Other than being a versatile drink for cocktails, punches, and winter drinks, rum is the primary ingredient in rum cake and a wide variety of desserts. But not all rum brands are good for baking. So, you need to find the best one to make your recipes phenomenal.
Here are the top brands along with detailed info on why they make the cut:
Tortuga is famous for its baking-friendly collection of rums that can be used in many different cake recipes. Although the company makes Tortuga rum cakes with its special 5-year-old rum—which isn’t publicly available—the Tortuga gold rum is perfect for homemade rum cakes, especially those with spices.
Gold rum, in general, has hints of vanilla, citrus, and almond, depending on the brand. Plus, they have a darker hue than white or clear rums.
When you open a bottle of Tortuga Gold, the first scent is a marshmallow-like tone followed by spicy, coffee, and honey aromas.
But what makes Tortuga especially suitable for baking is the sweet palate entry taste blended with dried fruit, cake batter, and molasses flavors. The scents of winter-holiday spices, including nutmeg and cinnamon, make it a perfect addition to any baking recipe.
Packed with Caribbean scents, the Tortuga rum comes in many different flavors. Depending on the recipes, you can use Mango, 151, Coconut, Banana, Spiced, Cream, Dark, and many more.
Coming from Puerto Rico, this 150-year-old rum still uses the same recipe that Facundo Bacardi Masso used in 1862. The company gets its premium yeast from Cuban sugarcane fields and has a signature filtering process that uses charcoal to filter the rum in oak barrels.
Although many customers say Bacardi doesn’t mix well in cocktails and other beverages, it’s perfect for baking.
Besides, it comes in a wide variety to suit your different baking recipes. Some of the most popular flavors include:
- Rock Coconut
Pro Tip: If you want a fruitier taste, opt for Bacardi Superior, with its banana, apple, and pear undertones, which is aged for about two years and is very smooth and light.
Generally speaking, Bacardi is a perfect entry-level rum for mixing, sipping, and baking. No matter if you use the gold or the light versions, they can be used in many recipes due to their high alcohol contents.
However, you may not get the dark coloring typical of rum cakes, as Bacardi rums don’t get that dark after cooking. That said, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get a perfect taste with Bacardi. The mixture of vanilla, citrus, and caramel aromas and tastes makes it an excellent rum for baking purposes.
Whalers rums are famous for their balanced mix of ingredients, with nothing too strong or overpowering. While many rum lovers consider it too bitter to mix well, it’s smooth enough to go into any baking recipe, adding flavor and sweetness to your cake.
It gets its name from its signature vanilla aroma and flavor. Old sailors used to rattle vanilla beans in metal cans to attract whales.
Whalers’ rums also come in a wide variety of flavors, including vanilla, dark, coconut, pineapple, and spiced. The strong vanilla flavor may be a little off-putting for sipping purposes, but it’s a perfect blend for cake recipes.
And the butterscotch and caramel flavors give your cakes a sweet, sugary taste that many rum cake recipes should have.
Made in the United States, this Hawaiian-style rum gives your cakes a muddy brown color and the deep signature flavor of traditional rum cakes.
You could also use Whaler’s spiced rum to marinate meat because its sweet flavor goes perfectly well with meat recipes. Make sure to cook the meat thoroughly before adding rum, then marinate it with a generous amount of Whaler’s spiced rum and cook it again to get a pleasant rum taste in your meat.
4. Brugal Gold
Made in the Dominican Republic, Brugal rum is a household name, and chefs use it in many different recipes. It gives your recipe, be it a rum cake or crème Brulee, the balanced mixture of spices, smoothness, caramel, and vanilla that it needs.
It has Scotch whiskey notes with subtle fruit and caramel tones.
The woody spiciness and hints of orange peel give it a full and rounded flavor profile with elegant aromas. So you can try it in the more traditional rum cake recipes that don’t need too much flavor.
It’s also cheap compared to other high-profile brands, making it perfect for those who don’t want to break the bank for a simple rum cake.
Brugal rum has a signature taste that separates it from other brands since it’s made and stored in white oak barrels previously containing whiskey and bourbon. It ages between three and five years, making it elegantly dry, smooth, and not too sweet.
So, it’s great for recipes that you don’t want to be too sweet and flavor-packed.
You may find it too harsh for sipping and mixing, but that same harshness makes it a decent rum for baking. That’s because most of the alcohol content will be lost in the cooking process, leaving your cake with delightful coffee scents and pleasant flavors.
Made from Jamaican sugarcane, Myer’s rum is a must-have for many chefs. And among the wide range of Myer’s products, the Original Dark is one of the darkest and most flavored ones.
This rum is best for rum cake recipes that have a buttery, sweet, chocolaty, and smoky flavor. It’s a unique mixture of blackstrap notes paired with hints of hazelnut, allspice, and coffee.
The celery, pineapple, and toffee flavors also make it a baking recipe staple.
The pure Jamaican rum is very strong and has a very rich tone that you can sense as soon as you open the bottle. When you take a sip, you’ll have a bitter and fiery experience that you may have never had before.
It also provides the richness a good rum cake deserves. Once the alcohol fades off after cooking, you’re left with pleasant hints of leather, caramel, tobacco, and sugarcane, bringing the ultimate Jamaican experience into your palate.
