Rum Passion Fruit Cake

Rum Passion Fruit Cake

 This is no ordinary Passion Fruit Cake recipe. That’s because THIS passion cake is overloaded with passion fruit nectar and rum to make it uber-moist and incredibly flavorful. If you like rum bundt cakes with a bit of tropical flair, this passion fruit dessert will make you swoon. 

using frozen passion fruit pulp to make the passion fruit nectar.

This post has been updated for recipe and photographs since it was first published in 2016.

Finding passion fruit nectar is pretty hit or miss for me — and I live in the tropics, therefore, I opt for the next best thing — frozen passion fruit pulp. You can find this pulp near the frozen fruits in your local grocery store or with the frozen ethnic specialties. If you can’t find it there, check your local hispanic market. It comes frozen in a flat plastic package. The passion fruit pulp is great to have on hand for passion fruit syrups and cocktails as well as this passion cake.

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Making Nectar For Passion Fruit Cake

  1. In a small saucepan combine about 1 cup of passion fruit pulp with half a cup of water. 
  2. Bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally until the pulp is incorporated into the liquid.
  3. Simmer for a few minutes and remove from the heat. 
  4. Note: If the nectar is very pulpy, you can strain it through a fine mesh strainer to remove the excess pulp. Mine wasn’t, so I didn’t.
mixing dry ingredients with butter and oil for the passion fruit cake recipe.

The batter for this rum bundt cake is similar to my Soused Irish Whiskey Orange Cake and it includes a package of vanilla pudding with the dry ingredients. It only takes a few minutes to assemble before it’s ready to bake.

Ingredients For Passion Cake

  • Almond Flour
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Rum
  • Passion Fruit Nectar
adding eggs and milk to the batter.

The batter for this passion fruit dessert comes together in about 10 minutes — you really can’t ask for better than that from a homemade cake, right? The only caveat is that you want the butter, eggs and milk to be at room temperature before you start.

How To Make Rum Bundt Cake Batter

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together.
  2. Add the butter and oil to the dry ingredients and use a hand mixer to combine them into a mealy looking dough.
  3. Mix in the eggs and milk and beat until smooth.
  4. Add the passion fruit nectar and rum and and mix, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure everything is well blended.
stirring in passion fruit nectar and rum to the passion cake batter.

Greasing and flouring intricate bundt pans is one of my least favorite things. Invariably the butter or shortening gets under my nails and then I’m coated with a fine silt of flour. You almost need a shower to rinse it all off. Not so with THIS passion fruit cake recipe… check out my secret:

Preparing The Bundt Pan For Passion Fruit Cake Batter

  1. Liberally spray the bundt pan with vegetable spray. You heard right, vegetable spray!
  2. Sprinkle the almond flour into the bundt and rotate and shake it until the whole pan is lightly coated with the almond meal.
  3. I love using almond meal instead of flour because you don’t get that telltale white coating on the outside of the cake AND almond meal is essentially crushed almonds. Therefore, it’s adding flavor to passion fruit dessert. Makes sense, right?
preparing and filling the pans with passion fruit cake batter.

This rum bundt bakes for about an hour, however, you’ll want to check it with a cake tester to make sure. I’ve found that all ovens are different and I like to make sure. 

Making the rum passion fruit syrup.

While the cake is baking, make the rum passion fruit glaze. This is the part of the recipe that makes this passion cake so UBER-MOIST. Do NOT skip this step — trust me, you want it.

Making Rum Passion Fruit Glaze

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the rest of the passion fruit nectar, sugar and butter and heat to a boil, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the rum and reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally for about 5-8 minutes until syrupy. 
  3. Remove from heat to cool.
poking holes in the baked cake and pouring the syrup over the top.

This is where the magic happens! Drowning the rum bundt cake in that rich, golden elixir. Use a wooden skewer to poke holes all over the cake — I’m talking 20-30 pokes, then pour the rum passion fruit syrup over the whole cake. Some of the syrup will soak in quickly, but about 1/4 to 1/3 will sit on top and it will look like it’s not going to soak in. Trust me, it will. Cover the cake in the pan with plastic wrap and let it rest overnight.

