Caribbean Black Cake Recipe

This is an Exclusive Gold Member recipe

Every Caribbean island has its version of black rum cake. I associate black cake with traditional Jamaican wedding cake, but for many it’s the cake they bake at Christmastime. My “black cake” recipe isn’t as dark as some. What makes a black cake dark is how much browning you use and how long you soak the fruit in liquor. Many people soak their fruit for a year! As soon as Christmas is over they buy more fruit to soak for the next year. Fruit that is soaked that long will get very dark if not black. It doesn’t even need to be ground because it will dissolve into a thick fruit puree.
For my recipe, all you have to  do is soak the fruit  in rum overnight, simmer it the next day and grind it into a puree. You can then use browning to make the batter darker.  I think you’ll really be pleased with this recipe because it’s full of flavour and it’s super moist. For those who like a smooth almost sticky black cake infused with rum … this one’s for you!

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bakingBlack cakeChristmasFruitrum
Comments (34)
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  • Grace

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I absolutely love your website and stumbled upon it by accident when looking for a recipe for sweet potato pone. This is my second Christmas season of making Jamaican fruitcakes and my family loves them. Your tips on making browning were excellent. The first time I tried to make my own browning it came out like taffy so I just used molasses. This year I forgot it altogether, although, my cakes still came out good. Next time, I will definitely try your browning recipe. Thanks again and please keep the recipes coming!! Have a blessed Christmas!

    • Jen

      Wonderful website!
      Do I have to use white rum? Can I use dark spiced rum instead?

      Many thanks

      • Cook Like A Jamaican

        Hi Jen,
        Yes, no problem, you can use any rum … just make sure it’s Jamaican, LOL! Blessings, Fay

  • Sharon

    Hi Fay, your Caribbean Black Cake recipe also didn’t mention how many eggs should be used.

  • Ella

    Thanks Mummy Fay for all the wonderful recipes and the videos especially. What can i do if I don’t have a microwave? I really would love to make this for New Years Eve. Thanks for showing us how to make REAL browning – especially the tip about using the food tins. Ella x

  • Theresa

    Hi Ms. Fay,
    I love your videos! I have one question…What is port????? Thanks again, and GOD bless!!!!

  • Tereick

    Loved this one 🙂
    Thanks very much Aunty Fay

  • Carol

    Hi Ms Fay,
    Thank you , thank you, thank you for black cake recipe.
    I have been looking for this for AGES!!
    I’m now ready to soak my fruits in Jamaican rum (my partner has just brought me two bottles from JA)
    Can’t wait to make my cake….will let you know how it turns out.
    Bless up and Happy Christmas to you and yours xx

  • nareen

    Hi Miss Fay,
    I hope you dont mind me adding the miss! I felt compel to do so. anyways , I am a Jamaian living in Canada and I have learnt to bake just last year. I want to make a black cake and I think you recipe will be spot on.
    Thank you very much!!!

  • jim

    Thanx a lot Fay, great recipe! 😉

  • Jackie

    Hi Fay,
    I attempted the cake and it came out with a fabulous taste, super rich but the texture was very moist almost pudding like. It is more like a Christmas pudding. I think I may have poured too much liquor when it cooled. I just wanted to know if the longer I store the without adding any more liquor will the texture firm up and what is the longest the cake can be stored without spoiling?

    • Cook Like A Jamaican

      Hi Jackie,
      Thank you for reaching out. Black cake is generally dense and pudding like but it should be firm. You can store it outside of the fridge for weeks in a cool place. Just wrap it in foil and put it in a tin. Yes, don’t add more liquor and it should dry out some. Blessings, Fay

  • Joy

    Hi Fay
    in the black cake recipe, my family does not like the taste of the candid peel. if i leave out the candid peel, would the cake turn out ok

    • Cook Like A Jamaican

      Hi Joy,
      I’m a big supporter of doing what’s right for you when cooking, even if it’s not 100 percent traditional. Please be creative and have fun! It will still taste great!

  • Tamara

    The recipes for this cake are MANY and varied! This is the one that comes closest to the cake I remember from childhood, so I’ve chosen it to make for my parent’s 40th anniversary.

    Do you have any tips or recipes for icing this cake?? Thanks!

    • Cook Like A Jamaican

      Hi Tamara,
      I haven’t iced a black cake in years. But I do think it’s a good idea for a future cooking lesson. Usually there is a layer of marzipan and then royal icing. Blessings, Fay

  • Fran from Bronx, NY

    I just took a look at your black cake recipe and it almost like the way my late Tia Jo and Ket made theirs. They didn’t have microwave back in those days but they used to put the raisins and other fruits (minus the peels) in a large jar filled with port. I can remember just getting high off the vapor when the jar was open for baking… Thanks for the memories. Now I can finally bake the cake. Hope to do so before my mother passes, so that I can give her a little comfort.

