Gluten Free Holiday Rum Cake Recipe

gluten free rum cake banner | gfJules


When I was diagnosed with celiac disease, there were a few foods I genuinely feared I would never again be able to eat, gluten free. One favorite I thought I might never enjoy was a gluten free Holiday Rum Cake.

My mother made this heavenly confection at this time every year, cut it into halves or quarters, wrapped them in colorful cellophane with a pretty bow, and delivered them to friends and neighbors as holiday gifts. It didn’t take long for people (not just me!) to eagerly anticipate this holiday tradition and begin to politely inquire when they could expect their holiday rum cake delivery!

gluten free holiday rum cakes as gifts
gluten free holiday rum cakes as gifts


As I’m sure you would agree, a delicious tradition such as this one needed to be carried on … gluten free.

Unfortunately, it took me quite a few holidays before I got the recipe just right (the original recipe called for such things as a “pudding-in-the-mix commercial cake mix” — making it a bit harder to convert for my gluten free holiday rum cake), but now I happily share this gluten free Holiday Rum Cake recipe with you all since I can’t be there to knock on your door with a a cellophane-wrapped edible gift!

gluten free rum cake with tree | gfJules


This pound cake-like cake is dense in all the right pound cake-y ways, and it’s also a lot like a poke cake in that the rum glaze is infused throughout in pockets of deliciousness you can see and of course taste (and covet!).

If you’re really in the Christmas spirit, use Pistachio Instant Pudding  (Jell-O® brand is currently gluten-free and dairy-free) instead of vanilla in this recipe, and use pistachios instead of pecans – the lovely green hue and subtle pistachio flavor are quite nice in this pound cake! 

For the traditional vanilla recipe, I like using Dr. Oetker® Vanilla Pudding Mix, as it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, organic and Non-GMO as well. While the glaze is optional, it’s super tasty, and really is the icing on this cake!

gluten free pistachio rum cake
Gluten free rum cake made with pistachio pudding mix and pistachios on top makes a festive and delicious holiday dessert!


This gluten free holiday Rum Cake makes the perfect friends and neighbors gift when baked in small tins or loaf pans for the holidays, as well. It’s become one of our favorite things to deliver to our neighbors in the year of COVID: the perfect ring-and-run treat to show you care, deliciously!

Check out more gluten free gift ideas in my holiday gift guide!

gluten free rum cake slice

With the release of my new gfJules Cake Mix, I’ve had a few customers ask if they can use my cake mix instead of my gfJules Flour to make this cake even easier to whip up. I’m happy to say that I’ve experimented with the recipe and with a few modifications, my gfJules Best Gluten Free Cake Mix also makes the Best Gluten Free Rum Cake! See the recipe below for notes!

gluten free rum cake CU | gfJules
Gluten Free Rum Cake made with gfJules Best Gluten Free Cake Mix

gluten free holiday rum cake square

Gluten Free Holiday Rum Cake Recipe

Yield: Serves 10-12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

This gluten free Holiday Rum Cake is simply divine! Part pound cake, part poke cake, it's hard to wait for the holidays to make this treat!


From-Scratch Cake Recipe:

  • 3/4 cup light rum (may substitute equal amount of another clear liquid like apple juice, but will change flavor)
  • 1/2 cup mild cooking oil of choice (e.g. safflower, sunflower, avocado, non-GMO canola, vegetable, etc.)
  • 4 eggs (or substitute)*
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cup (360 grams) gfJules® Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated cane sugar
  • dash salt
  • 1 package gluten-free vanilla or pistachio pudding dry mix (e.g. Jell-O® Brand = 3.4 oz or Dr. Oetker® = 3.8 oz – either works; both are currently Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or pistachios (optional)

From gfJules® Best Gluten Free Cake Mix Recipe:

  • 1 cup light rum (may substitute equal amount of another clear liquid like apple juice, but will change flavor)
  • 1/2 cup mild cooking oil of choice (e.g. safflower, sunflower, avocado, non-GMO canola, vegetable, etc.)
  • 4 eggs (or substitute)*
  • 2 Tbs. white vinegar
  • 1 gfJules® Best Gluten Free Cake Mix
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) gluten-free vanilla or pistachio pudding dry mix (e.g. Jell-O® Brand or Dr. Oetker® – either works; both are currently Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or pistachios (optional)


  • 1 cup granulated cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup light rum (or other liqueur)
  • 1/4 cup water



Preheat oven to 325° F or 300° F convection.

Combine all liquids in a large mixing bowl and beat until combined; sift in dry ingredients and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed – expect the batter to be very thick and taffy-like.

For cake: Oil and dust a bundt pan with gfJules® All Purpose Flour. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if using. Scoop batter out on top of the nuts and smooth with a rubber spatula.  Bake for 55-60 minutes, removing from oven when a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean but not wet.

For cupcakes: Oil at least 18 muffin cups with gfJules® All Purpose Flour (or you may use paper cupcake liners). Fill the muffin cups only 1/2– 2/3 full of cake batter. Bake for 20-30 minutes – test with a cake tester or toothpick to ensure that it is clean when removed from the baking cakes.


Bring ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. If you like poke cakes, poke holes in the cake with a toothpick and pour hot glaze over the hot cake while still in the pan; otherwise, simply pour the glaze over the cake in the pan. Let stand for 30 minutes, then flip the cake onto a plate.

