Coconut Rum Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free, whole grain options)

This super moist coconut rum cake is soaked in a coconut rum syrup and has all-purpose, gluten-free, whole grain and dairy-free options. Thanks to Nordic Ware for making today’s post possible!

Like I mentioned in my Apple Bundt Cake recipe, I used to have some serious issues with Bundt cakes sticking to the pan. It got to the point that I was afraid to even make them. Then I bought this Nordic Ware 60th Anniversary Bundt pan and all my Bundt woes went out the door! Since then, I’ve bought some other Nordic Ware pans and I love them all. Nobody makes Bundt pans as well as they do!

I’m so happy to have Bundt cakes back in my life because I don’t do layer cakes. For this non-decorator, they’re such a hassle and never come out looking like I hope. Bundt cakes, though, are ridiculously easy and always turn out beautifully!

Coconut Rum Bundt Cake drenched in coconut rum syrup - can be made with all-purpose, gluten-free or whole grain flours. With a dairy-free option (please click through to the recipe to see the dietary-friendly options). #nordicware70

Nordic Ware recently sent me their stunning Crown Bundt, which is a new and exclusive Bundt design produced for their 70th Anniversary. It expresses the essence of their proud Scandinavian roots and pure elegant design by combining old world patina with bold and beautiful panache. It’s one of three new pans in their 70th Anniversary Collection, all of which feature a never seen before gold-metallic finish. It’s such a show stopper! I actually gasped when I took it out of the box. And I haven’t put it up yet. It’s just too pretty to be hidden away!

Nordic Ware has been making high-quality kitchenware in the US for 70 years. With their huge variety of collections and hundreds of products, Nordic Ware has also become known internationally, with millions of fans around the world. We even have them here in Germany! Does anyone else have a hard time passing by their Bundt pans in kitchen stores without buying one?! I know I do. And even after all this time, they’re still a family owned and operated company. Along with the new collection, they’re launching contests and other events throughout the year to celebrate! Be sure to follow Nordic Ware on Facebook to be kept up to date.

Coconut Rum Cake drenched in coconut rum syrup - can be made with all-purpose, gluten-free or whole grain flours. With a dairy-free option (please click through to the recipe to see the dietary-friendly options). #nordicware70

When I first saw the Crown Bundt, I knew that I had to make something without any kind of frosting or glaze that would just detract from the gorgeous shape. I originally wanted to make a Scandinavian-inspired cake and decided on lemon cardamom. It was good but not mind-blowingly delicious. So I kept at it and came up with this Coconut Rum Bundt Cake! I first made this recipe as cupcakes and they were great. I was almost tempted to skip the coconut rum syrup. But I had gone to the trouble of getting the coconut rum so I tried it and yup – it was a definite improvement!

For the gluten-free version, I used this 1-to-1 baking flour. Hot from the oven, you can notice a textural difference but nobody could tell a difference between the two versions once the gluten-free version had cooled!

Coconut Rum Cake drenched in coconut rum syrup - can be made with all-purpose, gluten-free or whole grain flour. With a dairy-free option (please click through to the recipe to see the dietary-friendly options). #nordicware70

I have to admit that I was pretty scared when it came time to turn this cake out onto a plate. After years of cakes falling into pieces, I suppose it’ll take time to get over that. But this Coconut Bundt cake came out just as easily as with my other Nordic Ware pans!

I’ve made rum cake before, but this coconut rum cake recipe is totally different. Except for the syrup, which I adapted to use less sugar and coconut rum in place of regular rum. In contrast to the rum cake, you can’t taste the alcohol all that much. It’s much more subtle here! If you want more of a boozy taste, perhaps you could try a mix of coconut rum and regular rum. If you only use rum, you won’t be able to taste much coconut at all (I know because I’ve tried!).

The syrup recipe yields a lot. As I was pouring it over the cake, I hesitated, thinking that perhaps I should only use half of it. But I finally decided to just use it all and there was practically a pond of syrup on top of the cake. I was so nervous about it being too much that I sat down and watched the cake suck it all up. It only took about 5 minutes, for the record. :D

Coconut Rum Bundt Cake drenched in coconut rum syrup - can be made with all-purpose, gluten-free or whole grain flours. With a dairy-free option (please click through to the recipe to see the dietary-friendly options). #nordicware70

The coconut rum syrup uses butter, but for the dairy-free option, you can use dairy-free / vegan butter or coconut oil. I have to admit that I preferred the butter version over the coconut oil version. There’s already so much coconut flavor so the butter was a nice addition! If you want you could skip the syrup all together. While the cupcakes were nice and moist without the syrup, I haven’t tried the Bundt cake without it but I’m assuming and hoping it’d also be nice and moist.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I was an exchange student twice in Sweden and I’ve gone back there and Iceland, Norway and Denmark about 15 times. I guess you can say I love Scandinavia? ;) The Crown Bundt just screams Scandinavian design and I seriously adore it. Even the cut pieces are pretty!

