Black Cake


Black Cake is one thing you are sure to find in most Caribbean homes during the Christmas season. Here is a tried and tested recipe you can make for yourself.

• 450g butter
• 450g sugar
• 8 eggs
• 1 tsp lemon essence
• 2 tsp lime rind
• 2 tsp almond essence
• 2 tsp vanilla
• 450g all-purpose flour
• 4 tsp baking powder
• 2 tsp mixed spice
• 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg


Fruit Base
• 450g pitted prunes
• 450g raisins
• 450g currants
• 1 bottle cherry brandy
• 1 bottle rum and/or Bailey’s
• 2 tbs Angostura bitters
• 225g brown sugar
• 8 tbs boiling hot water

Have to hand
• 1 more bottle of rum


  1. Up to 5 days before you make the cake, chop up all the fruit for the fruit base. Place in a large bowl, pour in Angostura bitters, cherry brandy and rum. Leave in a cool corner, covered, to soak up the liquor.
  2. Then, on the day you are making the cake, pour the soaked fruit and juices into a blender and blend until thick and still a bit chunky.
  3. For the browning: burn sugar until caramelised, gradually adding hot water. Mix well and leave to cool. Please be extra careful at this stage as a ‘browning’ burn is NOT a fun thing!
  4. Preheat oven to 120°C
  5. Cream the butter and sugar
  6. Add eggs one at a time, mixing to incorporate
  7. Add lemon essence, lemon zest, almond essence and vanilla
  8. Mix and sift flour, baking powder, mixed spice and nutmeg
  9. Gradually add sifted ingredients to creamed mixture
  10. Mix in fruit base puree and browning
  11. Pour batter into greased tins that have been doubly lined with brown paper or parchment paper
  12. Bake for 3 hours
  13. Once removed from the oven, soak the tops with equal portions of the remaining bottle of rum. Don’t be surprised if the top of the cake starts to look pale and a little strange!



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