Moist Vanilla Pound Cake with Butter Rum Glaze

This vanilla pound cake recipe features a moist vanilla cake speckled with flavor-packed vanilla bean seeds and coated in a gorgeous, shiny butter-rum glaze. I realized that I can't call myself an avid Bundt baker if I don't offer you at least one great vanilla Bundt recipe. So.....here you go!

Moist Vanilla Bean Pound Cake with Butter Rum Glaze.

What makes this the Perfect Vanilla Pound Cake?

"Perfect" is a strong word, I know. That said, here are a few reasons why I believe this is the best vanilla pound cake recipe:

  • This is an easy recipe with simple ingredients and simple steps. Simple doesn't have to equate to "unextraordinary," especially when quality ingredients shine through in the flavor. In my opinion, good pound cake recipes should be simple, straightforward, and unfussy. 
  • I know my Bundts. If you've spent any time on my site, you may have heard me mention a few (dozen) times, that I consider myself a Bundt expert. If you're new here, I bake a lot of Bundts. I've even written a cookbook featuring 100 recipes baked in a Bundt pan. Few things make me happier than creating a new delicious Bundt cake recipe to share.
  • While this is a dense cake, it is a truly moist cake. Some pound cakes err on the dry side. Thanks to the addition of sour cream in the batter and a the rich Butter Rum Glaze that soaks into the still warm cake, this recipe is anything but! 
Slice of moist vanilla pound cake with butter rum glaze.

How Should I serve this Classic Vanilla Pound Cake?

While a good classic pound cake recipe can stand on its own, it's fun to dress up individual slices, served alongside a cup of coffee or tea or a glass of cold milk. Add a dollop of homemade whipped cream or a scoop of a complementary ice cream flavor. Garnish with a colorful variety or fresh berries or fresh fruit. And if you really want to go over the top for a special occasion, drizzle a slice with a little bit of chocolate or salted caramel sauce.

Ingredients and special Equipment

Ingredients for vanilla pound cake.

Vanilla Pound Cake Ingredients

  • Cake flour: A cake made with cake flour will result in a more tender crumb than a cake made with all purpose flour. If you don't have cake flour, you can make your own by substituting 1 measuring cup minus 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour sifted with 2 tablespoons cornstarch for every required cup of cake flour. So, for this recipe, you would need 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour sifted with ¼ cup (4 tbsp) cornstarch.
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Whole vanilla bean: See "Troubleshooting" section, below, for good vanilla bean substitutions.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter: Room temperature. Room temperature ingredients are easier to incorporate evenly into your batter.
  • Eggs: Room temperature eggs aerate better when mixing, allowing the batter to rise easily. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, submerge them in warm (not hot) water for a few minutes.
  • Dark rum: If you don't want to use rum in your recipe, you can substitute equal amounts of orange juice.
  • Sour Cream: Use full fat or low fat sour cream, as nonfat will yield a dry cake.
Baked vanilla pound cake.

Butter rum Glaze Ingredients

  • Granulated sugar
  • Dark rum: As with the cake ingredients, you can substitute orange juice if you don't want to use rum.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Pure vanilla extract

Special equipment

  • 10-cup Bundt pan: A 10-cup Bundt pan is the perfect size for this amount of batter. You can use a larger, 12-cup Bundt pan, but the resulting cake rise won't be as high. I recommend multiplying the recipe 1.5X for best results if using a 12-cup Bundt pan.
  • Nonstick baking spray: Baker's Joy or Pam for Baking are my two favorite brands.
  • Wire cooling rack: Allows the glaze to drip over the cake without pooling at the bottom.
  • Food processor: Used for grinding the vanilla bean into the sugar.

Step-by-Step Photos and Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 °F (160℃.) Spray your Bundt cake pan evenly with the nonstick baking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients: cake flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In your food processor, process the whole vanilla bean with the sugar until finely ground.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, beat butter and sugar mixture on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until very light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the bottom of the bowl as necessary. Beat the butter mixture for 2 extra minutes, then beat in the rum.

5. With the mixer on low speed, alternately beat in flour mixture and sour cream, making three additions of flour and two of sour cream, beating until incorporated. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top.

6.  Bake the cake in your preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester  inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool for 10 minutes and then carefully invert it onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet.

7.  Prepare the Butter Rum Glaze: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter, and water over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 4 to 5 or until slightly thickened with the consistency of a simple syrup. Remove from heat and stir in rum and vanilla. 