Thanks again to Nordic Ware for sponsoring today’s post! As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Coconut Rum Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free, whole grain options)

Rated 5.0 by 3 readers
Coconut Rum Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free, whole grain options)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 12-15 slices


    For the cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups (281 grams) white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour or 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated sugar or raw sugar
  • 9 tablespoons (126 grams) coconut oil, melted
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (177 milliliters) canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) coconut rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 2 cups (170 grams) coconut flakes (I used sweetened but unsweetened should be fine)
  • For the coconut rum syrup:

  • 1/2 cup (112 grams) unsalted butter (for dairy-free, use vegan / dairy-free butter or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) water
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar or raw sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) coconut rum


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 °F (176°C). Brush the pan with solid vegetable shortening and dust with flour or use baking spray with flour in it to grease the pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set this aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, melted coconut oil, eggs, coconut milk, coconut rum, vanilla and coconut extracts until well combined. Fold in the flour mixture, just until no more streaks of flour remain. Fold in the coconut flakes.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. The cake will crack around the top - stick the toothpick into this area to test.
  5. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack. While the cake is cooling, prepare the coconut rum syrup. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter, water, sugar and salt until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the coconut rum (it'll bubble).
  6. Wash and dry the Bundt pan and place the cake back into the pan. Poke holes into the cake (I used a meat thermometer to do this), about every 3/4" or so. If using the Crown Bundt, make sure to poke your holes at an angle instead of poking straight down. Pour the syrup slowly over the cake. It will look like WAY too much syrup but don't stop pouring! It will get absorbed. Let soak for 2 hours and then invert the cake back onto a serving platter. Cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. General tip: if you have issues with the syrup-drenched cake not coming out of its pan, place the Bundt pan in a large bowl or pot. Very carefully fill with very hot water, but make sure that no water gets in the pan. Or you can fill a pot with hot water and submerge 2/3 of the pan in the water and hold it there for 30 seconds. The heat and steam will help loosen the cake from the pan. If it doesn't plop right out, give the top of the pan a good whack.
  7. Let the cake cool completely. Cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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75 comments on “Coconut Rum Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free, whole grain options)” — Add one!

5 comments are awaiting moderation!

  • Katie says
    December 30, 2022 @ 10:55 pm

    I’m making the syrup with coconut oil and it’s not really sweet and taste a little oily? Will it make it greasy? Should I make the additional trip to the store?

    • Erin replies to Katie
      January 1, 2023 @ 2:18 pm

      I’m so sorry for just now seeing your question! I didn’t have that experience when using coconut oil in the syrup. Did you reduce the sugar? I’m not sure why it’d not be sweet, as it’s quite sweet if you use the full 1/2 cup of sugar. I hope it worked out okay and sorry again!

  • Kezza says
    November 25, 2020 @ 4:43 pm

    This recipient is not dairy free. It has eggs.

    • Erin replies to Kezza
      November 25, 2020 @ 5:43 pm

      Eggs are most definitely not dairy. Please Google it if you want to learn more. :)

  • Courtney Scheiderich says
    October 20, 2020 @ 7:42 pm

    Hi, I’m so excited to try this recipe for my mom’s birthday the day after tomorrow! I was wondering, could I leave out the coconut flakes?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Erin replies to Courtney Scheiderich
      October 20, 2020 @ 7:59 pm

      Hello! I really don’t think so. :/ 2 cups is a ton of anything to omit. The coconuts absorbs a lot of the liquid and I think it’d just be a mess if you omit them. I hope your mom has a great birthday!

      • Courtney Scheiderich replies to Erin
        October 21, 2020 @ 6:31 pm

        Thank you so much for your speedy response! I will go ahead as it’s written. I’m sure it will be amazing! Have a blessed day!

  • Dana
    December 6, 2019 @ 9:27 pm

    I forgot; Appleton Estate rum is GF and will definitely give your cake an alcohol flavor(which I love!), but if you prefer a cheaper or sweeter rum, go with Captain Morgan plain dark rum. (Not sure if the coconut flavored is GF)

    • Erin replies to Dana
      December 14, 2019 @ 8:41 pm

      Thanks a bunch for the tip! I made this cake last weekend with a random plain rum and it was also great. :)

      • Katie replies to Erin
        April 16, 2020 @ 7:12 am

        I mixed captain Morgans spiced rum and Malibu coconut rum, the flavours perfect for me.

