This Festive Caribbean Fruit Cake is also known as Black Cake or Rum Cake. Its name comes from the deep, dark colour that is a result of using burnt sugar – also known as browning. It’s served at festive occasions and celebrations across the Caribbean.
It’s rich, dense and oh so moist, but you can read all about that after the recipe.
The Caribbean Fruit Cake cake
In the Caribbean, this cake is called a Black Cake. It can be found in almost every part of the region – and every family has its own recipe. Those are usually handed down from grandmother to mother to daughter – and so it goes.
So mine is based on a few Black Cake recipes, tweaked slightly to my taste.
One look at the ingredients list may have you running for the door! It looks a bit overwhelming, but do stop and read each step. Think of it like this:
- Prepare the fruit 3-12 months ahead of baking – big step out of the way
- You can buy browning, which is also used in gravies. DO read the ingredients as some may have ingredients you don’t want in your cake. See the note below the recipe about making browning.
- The rest – well it’s simply a fruit cake recipe, full of good ingredients and happy spices.
What makes this cake unique
- Blitzing the fruit into a paste before soaking it in rum and port means it’s a smoother texture than regular fruit cakes.
- The fruit has a long soaking time: a minimum of three months and up to a year.
- Using browning – which is caramelised, almost burnt, brown sugar – to achieve the darker colour.
I first made this style of cake several years ago and loved it. There are a few reasons for this, including the fact I’m not a huge fan of traditional fruit cakes that I’ve grown up with. I also don’t like the texture of sultanas, currants and raisins unless they’re so dense I can’t distinguish between them. They can also tend towards being overly sweet and a bit dry.
Mine has no dried mixed citrus peel, because I simply don’t like it.
It is super moist and the festive spices and flavours simply calypso around your tongue.