Trinidadian Rum Cake (Black Cake)

Hello all!

I have been thinking about the holidays. And the one thing that is really synonymous with Christmas for me is Black Cake, or Rum Cake as a lot of people call it.

Black Cake takes FOREVER because after you chop up all of your ingredients it has to sit in the alcohol for a MONTH to cure. So I am getting a jump on this now. This is the first time I will be making Black Cake, so we can try this together lol.

Here is the recipe that I have and keep in mind that my granny cooked for a crowd. I have absolutely no idea how much this is going to make, but from the numbers A WHOLE LOT! Also, I know it calls for a LOT of liquor, but most of will cook off, but not all. About 5% will be left in the cake. I will post a non-alcoholic version of Black Cake later.

**The recipe asks for both raisins and currants, but I've never really seen or tasted much of a difference. According to article, raisins are dried white grapes and currants are dried, black, seedless grapes. I'm not sure how easy it will be to get currants where you are, so if you can't find them, just double up on raisins.**


STEP ONE: The Fruits

Fruit Ingredients:

  • 1 lb prunes
  • 1 lb raisins
  • 1 lb currants
  • 1/4 lb mixed peel (see recipe here)
  • 1/2 lb cherries
  • 1 lb chopped almonds
  • 1 bottle of cherry brandy
  • 1/4 bottle of rum
  • 1-2 tbsp Angostura bitters
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  1. Chop the ingredients and mix well.
  2. Soak at least overnight (1 month preferably) covered in a cool corner.
  3. After it has soaked overnight, put it all in a blender and blend until thick and just a little chunky (like a tomato sauce). NOTE: if you choose to soak for a month, you can skip this step. The fruit will fall apart on its own.

STEP TWO: The burnt sugar browning

Burnt sugar browning is hard to do. It takes forever to be able to look at it and tell when its done. I CANNOT do it. I will describe to you how to do it, but honestly its just easier to buy a bottle of it from Fiesta in the Caribbean aisle.

  • 1 lb sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup hot water

  1. Heat oil in heavy pot, add sugar and allow to caramelize and turn brown. Be sure not to burn it or it will be bitter. (If using the store bought pre-done browning, just heat up a half cup of browning in the pot.)
  2. Add 1/2 cup hot water SLOWLY (You don't want it to splash up and burn you. It really HURTS!)
  3. Mix well and leave to cool.


  • 1 lb butter
  • 1 lb sugar
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon essence
  • 2 teaspoons each of lime rind, almond essence, vanilla essence, and mixed spice
  • 1 lb flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 ground nutmeg

  1. Cream butter and sugar
  2. Add eggs one at a time and stir
  3. Add lemon essence, lime rind, almond essence, and vanilla.
  4. Mix and sift dry ingredients together in a separate bowl
  5. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture gradually, stirring constantly.
  6. Mix in fruit and browning.
  7. Put in greased tins lined with two layers of brown paper.
  8. Bake at 250 degrees for 2-3 hours or until done.
  9. Remove from oven and soak, while hot, with cherry brandy or rum with sherry. (Don’t be surprised if the top of the cake starts to look pale and ‘weird’)
  10. Allow to sit for at least a few hours or overnight.
 After a few hours, the cake will darken A LOT and you will understand the name "Black Cake!"

Enjoy and be sure to leave a comment with any traditional Christmas recipes that your family has!


Linda said...

Just took it out of the oven and it look perfect can't wait to taste it in the morning. Thanks for sharing the recipe

January 6, 2014 at 2:25 AM
Anonymous said...

recipe doesn't say how many cakes it yields??

December 12, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Post a Comment