in the kitchen with: bonnee sharp

Bonnee Sharp is no stranger to design*sponge regulars. The sneak peek of her home has been etched in my brain, and I bet yours, but I don’t have the courage to revisit it because my house will never be that nice and it just makes me sad! I could, however, make Bonnee’s Rum Cake and just dream about what it would be like to have a slice while sitting in her kitchen. Again, no wine this week with dessert—this cake already has the alcohol. If you need something to wash it down, try some tea or milk! Click here for the full recipe or just click “read more” below. –Kristina

About Bonnee: Bonnee is the mother of an amazing 1 yr old, Georgia, wife to a great husband, and in her spare time, a textile designer of upholstery fabrics and founder of studio bon textiles. She grew up in Austin, TX, lived and worked in NYC and LA writing ad campaigns and then worked for several years as a designer at a contemporary interior design firm in Dallas. She is now back in Texas splitting time dreaming about her daughter’s next big word and her textile line’s next big pattern. She says about her culinary skills: “I grew up in a family of great chefs yet somehow inherited their love of food, but few of their talents in the kitchen. This cake, however, is fool-proof! Every time I make it I get requests for the recipe. Hope you enjoy it as much as my family and friends do!”

Rum Cake

• 1 pkg yellow cake mix (1 lb 2.2 oz / 517g)
• 1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix (small size – 3.4 oz / 96g))
• ½ c water
• ½ c rum
• ½ c oil
• 4 eggs

Mix everything in an electric mixer. (add ½ cup walnuts if desired)
Grease & flour bundt pan. Pour batter in mould. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
Hot Glaze
• 1 c sugar
• 1 ¼ stick butter
• ¼ c rum

Place all ingredients in sauce pan and bring to boil for 2-4 minutes (until sugar isn’t grainy). Very slowly pour glaze over hot cake (while cake is still in pan) allowing all of the sauce to absorb into cake. Leave in pan 2+ hrs. (the longer you wait, the more moist the cake- the sauce has time to congeal instead of run out) Turn cake out on plate.

Why Bonnee chose this recipe:

I simply can’t resist beautiful bundt cake molds. It’s near magic to pour something in a liquid state into a mould, and get a beautiful, solid, sculptural (might I add simply delicious) edible work of art in return. I’m smitten with this particular recipe and make it for every cake-worthy celebration. Not for the waist-watcher, then again who has time to waste watching their waist!

  1. megan says:

    yay! i missed “in the kitchen with” last week. this looks delish.

  2. Kristan says:

    Yay TX! Yay yummy cake!

  3. Kim Wike says:

    in the last picture of the cake what is it that you have in the tin?

    this sounds great! I have made a chocolate rum cake that is great and can’t wait to try this one.

  4. Molly Bridle says:

    This cake is so delicious! My great grandmother always made this for Christmas. I’ve been making it in mini bundt pans for my neighbors for holiday gifts and if I’m ever a little late in the season making them I start getting stopped at the mailbox w/ questions of when they’ll be getting theirs!

  5. steph says:


  6. jessamyn says:

    mm, we have the same recipe but with sherry. delicious and gorgeous!

  7. Leigh says:

    What a lovely cake mold – love the shape! I will definitely try this next time I need to whip up a dessert – rum glazes are one of my favorites!

  8. This is silly but I really love the glass plate the cake is on!

  9. Sara says:

    Compliments to the chef! The cake and the photos look delicious!

  10. That is really making me very hungry.

  11. this looks so simple and tasty — would be great with a little fruit salad.
    – Jessie –

  12. becky says:

    My great aunts use to make something like this for Christmas.. so many fond memories.. thank you.mmm!

  13. Roz says:

    I’m pretty sure my mom uses this same recipe, only she also puts whole pecans in the bottom of the pan and mixes some chopped pecans in the batter. She also just pours the glaze over the cake after it’s out of the pan. It’s the most delicious cake!

  14. Sudy says:

    I love the little bowl the eggs are sitting in. Is it copper?

  15. Janet says:

    There is that yummy black and white print again. The cake looks yummy, but that print is the yummiest.

  16. Jessica says:

    uh-mazing! am going to try this out this weekend.

    the bundt cake pan is particularly pretty – normally they are kind of stodgy and remind me of my grandmother. can you tell us where you bought that one?

  17. Misty says:

    I adore those bundt pans! I can’t wait to try this recipe, it looks delicious.

  18. read me... says:

    WOW that cake looks fabulous!

  19. Bonnee says:

    hey all-thanks for all our comments! I believe the bundt pan is from Crate-n-Barrel… the glass cake was my great grandmother’s, the little boat shaped bowl is silver plate-with a hint of tarnish (making it look copper), and it is holding organic brown eggs!

  20. jessica ann says:

    I just had rum cake for the first time ever this weekend sitting in a farmfield in Nebraska while watching fireworks. It was quite the perfect moment for such a perfect cake.

  21. Jo-an says:

    Note that this recipe is a classic from the American cook book “Best Recipes on the Backs of Boxes” containing the favourite recipes from cake and pudding mixes, flour and other baking supplies. Perhaps it deserves a credit?

  22. Bonnee says:

    How interesting! I got the recipe from my mom- who got it from her friend- who got it from her friend. Sounds like many of is have grown up with it! Not sure which came first in this situation, the cultish adoration of a recipe by many, or the recipe on a box! Cheers to sweet adoration of a great rum cake recipe, whether the chicken… or the egg!

  23. Rochelle says:

    Hi Bonnee!
    Thanks for the great recipe and beautiful pictures. I have a quick question for you. The yellow cake mix I’m using is Pillsbury’s Moist Supreme and it already includes 1 cup of pudding in the mix. Should I omit the vanilla pudding from your ingredient list? Thanks!


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