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Vegan Italian Rum Cake

Vegan Italian rum cake is a vegan version of the classic Italian dessert, this rum cake is a moist and flavorful treat that’s perfect for any occasion. The combination of rum, vanilla, and almond flavors creates a deliciously complex taste that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Vegan Italian Rum Cake

Course: Vegan dessertsCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time






  • For the cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • For the rum syrup
  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup dark rum

  • For the frosting
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk

  • For garnish
  • Sliced almonds

  • Vegan chocolate shavings (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with vegan butter and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, cream the vegan butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, using an electric mixer. Add the applesauce, white vinegar, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and beat until well combined.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, alternating with the almond milk. Beat until the batter is smooth and well combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • While the cake is baking, prepare the rum syrup. In a small saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, until the syrup thickens slightly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum. Set aside to cool.
  • Once the cake is done, let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, beat the vegan butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and almond milk, and beat until smooth and creamy.
  • 10.tTo assemble the cake, place the cooled cake on a serving platter. Use a toothpick or skewer to poke holes all over the top of the cake. Drizzle the rum syrup over the cake, letting it soak in.
  • 11.tSpread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake, using a spatula. Garnish with sliced almonds and vegan chocolate shavings, if desired.


  • Make sure to use high-quality vegan butter and cream cheese substitutes for the frosting.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting to prevent the frosting from melting or sliding off the cake.
  • If the cake is too moist or dense, try reducing the amount of non-dairy milk or adding a tablespoon of flour to the batter.
  • For a richer flavor, soak the cake in the rum syrup for a longer period of time, up to 24 hours.

Alterations and Modifications


  • Chocolate version: To make a chocolate version of this cake, replace 1/4 cup of the flour with unsweetened cocoa powder. You can also add vegan chocolate chips or drizzle melted chocolate on top of the cake for extra richness.
  • Fruit version: For a fruity twist, add chopped dried fruits such as apricots, cranberries, or cherries to the batter. You can also mix in some fruit jam or spread between the cake layers for extra flavor and moisture.

Cooking Methods

  • Pressure cooker version: If you have an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, you can cook this cake in it using the pot-in-pot method. Simply pour the batter into a greased cake pan, cover tightly with foil, and place it on a trivet inside the pressure cooker with 1 cup of water. Cook on high pressure for 40-45 minutes and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before removing the cake.
  • Slow cooker version: You can also make this cake in a slow cooker. Grease a cake pan that fits inside your slow cooker and pour the batter into it. Place the cake pan on a trivet inside the slow cooker and pour water halfway up the sides of the pan. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Non-alcoholic version: To make this cake without rum, you can substitute it with an equal amount of apple juice or apple cider. Alternatively, you can use rum extract or vanilla extract for a similar flavor without the alcohol.
  • Gluten-free version: If you need to make this cake gluten-free, substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend such as almond flour or rice flour. Keep in mind that the texture may be slightly different and the baking time may vary.
  • Oil-free version: If you prefer an oil-free cake, you can substitute the oil with unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas. The texture may be denser but it will still be delicious.
  • Sweetener substitutions: You can substitute the granulated sugar with coconut sugar, maple syrup, or agave nectar for a different flavor and lower glycemic index.

Complete Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

12 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories450
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 21g 33%
    • Saturated Fat 7g 35%
  • Sodium 350mg 15%
  • Total Carbohydrate 60g 20%
    • Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
    • Sugars 40g
  • Protein 4g 8%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Vegan Italian Rum Cake

    Q: Can I substitute the rum with another alcohol?

    A: Yes, you can substitute the rum with another alcohol such as brandy or whiskey.

    Q: Can I make this cake ahead of time?

    A: Yes, you can make this cake ahead of time. It actually tastes better the next day as the flavors have had a chance to meld together.

    Q: Can I freeze this cake?

    A: Yes, you can freeze this cake. Make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

    Q: Can I make this cake gluten-free?

    A: Yes, you can make this cake gluten-free by substituting the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend.

    Q: Can I make this cake without a stand mixer?

    A: Yes, you can make this cake without a stand mixer. You can use a hand mixer or even mix the batter by hand with a whisk.

    Q: Can I use a different type of nut instead of almonds?

    A: Yes, you can use a different type of nut instead of almonds. Hazelnuts or walnuts would be good substitutes.

    Q: Can I omit the nuts?

    A: Yes, you can omit the nuts if you prefer or have an allergy. You can increase the amount of flour to compensate for the missing volume.

    Q: Can I use a different type of non-dairy milk?

    A: Yes, you can use a different type of non-dairy milk such as soy milk, oat milk, or almond milk. Just make sure it is unsweetened and unflavored.

    Q: Can I use a different type of non-dairy yogurt?

    A: Yes, you can use a different type of non-dairy yogurt such as soy yogurt or coconut yogurt. Just make sure it is plain and unsweetened.

    Q: Can I make this cake without the glaze?

    A: Yes, you can make this cake without the glaze. The cake will still be delicious without it.

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