        • Erin replies to Katie
          April 25, 2020 @ 6:52 am

          Great to know! Thanks for the feedback.

  • Dana
    December 6, 2019 @ 9:21 pm

    If you’re not baking with the texanerin baker, you’re just wrong. 😄 I use MANY of the GF versions of your baking and NOONE can beleive the goodies are GF! Yours are THE most requested recipes by both GF and gluten consuming eaters. Thank you for your extra hard work testing your recipes with variations. You rock!🎸 100 ❤’s!

    • Erin replies to Dana
      December 14, 2019 @ 8:40 pm

      Aww, thank you! I’m so glad that you’ve been enjoying the recipes! That makes me super happy that they’re the most requested recipes. :D And it’s always nice when people appreciate all the options I try to include. :) Thanks again for your really nice comment and sorry for my slow reply!

  • Beatrice Carbonell says
    November 29, 2019 @ 7:31 pm

    I could not fold the flour in the egg mixture . it got all lumpy . so I used the mixer. is there a trick to mixing.

    • Erin replies to Beatrice Carbonell
      December 12, 2019 @ 10:43 am

      I’m so sorry for just now seeing your comment! I made this cake again over the weekend and didn’t have an issue. If you need to use the mixer on low, that’s fine. I hope it came out tasty! :)

  • Trisha H says
    August 14, 2019 @ 2:57 pm

    Hello! I’d love to make this cake for my best friend as a birthday cake. I was wondering if there’s any advice to way to convert/make this a dark chocolate rum cake? After searching and searching for a, truly, “made from SCRATCH,” rum cake where the rum really comes through, I’m finally very hopeful after finding this!! It sounds perfect and I was hoping you may a quick suggestion for making it dark chocolate, rum cake?! Also, From prior rum cakes that I have made, is there a suggestion for not letting the cake dry out after poking the holes in it for the glaze? My last one was great the day of but the next day, even in an enclosed cake carrier/house :) it was dry.

    Either way, I’m very excited to make this cake!!

    Thank you!!


    • Erin replies to Trisha H
      August 24, 2019 @ 8:33 pm

      I’m so sorry for just now seeing your question! I was on vacation and we (surprisingly to me!) didn’t have wifi there. There’s no way to easily convert this recipe to a chocolate one. It’d have to be totally reworked. :( This cake definitely isn’t dry after poking holes in it! So no worries with that. It’s still swimming in rum days later. I’m very sorry again for just now replying!

  • Jules Shepard says
    February 27, 2019 @ 4:13 pm

    SO IN LOVE with this bundt pan! it is so beautiful and the recipe looks scrumptious – can’t wait to try it!

  • Got eggs says
    January 13, 2019 @ 3:26 am

    I’d like to try this, but am not sure I want to invest in a bunts just yet. Would I be able to use a regular cake pan, or even a rectangle and just leave the cake in it?

    • Erin replies to Got eggs
      January 14, 2019 @ 12:57 pm

      You could probably use a 9″x13″ but I have to say that I have absolutely no idea of the baking time. You normally bake cakes that size 20-45 minutes. I’d love to hear how it comes out if you try it!

    • Katie replies to Got eggs
      April 16, 2020 @ 7:11 am

      Yes, I made it in two smaller pans instead of a bundt pan, turned out great. I left it in the oven about 45-50 minutes. Let it cool 10 minutes, poked the holes and poured the syrup right in. If you are going to put it in a pan I would suggest using parchment paper inside, made clean up a breeze.

      • Erin replies to Katie
        April 25, 2020 @ 6:52 am

        What a great tip! Thank you for sharing. :)

  • Amy says
    December 24, 2018 @ 10:36 pm

    Very delicious recipe. I used a gluten free flour substitute, and it definitely did not want to come out of the pan, no matter what I did. Next time, I’ll be putting this in mini silicon bunt pans. For now, the cake pieces are going into a Christmas trifle.
    Thank you!

    • Erin replies to Amy
      January 2, 2019 @ 8:18 pm

      I’m so terribly sorry for just now seeing your comment! I didn’t realize I wouldn’t have internet at my in-laws over the holidays. :( I’m happy to hear that you liked the cake! Which GF flour sub did you use? I hope next time will go better! Thanks for your comment and sorry again.

