Caribbean Black Cake
Updated: Dec 4, 2019
Black cake is a cousin to the British Plum Pudding and is made with an expensive array of dried fruits, like cherries, raisins, and prunes and topped off with a bit of nutty crunch. Before baking – sometimes for months – the fruit is soaked in rum and cherry brandy until it’s plump and intoxicated. After baking, many people also pour a little rum over the cake weekly or monthly until Christmas!
8 oz pitted prunes 8 oz dark raisins 8 oz golden raisins 1 lb dried cherries 1 cup dark rum, plus extra for brushing cake 1 cup cherry brandy, plus extra as needed 1/4 lb blanched almonds 2 cups flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp ground cinnamon 2 sticks butter 1 1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar 5 eggs zest of 2 limes zest of 2 oranges 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp Amgostura Bitters 2 Tbsp molasses
Marinate dried fruit in rum and cherry brandy for 1-3 days, stirring occasionally. They will become plump.
On baking day, grease and line two 8" pans with a double layer of parchment paper. Blend the fruit mixture in a blender or food processor; add almonds and blend until chunky (makes about 5 cups of mixture). Add brandy if needed to loosen, use a spoon every few pulses until desired consistency is obtained. Set aside.
Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and cinnamon.
Cream the softened butter and brown sugar together; add eggs one at a time. Add zest, vanilla, bitters, and molasses.
Mix together the butter mixture with the flour mixture. Then add the rum infused fruit.
Pour into prepared baking pans and Bake at 250° F for an hour, then reduce to 225° F for another 2-3 hours.The cakes will not rise much. Cool in pans.
Some people like to pour more rum over the cakes (after poking holes in the top). To store, line two tins with butcher paper, paper bag/kraft paper, wax paper or parchment paper. Make sure there is enough extra paper to wrap over and cover the cake. Place cakes in the tins. Seal tightly with tin top.
Some Caribbean bakers make this cake months in advance and pour a bit of rum over it monthly, being sure to rewrap it back in paper and secure the tin top.