The Secret To Getting The Cake To Release From The Pan

That syrup (as glorious as it is) will act as glue, steadfastly holding the cake in the pan unless you use this technique.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and place the cake in the oven.
  • Let it heat for 10 minutes, then remove the cake.
  • Invert the cake onto a platter or serving tray. The cake will plop right out of the pan, because you’ve heated the syrup.
  • Let the cake cool and then dust with powdered sugar (optional).
Dusting passion fruit cake recipe with powdered sugar.

Serving a slice of passion fruit dessert.

This cake is sweet, tropical and luscious. I know it LOOKS like a simple bundt cake, but the flavors here are ANYTHING BUT.  I served this to a large group for dessert with some fresh strawberries macerated in a spoonful of sugar and a tablespoon of rum with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. The oohs and aahs were non-stop as everyone licked their plates clean and went in for another slice.

A slice of Rum bundt cake with a dollop of whipped cream makes this elegant and delicious.

More Passion Fruit Desserts and Cocktails:

More Bundt Cakes:

A slice of cake on a plate with the whole passion fruit cake in the background. This rum bundt cake is amazing.

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4.92 from 24 votes

Rum Passion Fruit Cake

This bundt cake is super moist from the rum and passion fruit syrup that soaks into the baked cake overnight. Perfect for company and wonderful for a weekend brunch. Be sure to use my easy trick to get the cake out of the pan without breaking it!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword bundt cake, passion fruit, rum
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 13 hours 30 minutes
Servings 15

INGREDIENTS:

For Passion Fruit Nectar

  • 1 cup passion fruit pulp (can be found in frozen foods or in hispanic markets)
  • ½ cup water

For Passion Fruit Cake

  • cup almond flour
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 3.4 ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (one stick) at room temperature
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ cup milk at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • ¼ cup rum
  • ½ cup passion fruit nectar

For The Rum Passion Fruit Syrup

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup golden rum
  • ½ cup passion fruit nectar

DIRECTIONS:

FOR PASSION FRUIT NECTAR

  • In a small saucepan, combine the passion fruit pulp and water and heat to a boil, stirring until well combined. Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and pour the nectar through. Discard any solids. You’ll use this nectar in the cake and in the passion fruit syrup.

FOR THE PASSION FRUIT CAKE

  • Set the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°. Liberally spray a bundt pan with nonstick spray. Sprinkle the almond flour in the bundt pan and rotate the pan to evenly coat the sides and center column with the almond flour. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the room temperature butter and vegetable oil to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until combined but crumbly.
  • Add the eggs and milk. Start on low and increase to medium to medium high, beating for about 2 minutes. Add the rum and passion fruit juice and beat for one more minute.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake for 55-60 minutes in the center of the oven. Use a skewer to test for doneness… if it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan.

FOR THE RUM PASSION FRUIT SYRUP:

  • While the cake is baking, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the sugar and passion fruit nectar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the rum and simmer until it becomes syrupy (about 5-6 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.

GLAZE THE CAKE

  • With the cake in the pan, use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake. Pour the syrup over the cake. It will look like there’s too much syrup to be absorbed, that’s ok. Let the cake cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and let it rest overnight. The syrup will distribute throughout the cake.

REMOVING PASSION CAKE FROM THE BUNDT PAN

  • The next day, heat the oven to 350°. Remove the plastic wrap and place the cake in the oven for 10 minutes, this will heat up the sticky syrup and allow the cake to release from the pan. Invert the cake onto a cake plate. Serve with powdered sugar and whipped cream if desired.

NOTES:

I served this as a dessert, but when my Mom tried it, she thought it would be a good coffee cake.

NUTRITION:

Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 189mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 670IU | Vitamin C: 4.7mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1.4mg

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67 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have made this glorious cake many times and everyone raves over it!! Thanks for sharing

  2. can this cake sit out on the counter for a day or two before served? I need something that will last a day or two outside the refrigerator.

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe it sounds delicious! Your recipe adds pudding mix… is that the same thing as custard powder? I can’t find ” pudding mix” in Ireland.

  4. 5 stars
    What can i use instead of the almond flour?