  • Ebony says
    June 10, 2018 @ 1:33 am

    I know this is two year old posting however it is new to me. Looks delicious. Any suggestions on egg replacement? I can’t have egg yolks. Thanks in advance.

    • Erin replies to Ebony
      June 10, 2018 @ 7:34 pm

      I welcome comments and questions, no matter how old the post is. :) 4 eggs is quite a bit to replace with the egg replacers I normally use (chia eggs and flax eggs). Have you ever tried Ener-G Egg Replacer? I haven’t but have gotten a lot of comments about people using those (but not on this recipe). Sorry I couldn’t be more of a help!

    • Katie replies to Ebony
      April 16, 2020 @ 7:08 am

      I tried using 3 med mashed bananas instead of eggs. It held the cake together and is still nice and moist from the rum syrup.

      • Erin replies to Katie
        April 25, 2020 @ 6:54 am

        Oh, wow. I’m surprised that worked! It’s just so many eggs to replace. Did the cake have a bit of banana flavor to it or did all the rum cover it up? Thanks a bunch for all your comments and sorry for just now seeing them. Things have been crazy!

  • Laura Hunt says
    May 29, 2018 @ 12:08 am

    Can you tell me if the coconut milk in a can is full fat or light? Seems so heavy if full fat but you don’t really say. Since you said can I am assuming not coconut milk from the dairy section.

    • Erin replies to Laura Hunt
      June 2, 2018 @ 4:36 pm

      I’m so sorry for just now seeing your comment! I used canned coconut milk – the regular full-fat kind and not a light variety. The cake isn’t heavy or dense with the coconut milk but if you want to use light, I’m guessing it’d probably work.

  • Jamie Rosati says
    March 3, 2017 @ 6:33 pm

    I’m making this for my birthday and I’m wondering if you have ever thought about a pineapple frosting or topping of some sort? If so do you have a recipe?

    • Erin replies to Jamie Rosati
      March 4, 2017 @ 1:54 pm

      I’ve never heard of pineapple frosting! Sounds delicious, though. Sorry I can’t help you out with a recipe! Hope you have a great birthday and that you enjoy the cake. :)

  • Mica says
    February 17, 2017 @ 7:43 pm

    Why do you wash and dry the pan before putting the cake back in?

    • Erin replies to Mica
      February 17, 2017 @ 8:19 pm

      To make sure that there’s nothing left in the pan for the cake to stick to when you put the cake back in and add the syrup. I’ve had that happen a few times!

      • Mica replies to Erin
        February 17, 2017 @ 8:31 pm

        Thank you!! I would usually risk it but not with such a beautiful shape!!!

        • Erin replies to Mica
          February 17, 2017 @ 8:36 pm

          You’re welcome! And I agree. It’s not worth risking over 2 minutes of cleaning. :) Hope you’ll enjoy the cake!

  • Kitty says
    April 16, 2016 @ 4:24 am

    Oh how I love that Bundt pan! I have quite a collection but you can never have enough! The cake looks beautiful too!

    • Erin replies to Kitty
      April 18, 2016 @ 12:48 pm

      I actually don’t have that many Bundt pans since I was afraid of making them for so long but that’s going to change very soon. I have so many on my wish list! ;)

  • Bea Childress
    April 15, 2016 @ 8:44 pm

    The cake was delicious!

    • Erin replies to Bea Childress
      April 15, 2016 @ 8:45 pm

      Yay! I’m so happy that it came out well for you. :) Thanks so much for your feedback!

  • Lani Tucker says
    April 5, 2016 @ 4:39 am

    Sorry The “Crown” pan looks more like an Elizabethan Ruff Collar to me then a crown. I still like it.

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says
    April 3, 2016 @ 3:18 am

    This cake is just stunning! I would’ve been losing my ish at the flip moment praying it would come out without issue with this design but you nailed it! I can’t get over how moist and amazing the center of the cake looks too. Bundts are my favorite celebration cakes. They’re simple and yet always so flavorful and the best part, don’t require fancy decoration. Saving this one for the next celebration!

    • Erin replies to Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
      April 4, 2016 @ 12:29 pm

      I was definitely nervous! I’ve never been so thankful to hear a cake plop onto the plate. :D I hope you’ll enjoy the cake if you get a chance to try it out!

