Every year I make black cake for Christmas. Black cake is a dark and decadent fruit cake made with dried fruit, rum and caramelized sugar. This cake is very popular in the Caribbean especially around Christmas time. This recipe that I’m sharing with you is a variation of my mom’s recipe and the one found in the Naparima Cookbook.
One of the most important ingredients of this recipe is the soaked dried fruit. Traditionally, the dried fruit is soaked from a few days to months in rum before making the cake. The first time I made black cake, however, I had no soaked fruit so my mom shared with me a quick soak method. Simply boil the dried fruit in some grape juice and malta for a few minutes and let it cool. This quick soaking method is what I outline in my recipe.
Prep Time: 30 minutes . Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours . Yield: 36 Servings
1 Lb Prunes, pitted and chopped1 Lb Raisins
1 Lb Golden Raisins
1 Lb Currants
2 Cups Grape Juice
2 Cups Malta
1 Cup Rum
4 Cups All Purpose Flour
4 Tsp Baking Powder
2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp Ground Allspice
1 Lb Unsalted Butter, softened
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla or Mixed Extract
1/4 to 1/2 Cup Browning
Zest from 1 to 2 Limes
Zest from 1 to 2 Lemons
Zest from 1 to 2 Oranges
1/2 Lb Maraschino Cherries, halved
“Quick” Soak Fruits
Combine dried fruit, grape juice and malta in a large pan. Bring to boil for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in rum and set aside to cool completely.
1. Preheat oven to 250F.
2. Sift flour, baking powder and spices. Set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
4. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add zest and extract.
5. Gradually fold flour mixture (about 1 cup at a time) into wet ingredients.
6. Fold in soaked fruit, cherries and browning. Add enough browning to get your desired color.
7. Line three 8” cake tins with wax paper. Evenly divide batter into the tins.
8. Bake for 60 minutes at 250F then reduce heat to 200F and bake for another 90 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
Optional: Pour about 1 cup of rum over cakes and soak overnight.