Passion Fruit Cake

A slice of passion fruit cake.

This is the best passion fruit cake you’ll ever have. It may look like a simple bundt, but the punchy, bright passion fruit and rum flavors make this tropical dessert shine. This easy dessert has a double dose of fruit in the batter and the rich syrup that soaks into the crumb overnight to give you an ultra-moist, super-tropical flavor that no one can resist.

A bundt cake on a pedestal stand.

This is no ordinary passion fruit cake recipe. That’s because it’s overloaded with the fruit’s nectar and rum, making it uber-moist with an incredible flavor.

As a self-proclaimed lazy baker, I like to make desserts with tons of flavor that don’t require piping tips, multi-colored frostings or a pastry degree. Unlike other fussy, highly decorated confections, the beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity.

Bundt cakes are a particular favorite because the distinctive pan gives it a finished and impressive look without going through the gymnastics of decorating. Want proof? Check out my Key Lime Rum Cake, soaked in key lime juice and zest with golden rum.

My Irish Whiskey Cake is based on the same basic recipe but uses orange juice and Irish whiskey. This passion fruit cake, though, is something really special. The taste of pure tropical flavors and a hint of warm rum screams island vacation.

The tropical flavor is punchy and in-your-face. The crumb is tender and moist, and it doesn’t need embellishment. Maybe some powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream, but not much more.

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Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • It’s easy to make, using everyday ingredients.
  • No multiple layers – just one bundt pan.
  • No special decoration or frosting is needed.
  • Can (and should) be made ahead – the passion fruit nectar needs to soak in overnight.
  • It’s portable, great for potlucks, cookouts and picnics — and family reunions.
  • You’ll be a dessert HERO. Promise.

Ingredients for passion fruit cake:

A package of fruit pulp.
  • Almond Flour – for dusting the pan. I like using almond flour to dust the bundt pan because it doesn’t leave starchy white patches the way that all-purpose flour does.
  • All-Purpose Flour – I use King Arthur’s Unbleached All-Purpose Flour.
  • Sugar – You’ll need plain granulated sugar. Do not use brown sugar.
  • Baking Powder – A leavener that reacts when heated.
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix – Do not use sugar-free or the cooked variety.
  • Salt – I use iodized salt for baking.
  • Unsalted Butter -Use room temperature, unsalted butter.
  • Vegetable Oil – Or you can substitute canola oil.
  • Eggs – Room-temperature large eggs to give the cake a tender, moist crumb, make sure they’re at room temperature.
  • Milk – Room-temperature whole milk will make a richer crumb and help with browning, but you can use low-fat milk too.
  • Rum – I use Mount Gay, but other golden or dark rums are fine too.
  • Passion Fruit Pulp – If you can’t find the fresh fruit, make the syrup from frozen passionfruit pulp. It comes in frozen pouches at my local ethnic market, and I’ve found it near the frozen fruit section at Whole Foods (where the pulp is diced into squares to make smoothies).

Step-by-step instructions:

Making passionfruit syrup in a saucepan.
  1. In a small saucepan, combine about 1 cup of fruit pulp with half a cup of water.  Bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally until the pulp is incorporated into the liquid. Simmer for a few minutes and remove from the heat. 

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk them together.

3. Add the butter and vegetable oil to the flour mixture and beat with on medium speed until it’s combined but looks crumbly.

4. Add the eggs and milk, and begin beating in the wet ingredients, starting on low speed and increasing to medium high for about 2 minutes.

5. Add the rum and fruit syrup and beat for one more minute.

Preparing the bundt pan with almond meal.

6. Grease the bundt pan well (I use a liberal dose of vegetable spray, e.g., Pam) and dust with almond flour to coat the bottom and sides. Be careful not to leave any uncoated spots in the pan, as this will result in the cake sticking and tearing.

Filling the bundt pan with passion fruit cake batter.

7. Transfer the batter to the prepared bundt pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a tester stuck into the center of the bundt comes out clean.

8. While baking the passion fruit cake, assemble the glaze in a small saucepan. Combine the remaining fruit nectar, sugar and butter and heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the rum and reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes until syrupy.  Remove from heat to cool.

9. Once baked, use a skewer or long toothpick to poke holes over the top (about 20-30 holes), from the sides to the center.

Pouring the syrup over the baked cake.

