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Upside Down Caribbean Coconut Rum Cake

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8-10 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Caribbean


This insanely delicious upside-down Caribbean Coconut Rum Cake pays homage to a traditional Island rum cake. The cake is moist, flavorful, sweet, and sent over the edge when paired with the rum sauce!


  • Topping:
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • For the cake:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • For the Rum Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 2 tbsp dark corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • *Optional: vanilla ice cream, toasted coconut flakes.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray.
  2. For topping: add coconut flakes and walnuts to bottom of prepared pan. Spread evenly.
  3. Topping instructions cont’d- In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Stir in brown sugar, cooking until sugar is dissolved. Stir in rum, you will see it sizzle- this is normal. Cook for about 1-2 minutes. Pour mixture over coconut/walnuts in cake pan.
  4. For the cake: In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Be sure to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well until combined. Add in vanilla.
  5. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with the milk- beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined, careful not to over mix batter. Then fold in sour cream by hand with a spatula.
  6. Spread batter evenly over coconut/walnut mixture.
  7. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan before inverting cake onto a plate.
  8. For the Rum Sauce: In a medium sauce pan, bring all ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring sauce constantly. Let sauce cool to room temperature before pouring over cake. Sauce can be stored in refrigerator for up to one week. Reheat sauce in microwave as necessary as it will harden in the refrigerator.
  9. Enjoy!