe can be prepared and frosted up to 3 days ahead of time. Just keep it chilled in an airtight container. 

The cake can also be frozen for up to 1 month. Transfer to the refrigerator the night before you plan on serving.

If you’ll be freezing the banana rum cake, leave the banana slices, whipped cream, and pecans off, and add them just before serving.

Spiced Rum Cake FAQ

What does adding rum to cake do?

Aside from adding a pleasant fruity and spicy flavor to the dessert, highlighting both tastes and scents found in the batter and icing, it affects the structure of the cake. 

Cakes made with alcohol are denser and more tender. The result is moist, fluffy, and pleasantly crumbly.

Can you get drunk off rum cake?

My banana rum cake contains far too little Captain Morgan’s to get you drunk. The two tablespoons of spiced rum in the cake cook away, leaving just the flavor.

There are only 2 teaspoons in the frosting, and that’s spread over 12 servings. Each recipe varies, though. Some are soaked in rum or contain an excessive amount. 

What rum is best for rum cake?

My go-to brand for spiced rum cake is Captain Morgan’s. It’s very smooth with vanilla and caramel flavors. For a deeper, spicier, stronger rum flavor, use Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. Bacardi is great, too – use Gold for mild flavor, Black for bold. 

sliced banana rum cake recipe.

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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bite of banana rum cake.

banana rum cake closeup.

Banana Rum Cake

Donna Elick
Banana Rum Cake with Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum Cream Cheese Frosting
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 12

Ingredients
 

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 stick, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons spiced rum, I use Captain Morgan’s (See Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 medium ripe bananas, extra-ripe, smashed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons spiced rum
  • 1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar, 6 cups
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Decorating

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 12 whole pecans
  • 12 banana slices soaked in lemon juice, 1-2 whole bananas

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9×13 cake pan with nonstick baking spray; set pan aside.

For the Cake

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a medium mixing bowl and an electric hand mixer), cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy and creamy.
  • Reduce speed to medium and add eggs, rum and vanilla extract. Beat well to combine.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix just until combined. Add mashed bananas and beat on medium until completely combined.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack to allow the cake to cool completely.

Frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese and butter. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, rum, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat until well combined. With the mixer on low, add salt and powdered sugar (starting with about 1 pound and increasing as necessary to get a light fluffy frosting.
  • Use an offset spatula to frost the cake.

Garnish

  • Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and continue whipping until stiff and pipeable.
  • Cut the cake into 12 even slices. Pipe a swirl of whipped cream in the center of each slice. Top each square with a banana slice and whole pecan.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Donna’s Notes

Rum: This is a rich, moist cake with decadent cream cheese frosting. The rum flavor is mild, but rum can be omitted without substitution if desired.
Whipped Cream: Store bought whipped cream can be substituted for heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar for the garnish. We use homemade whipped cream because the consistency is firmer than prepared whipped cream from a can or a tub, so it holds the banana slices better.
Storage and Freezing Instructions: Cake can be prepared, and even frosted, in advance. Store frosted (ungarnished) rum cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store in the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Do not add whipped cream, pecan, and banana slice topping until just before serving. Banana slices do not freeze well, but the cooked banana in the cake itself freezes just fine.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 702cal | Carbohydrates: 111g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 414mg | Sugar: 89g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
banana rum cake recipe.

Originally published September 2012, updated and republished October 2022

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20 Comments

  1. I can actually picture Chad staring at the empty cake pan. It definitely sounds good to me! Speaking of which, I might need to bum a couple ounces of spiced rum from you this weekend so that I can make this myself!

  2. So funny – what do you think happened to the cake? I love spiked desserts. There's something about cake and rum that blend well. I used to make a white wine cake – and I may have to dig that one out now. Or just go home and have a drink. All those photos and posts are amazing! Have a great weekend and good luck finding the rest of your cake 🙂

  3. So, if you take an old uninteresting cereal box, (like all-bran or something like that), then empty it out and stick it in the most obscure place in the freezer …………. This will make the perfect place for hiding a bit of extra cake for a rainy day. Chad will never think of looking there and when you have the craving for something sweet like this wonderful cake, voila! It's just a microwave thaw away! Of course if you have a husband who's a super-sleuth like mine, well that's a whole other story ……….. 🙂

  4. I'm with you on the cake addiction, Donna! And there's just something about a frosted banana cake, I was planning one for next week, but now I have to completely rethink my recipe, the spiced rum sounds incredible!

  5. I just set out to make this incredible looking cake, and I wanted to let you know that you forgot to mention when to add the banana in the recipe 😉 My house is smelling so awesome right now, I can't wait to dive in!

  6. Donna, I noticed in a lot of your recipes you call for kosher salt. I use sea salt. Could I substitute it for kosher salt or would it change the taste?

    1. I love kosher salt, but you can swap out 3/4 teaspoon table salt for 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Enjoy and let us know how it goes!

  7. This is the best cake ever made — I don't really eat banana stuff but had everything I needed an had really ripe bananas to use…. Totally delicious and easy to make. Thanks so much for this recipe. It was awesome.

  8. Hi, this sounds delicious. My question is, does it need 3 or 4 bananas? The posted recipe says 4, but the print version says 3. Thanks, I want to make this soon.

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