10. Pour the cooled syrup over the bundt while it’s still in the pan, letting the syrup sink in and be absorbed. It may look like the syrup isn’t going to sink in, but give it time. It will. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest overnight.


  • It’s important to have the butter, eggs and milk at room temperature before you start so that they blend evenly.
  • If you don’t have almond meal, you can use butter and flour to grease the bundt pan, but I prefer almond meal, (which is essentially crushed almonds) because it doesn’t leave the floury white coating on the outer edges of the cake and the nuts add a little flavor.
  • It usually takes about an hour to bake; however, you’ll want to check it with a cake tester to make sure. All ovens are different. 
  • Don’t rush the syrup soaking in. Let it rest overnight so the entire bundt is evenly permeated with rum and tropical flavors.
  • Be aware that the rum syrup will act like glue, holding the bundt cake in the pan. To easily release it, preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the plastic wrap and place the cake in the oven for 10 minutes to melt the syrup enough for it to release. Invert the bundt onto a cake platter or serving tray.
Turning out the cake onto a plate.

Serving variations:

  • Dust the cake liberally with powdered sugar for a simple garnish.
  • Serve with freshly whipped cream that’s lightly sweetened with powdered sugar and a tablespoon of rum.
  • Serve the sliced cake with a spoonful of Tropical Fruit Salad.
  • Top each serving with a scoop of Dulce De Leche Ice Cream.
Sprinkling powdered sugar over the bundt cake.


  • Store the passion fruit cake at room temperature for the first day. Cover it with plastic wrap, under the dome of your cake plate or in an airtight container.
  • To store for several days, keep it refrigerated; but allow each slice to come to room temperature before enjoying – as the buttery passion syrup will melt faster on the tongue.


  • This bundt cake freezes well, so if you have leftovers, or you have a smaller household, cut the cake in half or into quarters and wrap them in plastic wrap followed by freezer paper. Freeze the portions for up to 2-3 months.
  • Defrost completely to enjoy.

Slicing the cake.

This cake is sweet, tropical and luscious. I know it LOOKS like an ordinary bundt cake, but the flavors here are ANYTHING BUT ordinary.  

I served this to a large group for dessert with some fresh strawberries and a dollop of fresh whipped cream. The “oohs” and “aahs” were non-stop as everyone cleaned their plates and returned for another slice. That’s social proof, friends.

Serving passion fruit cake with whipped cream.

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4.92 from 25 votes

Passion Fruit Cake

This bundt cake is super moist from the rum and 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 tearing!
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


  • 1 large bundt pan


For Fruit Nectar:

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

For 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 Syrup:

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



  • In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup passion fruit pulp and ½ cup 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 the soaking syrup.


  • Set the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°. Liberally spray a bundt pan with nonstick spray. Sprinkle ⅓ cup 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 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, 1 ½ cups sugar 1 3.4 ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk to combine. Add the ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature and ½ cup vegetable or canola oilto the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until combined but crumbly.
  • Add 4 large eggs and ½ cup milk, both at room temperature. Start on low speed and increase to medium to medium-high, beating for about 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup rum and ½ cup passion fruit nectar 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, it’s ready. Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan.


  • While the bundt is baking, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 stick unsalted butter with ¾ cup sugar and ½ cup passion fruit nectar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add ½ cup golden rum and simmer until it becomes syrupy (about 5-6 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.


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


  • 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.


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


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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  1. 5 stars
    This cake was sooooo good, the family loved it. Thank you

  2. I made the cake in 2023, but now i want to make it again, passion fruit season Can i use another pan instead of the bundt, which one would you recommend for this recipe?

    1. You can make this in mini bundt pans, loaf pans or cake pans, but depending on which pan you use, you’ll need to adjust your cooking times based on the volume of batter in the pan. If you’re using a flat-bottomed pan, I recommend lining it with parchment paper to make it easier to turn out with no tears on the cake.

  3. 5 stars
    I have made this glorious cake many times and everyone raves over it!! Thanks for sharing

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 5 stars
    What can i use instead of the almond flour?

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

  8. 5 stars
    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.

    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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. devi vijay says:

    How much is ur one cup measurement

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

  14. Aurimar Lugo says:

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 5 stars
    I just love the combo of Rum m+ Passionfruit in this cake! The perfect Summer cake!