  5. i have a passion fruit plant can i use those fruits

  6. 5 stars
    Hi
    I followed your method to remove the cake by heating the oven. The cake did not break but that almond flour stickiness was still in the pan.
    Do I have to keep the oven on for those 10 mins to melt the syrup or just preheat ?
    Thanks …I know this post is from a long time ago but I just tried this cake. It was amazing.
    Regards
    Dagmar

    1. Because this cake is literally soaked with the passion fruit syrup, it creates a very sticky bond between the cake and the pan. The oven should be preheated to 350° and heated with the oven on for 10 minutes. Remove the cake and flip it out onto a plate.

  7. 5 stars
    I did not put the cake in the refrigerator overnight. When preparing the sauce I did not add the rum until I removed it from the heat. Wanted the taste!

  8. 5 stars
    I love passionfruit so I’m always looking for different ways in which to use it. Cake came out perfect but I agree with another reviewer that the flavour is subtle rather than pronounced. I used homemade pudding mix and used coconut milk as that’s all I had. Didn’t notice a difference in flavour. I didn’t use your method for removing the cake from the pan. While there was still juice in the pan, I ran a knife around the perimeter to loosen it. The following morning I shook the pan a few times until I felt the cake loosen. No problem.

  9. Have you tried a not alcoholic version of this cake? An alternative syrup?

    1. I haven’t made it without rum, but you could just use the passion fruit simple syrup to flavor the cake if you wanted to. The Passion Fruit Syrup Recipe is on this site.

  10. Christine says:

    5 stars
    Your technique for mixing the batter (not creaming the butter with sugar) made whipping up this cake so easy. I also loved your idea of coating the pan with almond flour. It resulted in a very attractive cake. I’m going to borrow your technique for other Bundt cake. Thank you for an incredibly easy and delicious recipe.

    1. I’m glad you liked the techniques for making the cake. I’ve used the same method for my orange whiskey cake (which is really good too). Been thinking about doing a Key Lime Rum cake! YUM!

  11. devi vijay says:

    How much is ur one cup measurement

    1. A cup is about 236 millileters, or 8 ounces.

  12. Aurimar Lugo says:

    What type of run is best? White or golden? Thanks!

  13. I have several passion fruit vines in my yard. Absolutely LOVE them! So I tried this recipe last night and my family loved it so much, that it’s already all gone! So moist and tasty. I do have a question about the nectar. I usually strain the pulp so I’m just left with bottles of juice without the seeds. Can I just combine that juice with the water to make the nectar without simmering it?

    1. You probably wouldn’t need to add water to it if you’ve got pure passion fruit juice. The reason I add water to the pulp is because the pulp is very concentrated. Taste the juice you’ve collected — if you like it, I’d use it, maybe add a bit of simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water cooked until sugar has dissolved. Cooled to room temp) if its too tart.

  14. Janelle King says:

    Can this be used as a cupcake recipe?

    1. I’ve never made cupcakes with this recipe, but I don’t see why you couldn’t. For the glaze, I would poke each cupcake a few times with a toothpick and add a tablespoon or so and let it soak in for several hours or overnight. Because it’s a cupcake, you wouldn’t have to put it back in the oven to remove them from the paper liners, so that’s a great idea. It would be really good with a chantilly cream frosting.

  15. 4 stars
    Made this cake this weekend. I used the recipe for passion fruit syrup since I had a bunch of fresh passion fruit. I wanted to drink the whole tub of it, but restrained myself and went through the work of making the cake. Super moist, I wish the passion fruit was a bit more prominent. It was a subtle sweet/tart flavor. Even thought I followed the directions and sprayed/dusted with the almond flour, I still got some sticking on about 50% of the surface area of the top. Tasty, but I wish it was a bit more flavorful.

  16. 5 stars
    I’ve never tried passion fruit but this sounds like the perfect way to do it. Love the addition of rum. I’m sure that adds a lot of flavor. And thanks for sharing the tips on how to remove it from the pan. Always struggled with that.

  17. 5 stars
    This looks and sounds so incredibly delicious! I’m a big fan of passion fruit as well but have never seen the frozen pulp here – will have to see if I can hunt it down somewhere as I’d love to give this a try!

  18. 5 stars
    I just love the combo of Rum m+ Passionfruit in this cake! The perfect Summer cake!