Drunken Bundt

I put too much rum in the glaze. Thus, the drunken Bundt was born. It was also born out of necessity: I needed a portable, simple and autumn-flavored dessert for Thanksgiving.

I know, I know. It’s not a pie, the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. But hear me out before you discard this Bundt as holiday blasphemy.


Drunken Bundt, from its best side | Cred: Melanie Cohen

After taking a Bundt cake to two birthday celebrations, I realized how much easier it is to transport. My extra large studio lacks space to store a cake carrier. Successfully transporting (usually via metro) a four layer frosted cake with my homemade carrier, aka whatever leftover shipping box I have jimmied into a cake vessel, is a perilous feat that sometimes results in desserts arriving at the destination lopsided and “unpretty.”

With a Bundt there are no layers to cut and you can ice it once it reaches the final destination. A quick covering of plastic wrap is all the cake needs to become instantly transportable. The two minute glaze can be made the day of and transported in a Mason jar or other small container.

Flavor-wise, this cake roars autumn. The cake starts with a sweet potato (or pumpkin) base and then you add your typical fall spices—ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves—making it well-deserving of a spot on your holiday table.

I jazzed (ahem boozed) up the original Washington Post recipe by nixing the dusting of powdered sugar and replacing it with a rum glaze that is then topped crystallized ginger, chopped pecans and unsweetened coconut. First time I made the glaze, I used two tablespoons of rum and WHOA. You’d have thought Jack Sparrow took over my kitchen. If that’s your thing, go for it. If not, use only 1 ½ tablespoons of rum.


Drunken Bundt | Cred: Melanie Cohen

Did I convince you to forgo the pie this Thanksgiving? Hope so! If not, please do make this cake for another occasion. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Let me know in the comments.

Drunken Bundt

Adapted from Washington Post

Makes one 10-inch Bundt cake; 12-16 servings


For the cake:

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon ground cloves
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 15 ounces canned sweet potato puree (or canned pure pumpkin puree)


  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ to 2 tbsp, for distinctively drunken cake, rum
  • milk, as needed (water will do in a pinch)
  • handful of chopped pecans, toasted if you have time
  • handful of chopped crystallized candid ginger slices (Tip: the candied ginger slices from Trader Joe’s are much easier to slice than the candid ginger cubes.)
  • handful of unsweetened coconut, toasted if you have time (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan with butter and flour or with a butter and flour cooking spray
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.
  3. Beat butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until quite creamy. Make sure to occasionally stop and scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the dark brown sugar, then beat for 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat for 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition, to blend. Blend in the molasses and vanilla extract on low speed.
  5. Add the sweet potato puree and beat on low speed to thoroughly incorporate it. The mixture might look slightly curdled—it’s fine and there’s no need to worry as it will even out later.
  6. On low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions, stopping to scrape down the bowl after each one and mixing until just combined.
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the cake comes out clean. The baked cake will pull away slightly from the sides of the baking pan.
  8. Transfer (in the pan) to a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto a separate cooling rack and remove the pan. Let cool completely.
  9. Make the glaze. Put the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add the rum and one tablespoon of milk. Mix until combined. If the mixture appears too thick to drizzle, add milk one teaspoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. Drizzle glaze over cake and then sprinkle with pecans, candied ginger and coconut (if using).
    (If you transport the cake. Mix the powdered sugar, rum and milk in a Mason jar, and combine the pecans, candied ginger and coconut in a separate jar or plastic bag. Ice the cake once you arrive.)
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to two days.