  • Nutmeg Nanny says
    March 31, 2016 @ 1:52 pm

    I am also a non-decorator when it comes to cakes. I always try to play it cool and be all “Oh no I was going for the rustic look” but really I wish I could make it look professional. But I was not born with those skills so I’m learning to accept that…haha. Now, give me a bundt and I’m a happy girl. I have heard so many good things about Nordic Ware pans that I think I need to invest. There is nothing more terrifying than that moment you flip you a bundt! Oh and not only is this flavoring amazing (coconut AND rum!) but that bundt design is a total showstopper!

    • Erin replies to Nutmeg Nanny
      March 31, 2016 @ 7:46 pm

      I hope you will! They’re absolutely worth the money. I normally buy the cheapest pan (or whatever) with great reviews on Amazon but that didn’t work out so well for me and bundt cakes. I’d heard so much about Nordic Ware so I spent more than I’d have spent on a cheap junky one, but seriously… so, so worth it!

  • Andi @ The Weary Chef says
    March 30, 2016 @ 7:57 pm

    This is so gorgeous! And I love that you have a gluten free version! Thanks for sharing! :D

  • Aleefa says
    March 30, 2016 @ 7:54 pm

    Beautiful cake with ease!!

  • Angie | Big Bears WIfe says
    March 30, 2016 @ 5:12 pm

    I’m always scared to make bundt cakes too. I always make amazing flavors and then they get stuck! last time Thomas forced it out and the cake broke into 1000 pieces. I’ve always loved the look of the Nordic Ware pans though, I just never forked over the money to buy one. That Crown Bundt (and cake) is beautiful!

    • Erin replies to Angie | Big Bears WIfe
      March 31, 2016 @ 7:42 pm

      Haha. Aww. Bundt cake flipping over used to be a 2-person operation over here, too. It was SO stressful! Seriously – you have to get yourself a Nordic Ware pan! My success rate has been 100% with them and my IG account used to be full of bundt cake fails.

  • TidyMom says
    March 30, 2016 @ 4:10 pm

    What a stunning cake!! LOVE the pan!!

  • Patricia @ Grab a Plate says
    March 30, 2016 @ 5:53 am

    Okay, so the cake sounds super amazing – that’s #1. #2: Could this Nordic Ware pan be any more gorgeous?! Wow! I’d definitely keep this on the counter for all to see ;)

  • Heather | All Roads Lead to the Kitchen says
    March 30, 2016 @ 4:18 am

    That’s probably the single most beautiful bundt I’ve ever seen – that design is stunning. And the cake itself….gah….amazing! I love how moist and rum syrupy it is!

  • Katerina @ Diethood says
    March 30, 2016 @ 4:00 am

    I’ve been seeing this beauty all over social media today – I absolutely LOVE IT! And those flavors are just BE.YOND!

  • Lutrecia Macdonell says
    March 30, 2016 @ 1:07 am

    I can’t use even gluten-free flour…could you use an almond/coconut mixture of flour in this cake?

    • Erin replies to Lutrecia Macdonell
      March 30, 2016 @ 1:34 am

      Almond flour and coconut flour aren’t really interchangeable with other flours so I’m afraid that wouldn’t work. I’m sorry! I tested this cake with three different types of flour but unfortunately didn’t try a grain-free version. It’d probably require reworking the recipe but I loved it so much that I may attempt a paleo version down the line.

      • Lutrecia Macdonell replies to Erin
        March 30, 2016 @ 1:46 am

        Thank you for the reply…..The cake just looks so good, I had to ask…

  • Erin@WellPlated says
    March 30, 2016 @ 12:27 am

    WOWZA! That pan could make even the simplest cake a show stopper. I heart rum cake, and the coconut addition sounds perfect for summer days ahead.

    • Erin replies to Erin@WellPlated
      March 31, 2016 @ 7:37 pm

      Right?! That’s what I love about it. I am not a decorator!

  • The Food Hunter says
    March 29, 2016 @ 11:09 pm

    I absolutely love this pan! Need to get me one asap

  • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking says
    March 29, 2016 @ 8:18 pm

    Oh my gosh, what a gorgeous pan!! And coconut rum, WHAT?! Sign me up!

  • Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens says
    March 29, 2016 @ 5:05 pm

    This cake is such a total stunner! Amazing flavors, and that super-cool pan just molds it all into the most fabulous shape! A total showstopper that would be the standout hit at a potluck or even a ladies’ brunch or Mother’s Day tea! So special!

  • Annie says
    March 29, 2016 @ 5:01 pm

    It has been ages since I have had a good rum cake! This looks amazing! I just love the style of this cake pan, it is so fun!

    • Erin replies to Annie
      April 4, 2016 @ 12:46 pm

      You need to remedy that immediately! ;)


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