“Rum Runner” Trifle Recipe

I am a big fan of Rum Runners. They’re definitely up there among my favorite cocktails ever*.

As the weather gets cold enough to require jackets and gloves, I realize that this summer was sorely lacking in the Rum Runner department. Though it seems sort of out-of-season now, it’s something we’ll definitely have to correct NEXT summer. You know, as we lounge around on our deck and patio, NOT busting our backs all summer doing tornado cleanup and repairs!

While it may be too cold to pour up a fancy, tropical rum runner cocktail, it’s NOT too cold to whip up a dessert inspired by its flavors!

This was one of the first recipes slated for “The Spirited Baker“. In the course of multiple re-hashes of the layout, format, and groupings… I managed to forget to include it. Whoops! You’ll have to buy the book for the other 160+ awesome recipes!

This recipe seems involved, but it comes together quite easily! The cake should be made at least a day before serving, but can be made even further ahead than that! Feel free to tightly wrap the slab of cake in plastic wrap and freeze for a couple of weeks, allowing it to defrost for an hour or two before cutting it up.

While I like to make up my trifles fresh RIGHT before serving them, many people find that they get better by aging a day or two in the fridge – making them an excellent dessert for entertaining!

Rum Runner Trifle


3 cups Cake flour
2 1/4 cups Sugar
2 Tbsp Baking powder
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3 1/2 oz Instant vanilla pudding mix**
6 Eggs
1/2 cup Amber rum
1/2 cup orange juice
½ cup pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups Butter, melted
2 Tbsp Pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 orange

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Liberally a 9x 13″ cake pan with vegetable shortening, and/or spray with baking spray.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pudding mix in a large mixing bowl. Add in eggs, rum, and orange juice, beating until smooth. Carefully add melted butter, vanilla, and orange zest to the mix, mixing on medium speed until smooth.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake until golden and knife inserted into center of batter comes out clean – about 45 minutes. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before turning cake out onto baking rack to cool fully. Ideally, allow to cool to room temperature, wrap tightly with plastic wrap.

Allow cake to sit overnight, assemble trifle the following day.

Banana Rum Soak
1/4 cup light rum
1/4 cup creme de banane liqueur
½ cup sugar

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan, heat until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Pudding Mixture**
2 small boxes vanilla instant pudding
1 3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup blackberry brandy
Purple food coloring, optional

Whisk together pudding mix, milk, blackberry brandy, and food coloring – if desired. Allow to set up slightly before assembling trifle.

7-8 bananas, sliced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2-3 containers (6 oz? 8oz? I can never remember!) blackberries

To Assemble Trifle

Cut cake into 1- 1.5″ cubes.

Slice bananas, gently toss with lemon juice to prevent browning

In a large trifle-type bowl, arrange 1/3 of the cake cubes (or whatever percentage it takes to get a good solid layer down) on the bottom. Drizzle with banana rum soak, spoon 1/3 of the blackberry pudding mixture evenly over top. Arrange banana slices and blackberries on top of pudding layer.

Repeat twice with remaining cake, binder, and fruit. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.

* To make your own rum runners at home:

Rum Runner Cocktail Recipe

In a Boston shaker, measure out:

2 oz pineapple juice
2 oz orange juice
1 oz blackberry liqueur
1 oz banana liqueur
1 oz light rum
1 oz dark rum or aged rum

Shake well, serve in a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange slice

** Feel free to substitute homemade custard. That’s how I tend to do it, but have utilized instant pudding mix in this recipe to keep things a bit more simple!

Interested in making wickedly delcious cakes? You’ll LOVE my second cookbook, Evil Cake Overlord! We’ve long been known for our “ridiculously delicious” moist cakes and tasty, unique flavors. Now, you can have recipes for all of the amazing flavors on our former custom cake menu, and many more! Bake your moist work of gastronomic art, then fill and frost your cake with any number of tasty possibilities. Milk chocolate cardamom pear, mango mojito.. even our famous Chai cake – the flavor that got us into “Every Day with Rachel Ray” magazine!

Feeling creative? Use our easy to follow recipe to make our yummy fondant. Forget everything you’ve heard about fondant – ours is made from marshmallows and powdered sugar, and is essentially candy – you can even flavor it! Order your copy here.

Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!

Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

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