If the glazed cake is allowed to stay in the pan longer than 30 minutes, the glaze will stick to the pan and make it difficult to remove the cake.

Should this occur, put the pan back into a warm oven to soften the glaze, then run a rubber spatula around the inside of the pan to loosen it before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.


*To Replace 4 Eggs in this recipe (use all of the below):

  • ½ cup dairy or non-dairy yogurt (not Greek style, not fat-free) OR vegan mayo (to total 2 eggs)


    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment (and maybe even a picture!) below or share a photo on Instagram! Be sure to tag me! @gfJules

    I hope you love this recipe as much as our family does! Happy holidays — share the love!

    Pin for later!

    Gluten Free Holiday Rum Cake by gfJules is so moist!

    Gluten Free Rum Cake | gfJules

    Everyone loves this Gluten Free Holiday Rum Cake Recipe. Moist pound cake topped with crushed nuts in a rum glaze. Even the description is yummy!

    Gluten Free Holiday Rum Cake Recipe


    IN 2023 FOR THE 7TH TIME!

    Featured In

    gfJules Award Winning Products

    Leave a Comment

    The maximum upload file size: 8 MB. You can upload: image. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

    1. I made this cake with the intent to use it in a Bananas Foster Trifle for a Mardi Gras party. I think I’d prefer a plain cake, and then follow my Mom’s 50-year-old glaze recipe (¼ c rum, ⅓ c rum, ⅔ c water). This recipe was entirely too boozy. I also made modifications due to high altitude (7300 ft.). If you have advice re: high altitude baking, I’d love to have that. Thanks!

    2. My daughter bought me my first Nordicware bundt cake pan so I could make this recipe. I love how quickly the recipe can be put together. I have made it 3 times this month and the cake has been totally consumed each time. I used pineapple flavored rum (it was on sale and I’m not a regular alcohol user). I did have a couple of not-quite-done spots in the cake on my third try and of course that is not where the cake tester tested. I’ll go a bit longer next time. I’ll be trying lemon rum next. Thanks for giving us another party cake option!

      • I am pretty happy with how this cake turned out. I found it denser than pound cake. Used your flour and followed the recipe pretty closely. The batter quickly became so stiff that it would climb up the blender. I couldn’t mix it for half a minute. But it was well mixed (consistent) so went with it. Spooned and smoothed it into the pan, taffy like as you note.
        Do you think additional liquid would allow the batter to be thinner and allow additional beating with a hand mixer, for the end goal of creating a less dense cake ??

        • Hi Mark, I’m assuming you were using a hand mixer? That’s generally where I find that the batter climbs up the beaters — it doesn’t tend to do that with a stand mixer (single paddle beater). Over the years I have adjusted the liquid a bit in this recipe, but you can’t push it too much. Do you measure by weight or by volume (with cups)? Check out this article on measuring to be sure you’re using the appropriate measurements because if there is too much dry in the batter, it will definitely be too dense, but also if you are unable to fully beat it, it will be more dense for sure.
          I’m glad that even with all that you still enjoyed this gluten free rum cake recipe! It can only get better!!!

      • Oh that’s such a good idea, Kate! It’s not the exact amount of cake mix for this rum cake though; I need to work on a modification because the cake mix is more than the dry ingredients called for in the rum cake recipe …. I’ll see what I can do to come up with a rum cake recipe using the cake mix asap!!!

    3. Hi Jules,

      Thank you for doing all of this. I have used many of your recipes and have had great success. Do you have a recipe for an egg free version of this rum cake? Or is there a combination of egg replacements that I can use to make this wonderful cake?


      • Hi Amanda, I usually don’t recommend using egg subs for more than 3 eggs, but I have had readers tell me that this combination has worked for them in some of my other cake recipes, so give it a go! (suggested egg substitution: 3 TBS flaxmeal plus 6 TBS warm water (let steep 10 minutes) plus 2 Ener-G egg replacer recipes = 4 eggs. Here’s my article on vegan egg substitutions for more ideas! Let me know how it goes!

    4. Hi Jules, I’ve recently become a fan of your flour. I want to try this recipe for the rum cake and was wondering if I could substitute the oil for butter? Thank you.

      • Hi Ana, so glad you’re loving my gfJules Flour! I haven’t ever been asked this question before! I would think melted butter would work here in place of the oil, but I haven’t tried it myself. Let me know if you do! Remember that this batter will be very thick and taffy-like, so don’t be put off if it’s harder to get it into the pan than you’d anticipate.

    5. Hi Jules. I’m planning to make this cake later today. Do you think that it can last for a month without being refrigerated?

      • Hi Al, do you live in Antarctica? 🙂 I don’t actually think any cake will fare well sitting out for a month – can you wait to make it later or freeze it until you need it?

    6. Threw the entire cake in the garbage, dense doesn’t even begin to describe it. Time and money wasted isn’t worth the celiac. Ill take the regular flour and suffer if this is what its supposed to taste like -.-

      • Hi Spencer, so sorry you had trouble with this cake. Can you tell me a bit more about what ingredients you used and the results (besides dense)? Did you try it with my gfJules Flour? That usually makes things nice and light, whereas a lot of other gluten free flours can have the dense effect you’ve described. I’d love to help you get this recipe right!

    7. Very heavy. I think a little water in the recipe could have helped. Also, I think additional baking powded/soda would have helped lighten the finished cake. Other glaze recipes have butter in them. One could consider adding butter to glaze.

    Skip to Recipe