|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 46g||59%|
|Saturated Fat 26g||128%|
|Total Carbohydrate 57g||21%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||6%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Christmas cake, black cake, wedding cake, or great cake are all names used to describe this famous Caribbean dessert that is made with aged rum-soaked fruits. This is a cake made to mark the celebration of Christmas, weddings, christenings, baptisms, and significant anniversaries, and in more elaborate versions it takes days to assemble as the cake is brushed with rum and wine syrup on various occasions to add a stronger flavor. In either case, the result is a dense and moist cake.
Each household and Caribbean island has its own version, but this basic recipe is easy enough to make and use as a template to add more fruit, flavored rum, or additional spices like nutmeg. Check our tip section on how to make your rum-soaked fruit mixture.
- 8 1/2 ounces butter (unsalted, room temperature, divided)
- 1 cup Demerara sugar
- 6 eggs (room temperature)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla essence)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting pan)
- 4 cups of rum-soaked fruit
Gather the ingredients.
Place the baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 350 F.
Grease a cake pan using 1/2 of an ounce of the butter. Rub it well all around the insides of the pan, sprinkle with flour, and swirl the pan to coat it with flour. Turn the pan over the sink and tap it to remove the excess flour.
Line the bottom of the pan only with a cut-out piece of parchment paper. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until the mixture reaches a pale cream color. If using a standing mixer, mix for 5 to 6 minutes. If working by hand, mix for up to 20 minutes. Set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon into a large bowl and set aside.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl until frothy.
Add vanilla extract or essence to the eggs and continue to whisk until well incorporated, for about one minute.
Pour whisked eggs into the bowl with the creamed butter and sugar mixture and stir gently using a rubber spatula. Keep stirring until incorporated. The mixture will look curdled but that's okay as it will change texture once all the ingredients are in.
Add the rum-soaked fruits to the egg-butter-sugar mixture and stir to fully incorporate.
Add the flour-baking powder-cinnamon mixture gradually to the wet ingredients and mix gently but thoroughly to incorporate. Do not over mix or beat the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Use a spatula to scrape all the mixture from the bowl. Lift the pan a little and let it drop back to the surface about 2 to 3 times to remove any bubbles in the batter.
Bake for 90 minutes or until an inserted skewer or knife comes out clean.
Remove pan from oven and let cool on a wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes. At the end of the 10 minutes, carefully and quickly invert the pan, removing the cake. Let the cake continue to cool completely on the wire rack.
Slice and serve at room temperature.
Make Rum-Soaked Fruit
To make liquor-soaked dry fruit you need:
- 4 cups of mixed dry fruit (raisins, dry cherries, dry cranberries, currants, and finely chopped dates and prunes)
- 3/4 cup of rum or sweet wine
Soak the fruits by placing them in a non-reactive bowl with the rum or wine. Mix well and leave to rest overnight or for a minimum of 8 hours, covered, mixing once or twice. If you believe the mixture needs more liquid, add more rum, or if you want to use less alcohol add 2 to 4 tablespoons of water. Once the fruit is soft, drain it well using a strainer and use as instructed in the recipe. You can choose any combination of fruit that you'd like, but a more varied fruit mixture adds a lot of different flavors and textures.