Jamaican Black Cake Recipe: Making Rum-Infused Cake

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Get ready for a culinary adventure as we dive into the rich, boozy, and delicious world of the Jamaican Black Cake. This traditional Caribbean dessert, often known as the Caribbean Black Cake or Jamaican Rum Cake, is a must-try for any cake lover. So, let’s dive into the details of this Jamaican Black Cake recipe!

Understanding the Jamaican Black Cake Recipe

A close-up shot of a dark, moist Jamaican Black Cake, showing its rich, dark color and dense texture

The Jamaican Black Cake, often compared to a plum pudding or Christmas cake, is a rich and moist dessert. Known for its dark color, this cake gets its unique hue from a special ingredient – burnt sugar syrup or browning sauce.

This cake is also synonymous with the holiday season, and it’s a delightful part of many childhood memories in the Caribbean Islands.

Key Ingredients for Jamaican Black Cake

The Jamaican Black Cake uses a variety of ingredients that lend to its unique taste. The cake batter is made with dry ingredients like all-purpose flour, baking powder, and a teaspoon salt.

But what sets it apart is the use of warm spices like ground cinnamon and the zing from lemon zest and lime zest. The mixture of dark brown sugar and unsalted butter creates a buttery, sweet base for your cake.

Preparing the Dried Fruit Mixture

A bowl of dried fruit soaked in rum, ready to be processed for the Jamaican Black Cake recipe

The heart of this Jamaican Black Cake recipe is the dried fruit mixture. A variety of dried fruits, including orange peel, is soaked in a blend of dark rum, cherry brandy, and sometimes, a glass of red wine.

The soaked fruits are then processed in a food processor to form a fruit paste. This fruit mixture not only adds moisture to the cake but also infuses it with an irresistible, boozy flavor.

Creating the Cake Batter

A stand mixer with creamy cake batter for the Jamaican Black Cake recipe, with a rubber spatula scraping the sides of the bowl

Once the fruit paste is ready, it’s time to create the cake batter. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Large eggs are then added one by one, beating at medium speed after each addition.

The dry mixture is then incorporated into the butter mixture on low speed, followed by the fruit paste. This process is vital for the texture of the cake.

Baking Your Jamaican Black Cake

A bundt pan lined with parchment paper, filled with the batter of the Jamaican Black Cake recipe, ready to be baked in the oven

Once the batter is ready, pour it into a prepared baking pan lined with parchment paper. The cake is then baked in a preheated oven.

It’s essential to monitor the oven temperature carefully to prevent the cake from burning. The cake is ready when a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Finishing Touches for Your Jamaican Black Cake

The baked Jamaican Black Cake on a wire rack, with a bottle of rum beside it, ready for the final rum-infusion process

Once the cake is baked, it’s time for the final and most important step of the Jamaican Black Cake recipe – the rum infusion.

While still warm, the cake is pricked all over with a skewer, and a mixture of dark rum and cherry brandy is gently poured over the cake. This step ensures that the cake is thoroughly soaked with the rum mixture, adding more depth to its flavor and moist texture.

Adapting the Jamaican Black Cake Recipe to Your Taste

A slice of the Jamaican Black Cake on a plate, with a fork and a bottle of rum visible in the background

One of the beauties of the Jamaican Black Cake recipe is its adaptability. The type and amount of alcohol used can vary based on personal preference.

Some prefer a milder taste with less rum, while others love a stronger, more potent flavor.

You can also experiment with different types of dried fruits or add optional ingredients like almond extract or Angostura bitters to enhance the flavors.

Conclusion: Enjoying Your Jamaican Black Cake

There you have it – the Jamaican Black Cake recipe in all its glory! This cake is a flavorful dessert that offers a unique taste of the Caribbean.

Whether you’re trying to recreate a childhood memory, looking for a special occasion cake, or just want to try something new and exciting, this rich, fruity cake is sure to impress.

So why wait? Dive into the joys of making this traditional Black Cake and enjoy a slice of the Caribbean!

If you love this cake, you should also try our traditional Irish Christmas Cake recipe!

Traditional Jamaican Black Cake Recipe

Traditional Jamaican Black Cake Recipe

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 7 days
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Jamaican Black Cake, also known as Christmas Cake, is a rich and decadent dessert, deeply ingrained in Jamaican tradition. This heartwarming cake is packed with dried fruits and warm spices, all soaked in dark rum and red wine. It's a perfect dessert for the holiday season, but trust us, you'll want to have it all year round!


Fruit Mix

  • 1 cup prunes, chopped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup mixed peel
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1 cup red wine


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup burnt sugar or browning
  • 1/2 cup mixed fruit juice (from the soaked fruits)
  • 1/2 cup dark rum (for feeding the cake)


  1. A week (or up to a month) in advance, prepare the fruit mix. Combine all the dried fruits in a large bowl, pour in the rum and red wine, ensuring the fruits are completely submerged. Cover and let it soak.
  2. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Grease and line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until it becomes light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, ensuring each is well incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla extract.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and salt.
  6. Gradually fold in the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, mixing just until incorporated.
  7. Blend the soaked fruits in a food processor with some of the soaking liquid to make a thick, chunky paste.
  8. Fold the fruit paste and burnt sugar into the batter. Add the fruit juice and mix until well combined.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 2-2.5 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Once baked, slowly drizzle the additional rum over the hot cake. Let it cool completely in the pan.
  12. When cooled, remove the cake from the pan. It's best to let the cake rest for a day before serving to let the flavors meld together.


This traditional Jamaican Black Cake is rich and flavorful enough to stand alone, but if you want to take it up a notch, serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 650Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 200mgCarbohydrates: 100gNet Carbohydrates: 97gFiber: 3gSugar: 70gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 8g
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