Spiced Rum Cake Holiday Cocktail Recipe

The holiday season is celebrated so differently across the globe, and yet, almost every culture has a dessert (or two, or three) to celebrate the season with. Rum cakes might not necessarily register as a holiday dessert in America, but in places like the Caribbean or Britain, rum cakes are a sign of the season. The moist, spongy cakes have a long history beginning in Britain, where a similar dish called figgy pudding was born.

When people in Britain started moving towards the Caribbean they took the figgy pudding with them, soon to find that the hot climate affected their version of the cake. Alcohol was added to preserve the cake, and believe it or not, that spirit was rum. Rum cakes are exceptionally moist vanilla cakes with a nutty exterior and a faint flavor of spiced rum. They're even better in liquid form, as shared by developer Michelle McGlinn below. Using spiced rum, allspice dram, and almond bitters, this boozy recipe captures the essence of a rum cake and the spirit of the season all in one. It's a smooth, strong sipper that any lover of Old Fashioneds or Manhattans should enjoy.

Gather the ingredients for a spiced rum cake holiday cocktail

This cocktail has a simple ingredient list: Spiced rum, allspice dram, and almond bitters. If you can't find almond bitters, you can also use Angostura bitters, cardamom bitters, or a few drops of vanilla extract to replicate a similar flavor. For garnishing, we recommend freshly grated or ground nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.

Step 1: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.

Step 2: Add all the liquids

Add all ingredients to the shaker and cover.

Step 3: Shake

Shake until frothy, about 20 seconds.

Step 4: Strain

Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice.

Step 5: Garnish

Top with ground nutmeg and a cinnamon stick to serve.

What can I serve a rum cake cocktail with?

While you can serve this at any time, this cake-inspired cocktail works best when paired with desserts, which match its sweet, syrupy flavor profile. We like this rum cake cocktail paired with chocolate truffles, which are decadent and compliment the sharp taste of rum and allspice dram. We also love this cocktail alongside soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert, especially when served with fruits like figs and cranberries.

The faint nutty flavor also makes this cocktail perfect for serving alongside candied pecans or sugared almonds; so for the adventurous host, a cheese board with Brie, candied pecans, and chocolate would be perfect for a holiday dessert (and a welcome break from all the cookies). If you're feeling particularly spirited this holiday season, this cocktail also works well during brunch, where it pairs smoothly with waffles, pancakes, and French toast as an alternative to mimosas or Irish coffees. There is one last thing we love pairing this festive holiday cocktail with ... a heaping slice of rum cake, of course!

Can I use a different liquor for a rum cake cocktail?

If you're not a frequent rum drinker, don't fear this cocktail. The flavorful mixture of rum, allspice, and almond balances the bitter taste that can come forward with rum drinks. It does take the right type of rum, though. We tested this same cocktail with gold rum, dark rum, and even a white rum, and the spiced rum was the best flavor by far. Spiced rum like Captain Morgan is infused with vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and other spices that lend to the warm, sweet flavor that makes this cocktail so similar to the cake.

To replicate this with other spirits, we recommend using bourbon or rye whiskey, which will have similar notes of vanilla, caramel, and spices. If brown liquors really aren't your thing, we'd recommend trying this with vodka, which will best complement the flavor of the allspice and almond. As for the allspice dram, there isn't a perfect swap — but if you're in a pinch and need something similar, we recommend demerara syrup, amaretto, or falernum.

Spiced Rum Cake Holiday Cocktail Recipe
5 from 21 ratings
If you like to enjoy your cocktail and dessert all in one go, then this spiced rum cake holiday cocktail is the perfect solution.
Prep Time
Cook Time
rum cake cocktail on table
Total time: 3 minutes
  • 2 ounces spiced rum
  • 1 ounce allspice dram
  • 5 dashes almond bitters
Optional Ingredients
  • Grated or ground nutmeg, for topping
  • Cinnamon stick, for garnish
  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add all ingredients to the shaker and cover.
  3. Shake until frothy, about 20 seconds.
  4. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice.
  5. Top with ground nutmeg and a cinnamon stick to serve.
Calories per Serving 212
Total Fat 2.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 20.4 g
Dietary Fiber 6.1 g
Total Sugars 0.0 g
Sodium 22.4 mg
Protein 1.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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