6. Goslings Black Seal
Goslings Black Seal rum is another richly flavored and smooth product with a well-balanced mix of sweet spices, butterscotch, vanilla, caramel, and fruits. The production involves a continuous still distillation that gives its flavors more subtlety and elegance.
The rum ages in charred American white oak barrels, giving them a smoky flavor, which has made this rum the main ingredient of a Dark ‘n Stormy, Bermuda’s National Drink.
Although the rum distinguishes itself as soon as it touches your palate, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use it in your rum cakes. The strong, intricate flavor blends well with baking ingredients, including banana cake or rum cakes.
In addition to Goslings Black Seal, other products, such as Goslings Gold Rum or Old Rum, are also perfect for baking. Goslings Gold Rum contains similar ingredients to Black Seal but has a light amber color.
It can still give you the unique rummy flavor you want in your cakes.
If you want to bring a little bit of history and glory into your kitchen, Pusser’s is the right choice.
According to the manufacturer’s website, Pusser’s was the Navy’s selected rum from the beginning of the Royal Navy. Each soldier had a daily ration of this rum distributed to him by the “Purser,” later turning into “Pusser.”
That’s why some call it Navy rum.
Pusser’s rums are famous for their notes of baking spices and the balanced blend of brown sugar and wood.
The rich flavor isn’t overpowering, making it a perfect ingredient for desserts like chocolate cake, bread pudding, cheesecake, and even frozen yogurt. The heavy tones of molasses, honey, and coffee also make it a strong case for rum cakes.
Despite the full-bodied flavor, though, it comes with surprisingly low prices.
The best Pusser’s rum for baking purposes is Gunpowder, with its tones of caramel, tannin, cocoa, earth, and spices.
Coruba Original is another dark rum aged in charred oak barrels with added caramel for extra flavor and color. It’s a Jamaican rum produced in Kingston but blended in New Zealand.
This rum can be too harsh for some people, with a dark, heavy texture and a strong smell of molasses and alcohol. But the sensational aromas make it perfect for cooking.
It also goes well in cocktails made of coke and ginger beer.
Add the hints of baking spices, including vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, and orange peel, and you’ll have an unforgettable touch of heaven in your dessert. It also contains fruity hints of green apple and cantaloupe, making it perfect for fruit cakes.
Coruba pairs beautifully with chocolate cakes due to its smoky notes of caramel, cream, and toffee.
Cruzan Rum has been around for over three centuries, making a wide range of rums like the Estate Diamond, Hurricane Proof, Aged Light, and Single Barrel. However, the best options for cooking are:
- Black Strap
- Key Lime
- Passion Fruit
Although the fruity versions come as white rum, which is not normally used in cooking, the fruit hints make it an irresistible addition.
The Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum is also another pleasant addition to your recipes. It’s made with nine spices, including:
- Juniper berry
Who wouldn’t want this combo of treasured sweet spices in their desserts?
Since the Blackstrap is very strong, avoid using too much of it in your cooking recipes. That’s because it’ll leave a spicy aftertaste, but if you like it, go ahead and use it as much as you want.
10. Sailor Jerry
Sailor Jerry is a must on the list when it comes to the best rum brands for rum cakes. It has a strong, smooth taste paired with distinctive vanilla, oak, caramel notes, and hints of cinnamon and clove. So it’s perfect for those who like a bit of bitterness in their desserts.
The company also promises to stay true to the old tradition of adding spices to make its rums high “proof.”
In the past, when soldiers received their rations of rum, they suspected they were watered down. So, their captain would mix it with gunpowder and ignite it to give them “proof” of purity. If the rum ignited, it was pure and didn’t contain water.
Sailor Jerry guarantees you can use the same trick to ensure their product is strong enough and will give you unique sipping, mixing, and cooking experiences.
11. Captain Morgan
No list of best rums for rum cake is complete without Captain Morgan. It’s a household name and the first go-to choice for baking, especially due to its reasonable price and great taste.
You can add Captain Morgan White Rum to your savory dishes and other spiced versions for baking recipes. These include:
- Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
- Captain Morgan 100 Proof Spiced Rum
- Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum
- Captain Morgan Silver Spiced Rum
The most celebrated Captain Morgan rum is its Original Spiced Rum, perfect for rum cakes due to its spicy taste. It’s also very dark, giving your rum cakes a great traditional look with a dark, caramel color.
This navy-style rum has a strong, pungent nose with a sweet smell reminiscent of Jamaican-style rums. When you sip it, the rum has a spicy, peppery taste, as you may expect. The aftertaste is bitter, making it a great choice for sweet rum cakes.
For a fruity-flavored recipe, use their fruity rums with coconut, pineapple, orange, and sliced apple flavors. Their gingerbread rum is also a seasonal offering, a perfect addition to the cakes you think go well with ginger flavor.
In summary, here are the best rum brands to use for an amazing rum cake:
- Tortuga Gold
- Brugal Gold
- Goslings Black Seal
- Sailor Jerry
- Captain Morgan
Thanks for stopping’ by!
For more, check out 6 Best Rum Brands For Awesome Rum And Coke.
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.