  • pat

    I have watched your cooking tips on youtube.. I love it all. I enjoy your style of cooking, because many of the things you do, i was taught the similar way, i love my kids and my G-mother, who has pass away for years now.. when i found your page it remind me of the way she was.. Thank you and god bless

  • Sharon

    Hi Fay, Seems like you had a wonderful time in Jamaica. Nice at you are back in the kitichen. I would like to use your recipe to make a black cake. I have had all my fruits soling for years now. I think from 2009 hihi. I just keep affinitet more fruits. My question to you is this how many cups of my wine/fruit mixture would be equal to your wine/ fruit mixture? Hope my question is clear.

    Could you consider a rundown recipe.

    SHARON , jamaican living in Noway.

  • Viv

    Hi Fay

    Thanks for the black cake recipe, tried making black cake for the first time & needless to say, it was awesome!!!!!!! Thanks and have a safe & blessed holiday.

  • Hope Clennon

    Hi Ms Faye,

    You remind me very much of my godmother back home who also shares the same name. Thank you so much for this recipe! I haven’t seen rum cake made for over 10 years now since I was a little girl and I’m planning to make one for my birthday this year to share with my family. Two questions:
    1. If I decide to soak the fruits for longer, say for 2 to 4 weeks, will I need to make any changes to the recipe?
    2. Do I need to soak the fruits in the fridge or is on the kitchen counter fine?

    Thanks so much for all your recipes. I recently made both red peas soup and stew beef with rice and loved them both although I need to make my stew beef a little thicker and darker.

    God bless,


    • Fay & Angela

      Hi Hope, I just noticed that I had not responded to your questions earlier! Forgive me. If you’ve been soaking the fruit for week you don’t have to “cook” them in the microwave. That works well when you don’t have time to pre-soak them. Because of the alcohol you actually don’t have to put them fruit in the fridge, but if not keep it in a cool or at room temperature place. Fay

  • Kas Hibbert

    Hi Aunty Fay, I left Jamaica 13 years ago and I am just so happy to find your site 🙂 thank you so much for you recipes.
    you bring back so many wonderful home memories with every dish!
    my question is : was there also a steam version for the fruit cake as well? I thought I remembered one but I am not sure.
    I made 4 of these already following your instructions and they were a hit! but I just wanted to know if I can steam in the oven as well?

    Thank you so much for bringing REAL Jamaican eating back to me!
    🙂 Kas.

    • Fay & Angela

      Hi Kas,
      Steamed fruit cake is called plum pudding. Give it try and let me know how it turns out. Fay

  • Orchid

    Hi Fay, Love watching you and reading your recipes, I’m also Jamaican, however my mother doesn’t cook like Jamaican any more, I guess she’s in Canada too long. I love to cook and sometimes forget how to cook certain dishes and I just wanted to let you know, I do appreciate your channel and your cooking and to remind us of hour Heritage. Sincerely, Orchid

  • Kwf Foy

    Hi Mrs. Fay, Do I have to have a pay pal account to be a gold member ? Cause I click on the website you send me and I did everything it ask except for the PayPal account I did not set up. I thought I could use my credit card to be a gold member. Do I need to set up a pay pal in order to see the gold member recipes ?

    • Fay & Angela

      Hi Karen,
      Thank you for your interest in becoming a gold member. Currently we take payments via Paypal only. Just follow their instructions to set up an account with the credit card you want on file. It’s very easy.
      Blessings, F&A

  • Sheelagh Henson

    30 years ago I was Nursing in England. My close friend Wendy’s mother would post this cake to us from The West Indies. The memories of this has stayed with me forever. As I write this my own cakes are slowly baking and the memories of the flavour are back with me. Thank you so much.

  • Eunice Williams

    Eunice Williams trying to get your black fruit cake recipe thank you

    • Fay & Angela

      Hi Eunice,
      Sorry that we’ve left you confused. This recipe is one of our recipes that you can access as a gold member only. Why not try our Free 7-day trial to see what it’s all about:

  • Lesma

    how are you? I love your recipe 🙂 Please or you tube your Jamaican Black rum cakeBest Lesma

    • Fay & Angela

      Hi Lesma,
      Thank you for your request. We will be sharing a video for rum cake soon. Fay

  • Janet

    Hi Fay!

    Thank you so much for this! This recipe is fantastic 🙂 Do you happen to have a recipe for the icing that usually goes on this type of cake? It’s usually white and sugary with a little tang…

  • Fay & Angela

    Hi Janet,
    We don’t currently have an icing recipe for black cake on the site but look forward to adding it before then next festive season.