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!
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Favorite Banana Desserts
Banana Rum Cake
- 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
- 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
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 12 whole pecans
- 12 banana slices soaked in lemon juice, 1-2 whole bananas
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
Originally published September 2012, updated and republished October 2022
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