8. Using a toothpick or tines of a fork, poke 15 to 20 small holes in the top of the cake. Drizzle or brush the glaze over the top of the still warm cake. Let cool completely.

9. Wrap cake tightly in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or an airtight container and store at room temperature overnight for best flavor....or you can serve it immediately if you can't wait!

FAQ and Troubleshooting your Moist Vanilla Pound Cake

What can I use as a substitute for a vanilla bean?

Using a plump vanilla bean is only one way to get a true vanilla flavor in your baked goods, custards, or sauces. Using vanilla bean paste is a great way to yield similar results, right down to the little black specks in the batter. Use 1 tablespoon (15 mL) vanilla bean paste per vanilla bean. You can also use 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of pure vanilla extract, not imitation, which bakers are more likely to have in their pantries.

How do I keep my Bundt from sticking to the pan?

The best way to prevent your Bundt cake from sticking to its pan is to use a generous coating of a non-stick baking spray, such as Pam for Baking or Baker's Joy. Nonstick baking spray differ from a cooking spray in that it contains flour along with vegetable oil. Because of this formula, nonstick baking sprays mimic the traditional "butter and flour" method of preparing a baking pan, but with more consistent results.

Can I bake this pound cake if I don't have a Bundt pan?

Don't have a Bundt pan in your kitchen? Never fear! You can still bake a perfect pound cake using other baking pans. A 9X5-inch loaf pan is one alternative, and something that most bakers will have in their kitchens. Bake the pound cake for 45-60 minutes at 325F (160C), checking for doneness at 45 minutes. You can also use a tube pan, which will yield a shallower cake and have a baking time of 40-50 minutes.

Slice of Vanilla Pound Cake with Butter Rum Glaze.

Looking for some more excuses to use your Bundt pan? Here are some more of my tried and true favorite Bundts:

Tried this recipe and loved it? Take a photo and tag me on Instagram or give it a review!

Moist Vanilla Bean Pound Cake with Butter Rum Glaze.

Moist Vanilla Pound Cake with Butter Rum Glaze

Julie Hession
Although this cake may seem simple, the flavors are anything but! Grinding a whole plump vanilla bean into the sugar ensures maximum vanilla flavor in every bite. A warm butter rum glaze is poured over the top so that it soaks into the freshly baked cake.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Calories 346 kcal
5 from 3 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Equipment

  • 1 Minimum 10 cup Bundt pan (see Notes)
  • 1 food processor
  • 1 Wire rack

Ingredients
 
 

Bundt Cake

  • Non-stick baking spray
  • 2 cups cake flour sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, ends trimmed (see Ingredients section in post)
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoon dark rum
  • ½ cup sour cream (full fat)

Butter Rum Glaze

  • cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions
 

Bundt Cake

  • Preheat oven to 325 °F (160℃.) Spray your Bundt pan evenly with the nonstick baking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt.
  • In your food processor, process the whole vanilla bean with the sugar until finely ground.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, beat butter and sugar mixture on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until very light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat for 2 minutes. Beat in rum.
  • With the mixer on low speed, alternately beat in flour mixture and sour cream, making three additions of flour and two of sour cream, beating until incorporated. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  • Bake the cake in your preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake cool for 10 minutes and then carefully invert it onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet.

Butter Rum Glaze

  • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter, and water over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 4 to 5 or until slightly thickened and syrupy. Remove from heat and stir in rum and vanilla.
  • Using a toothpick or tines of a fork, poke 15 to 20 small holes in the top of the cake. Drizzle or brush the glaze over the top of the still warm cake. Let cool completely.
  • Wrap cake tightly in plastic and store at room temperature overnight for best flavor (see Notes)....or serve immediately if you can't wait!

Notes

Storage tips for pound cake recipes
  • I recommend storing pound cakes like this one overnight, tightly wrapped in plastic, which allows them to reach their full flavor and texture potential, before serving.  Cakes that have had time to rest develop a tight crumb and are easier to slice. 
  • This cake can be prepared up to 3 days in advance.  Tightly wrap the cooled, glazed cake or store it in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. 
A 10-cup Bundt pan is the perfect size for this amount of batter. You can use a larger, 12-cup Bundt pan, but the resulting cake rise won't be as high. I recommend multiplying the recipe 1.5X for best results if using a 12-cup Bundt pan.

Nutrition

Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 254mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 598IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

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2 Comments

    1. 5 stars
      Hi there! Yes, of course! You can substitute almond liquor. That would probably make a delicious combination with the vanilla.

5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

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