rum tangerine layer cake

Let’s kick off the week with some tropical flair! Infused with gold rum, crushed pineapple, and fresh tangerine zest, this rum tangerine layer cake may just inspire you to plan your next beach vacation!

Rum Tangerine Layer Cake

Inspired by the Rum Swizzle Cake from the new Tropical issue of Bake From Scratch, I tweaked the recipe based on what I had in the pantry (gold rum, crushed pineapple) and paired it with a nice dose of tangerine zest and juice for a perfectly delicious pairing!

Rum Tangerine Layer Cake

You’ll love the zesty tangerine buttercream paired with the perfectly fluffy cake. To decorate this beauty, transfer any extra buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip to add a pretty flourish to the top of the cake. As always, bright and festive sprinkles make the perfect finish!

Rum Tangerine Layer Cake

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Rum Tangerine Layer Cake

Rum Tangerine Layer Cake

  • Author: Laura | Tutti Dolci
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 8-inch cake, serves 12


Flavored with gold rum, crushed pineapple, and fresh tangerine zest, this simple and delicous rum tangerine layer cake is a taste of the tropics!


Rum Cake

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp gold rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple in juice, undrained


  • 3 Tbsp gold rum
  • 2 Tbsp fresh tangerine juice

Tangerine Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh tangerine zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh tangerine juice
  • sprinkles, for decorating the cake


  1. For the cake, preheat oven to 350°F and spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Beat in rum and vanilla. Combine buttermilk and crushed pineapple in a small bowl. Reduce speed to low and add flour in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture (begin and end with flour mixture).
  3. Divide batter evenly between cake pans and smooth with an offset spatula. Tap pans sharply to reduce air bubbles. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, until the cakes are golden, a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the edges are pulling slightly away from the pan. Let cakes cool in pans for 15 minutes before inverting onto wire racks to cool completely.
  4. For the syrup, combine rum and tangerine juice in a small bowl, whisking to combine.
  5. For the buttercream, beat butter, crème fraîche, and salt in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until smooth. Beat in tangerine zest and vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar on low speed 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Add tangerine juice and mix in on low speed until smooth.
  6. To assemble the cake, place one layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Brush the top of the cake with half of the rum syrup. Use an offset spatula to spread frosting over the cake. Add top cake layer and brush with remaining rum syrup; top with buttercream and smooth with offset spatula.
  7. Use the offset spatula to apply frosting to the sides of the cake while you rotate the cake stand, then use a bench scraper to gently smooth the edges of the cake and remove any excess frosting. Chill frosted cake for 20 minutes.
  8. If desired, transfer remaining buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe dollops around the top of the cake. Top with sprinkles.


Recipe adapted from Rum Swizzle Cake, Bake From Scratch May/June 2019 The Tropical Issue

Keywords: Rum, Pineapple, Tangerine, Buttercream, Layer Cake, Cake

Rum Tangerine Layer Cake

Craving more layer cake?

Meyer Lemon Layer Cake
Classic Chocolate Layer Cake
Raspberry Lemon Naked Cake
Brown Sugar Peach Layer Cake

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    1. Hi Ellyna, this is a rum cake so unfortunately there’s not really a substitute for it. You could omit the rum and just do a citrus layer cake (I’d add an extra teaspoon of vanilla). Or you could add some coconut extract to pair with the tangerine and pineapple. You might also like this Meyer lemon layer cake.

  1. Another stunning creation! Some day I’ll get the nerve up to try a naked cake—you’ve got it down! And this tangerine cake with the crushed pineapple may get me to do it—it sounds amazing!

  2. Few days ago our sun bathing season has “officially” started; this is going to be a wonderful surprise for my fellow sunbathers 🙂 Thank you Laura !