Caribbean Rich Fruit Cake or Black Cake

This is one of the most famous cakes in the caribbean. This cake is mainly used for weddings and on holidays. hope you enjoy.


  • *1 lb butter or margarine
  • *1 lb granulated sugar
  • *2-3 lbs dried Fruits e.g. (1lb raisins,1/2lb sultanas,1/2lb cherries,1/2lb prunes,1/2lb currants,1/2lb mixed peel,l1/2lb almonds finely crushed)
  • (N.B. use as many or as little fruits as you like)
  • * 1 cup of wine to soak fruits in.
  • *6-8 eggs well beaten
  • *1 tsp vanilla extract
  • *1 tsp Almond extract
  • *1 tsp lemon juice
  • *1 tsp lemon rind
  • * 1tsp cinnamon
  • * 1 tsp nutmeg
  • * 1/2 tsp all spice
  • * 1/4 tsp ginger
  • * 1/4 tsp mace
  • * 1/8 tsp clove
  • *11/2 lb all purpose flour
  • * 2 tsp baking powder
  • about 1/4 cup of gravy browning for colour


  1. 1. Grease 10″ inch round and preheat oven to 350 degrees C.
    2. Soak fruits overnight in wine or simmer fruits in wine under low heat in sauce pan for 5min.
    3. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in wine and fruit in creamed mixture, mixing until fruits are evenly distributed.(N.B. If you don’t like to have huge chunks of fruits in your cake simply Blend the fruits with the wine after simmering or soaking and then add to the butter mixture.)

4. Beat in eggs, lemon juice ,rind and extracts until fully incorperated.
5. sift together flour and ground spices. slowly add to batter until fully incorperated.
6. Mix in browning.
7. pour batter into pan and bake for 40 min or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

NOTE: Fruit cake is very delicious and can be eaten right away or left to age for up to a year without refrigeration, THe Aging process can be done by pouring at leat 4 tblsp of wine over the cake weekly to help preserve . This Cake should be served to adults only.

Comments (13)


recipe sounds very close to the way we make it in the Caribbean. We usually coarsely grind the fruits (leave a few whole for texture) and soak for at least two weeks in a tightly covered glass container/jar. a little brandy or rum adds additional flavour.


this is simpler than my mother-in-laws! She is from Guyana and had me soak the fruit for 6 months in RUM before I made the cake. WOW I don't care that it was baked it was still enough to give you a buzz!


I must admit i make this cake and i have my fruits soaking for months! and it certainly has a kick....!


If ever you find yourself down to the wire you can grind the fruits and boil them in a Guiness Stout. Cool and add cherry wine.


This is the recipe that I use for most of my wedding cakes. For us in the caribbean ever wedding cake has a black rum cake in it.


I make fruit cake all the time i start soaking my fruits right after Christmas for the next year with red label wine and Jamaican overproof rum its to die for.


hey guys, i am so thrilled that there are others on CC who can relate to this cake. I am from the island of Dominica (not Dominican Rep) and as sparkles126 said we usually soak our fruits in wine and rum for a whole year, or sometimes my aunt would actually bake the cake and put it to age in a cookie tin.


Hi claudilia, gravy browning is what we use in the Caribbean to stew meats and give a nice brown color to other dishes. its basically a mixture of burnt sugar and water. i really wish there is someone here who could explain the whole process as i am terrible at explaining things in writing


Claudilla browning is usually used in gravies to give it a darker colour as well as a bit of flavor. When making black cake it gives helps to give it that rich dark colour. Don't use too much however it will cause it to have a bitter off taste. It really is burnt sugar its way past caramelized.


I live in the Caribbean, St. Thomas, USVI, and I am going to try this out on my friends who "LOVE" Black Cake. They are a tough bunch! Each culture I have found makes it a little differently, different fruits, nuts, and the soaking time. My friends use 'starters' and soak fruit for months. I might try the quick method mentioned(faking it) and use the dark black rum here and see what they say. Will post back with results. Thanks for posting.


Made 8 of them for the holidays. I live in the Caribbean. I had been wanting to make these for a few years on island, not because I liked them, but for those who do like them. Sold the first one the same day I finished them. They loved it and recommended every one else. I researched several different recipes from several sites, islands and recipes from the locals. They were all pretty similar, using different rums, liquors, wines; Colors, texture, choice of fruits, nuts or no nuts, frosting (marzipan +royal) or no frosting. No one in my marketing survey ever had frosting or knew of anyone who had it with frosting. I think the frosting would make it very nice, but... (less work...)

I had some cranberries soaked in Guavaberry Liquor (a favorite on the island) in my fridge for a year leftover from some guavaberry liquor cakes made last holiday. I used that as a starter and added the ground fruits(they like them ground pretty fine) which were first boiled in wine/liquor to speed up the process). I added a lot of Cruzan rum (Aged, Dark, Guava, and others) and the cherry wine, recommended from several sources, which did give it a rich flavor. I did use browning. A dark rich black color is preferred here. All were adament about that! I made 6" and 8" so that everyone could afford one, or to give as gifts, and for singles/couples. Besides they are so heavy! I have to use reinforced containers to support them.

Two people wanted nuts in hers, so I added some chopped nuts to their batter and some to the top of the cake.

I kept the cakes moist by poking holes in sides and tops and adding a mixture of rum/guavaberry liquor/cherry wine every few days. I also made a glaze of that mixture by placing in a pan and adding sugar to it and cooking it long enough to reduce it to a syrup form and brushing it on right before presenting it for sale. Sometimes, when adding the pure alcohol, the top turns light which some find unattractive. The glaze gave it some beauty. Not a heavy shiny glaze, just enough to bring out the color.

I did a little marketing survey with samples among the locals to test them for texture, flavor, sweetness, liquor, price, serving size, shape, and a few other variables. The consensus was "They are fabulous!" I asked this one woman if there was too much liquor in them. She laughed and said, "No Way! My grandma's has it [the liqour] dripping out of it when you open it!"

I took one (with doctors permission) to a man confined to the hospital because both legs had been cut off. He just loved Black Cake and he and another friend had inspired me to make it. Both are so full of joy and life. He just loved it! I gave samples to the hospital staff for part of my 'marketing survey'.

I had trouble finding nice tins on island or getting them shipped in time. I did put some in tins I had and they made a nice presentation. I used the parchment rounds on the bottoms. (not waxed paper or deli type paper or plastic wrap). I did find some nice aluminum round cake pans scalloped around edges with clear lids. I added a holiday bow. For storage, I did wrap plastic wrap over and around the aluminum lidded pan with several layers to keep the moisture in. I did place the stored ones in the fridge because of the extremely high humidity and mold count here (250 often when 20-25 is extremely dangerous). I made some ginger cakes for the holidays and put them in the fridge, but I apparently missed on on the counter and in a day and a half was completely molded!

One friend from Dominica, who wanted the nuts and loved the cakes, took one to Tortola for the holidays to share with another friend.

All in all it was a fun experience. I probably would not have tried these without your base recipe, all who contributed, and my friends. THANKS ALL!