What Is Black Cake: Exploring the Culinary Delight of this Caribbean Dessert

what is black cake
what is black cake

slice of jamaican black cake on plate with whole cake in background

Welcome to Takeout Food, the ultimate destination for culinary exploration. In this article, we delve into the rich and moist world of Black Cake, a beloved dessert that is a staple in Caribbean cuisine. Known by various names such as rum cake, Christmas cake, and wedding cake, Black Cake holds a special place in the hearts and palates of many.

The Essence of Black Cake

Black Cake, as the name suggests, is a cake that is truly black. It is a cake that boasts a dense, moist texture and is infused with the flavors of strong liquor and an array of aromatic ingredients. Growing up in a Jamaican household, Black Cake was a centerpiece of our celebrations, particularly during Christmas and weddings. It became a symbol of joy and togetherness, a dessert that brought families and friends closer.

jamaican black cake on table with cherries and drink behind it

Ingredients that Make Black Cake Special

Before we embark on the journey of making Black Cake, it’s important to gather the essential ingredients. While each recipe may have slight variations, the core ingredients remain the same:

  • Dried fruits: Traditionally, Black Cake incorporates dried pitted prunes, currants, dried cherries, and raisins. Feel free to substitute or add other dried fruits per your preference.

  • Red sweet wine: Red Label Wine, a Jamaican wine, is commonly used, although any sweet dessert wine can be substituted.

  • Butter, Flour, Sugar, Breadcrumbs, Eggs, Baking Powder: These basic cake ingredients provide structure and texture, with the breadcrumbs contributing to the cake’s moistness.

  • Spices, Lime, and Extracts: Aromatic spices, lime juice, and various extracts elevate the flavor profile of the cake.

  • Burnt Sugar and Browning: These two ingredients are responsible for the cake’s distinctive black color. They can be found in specialty stores or online.

The Process of Making Black Cake

fruits used for black cake

To create the luscious Black Cake, the first step is to soak the dried fruits in wine. Traditionally, they are soaked for a minimum of 5 days, but some prefer longer durations for a more intense flavor. The soaked fruits, along with the wine, are then blended into a smooth mixture.

dried fruits and wine soaking

Once the fruit mixture is ready, gather all the other ingredients. Cream the butter and dark brown sugar until fluffy, then add the eggs, lime juice and zest, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix in the flour mixture, combining it thoroughly.

dry ingredients mixed in white bowl
butter and suger that has been beaten in bowl

Finally, fold in the blended fruit and wine mixture, along with the burnt sugar and browning, until fully combined. The batter will transform into a deep, dark hue, hinting at the deliciousness that lies within.

wet and dry ingredients mixed
burnt sugar and browning added to cake batter

Pour the mixture into a prepared baking pan and bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 2 and a half hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before transferring it to a serving platter.

jamaican black cake batter in pan
baked cake in pan

For an extra touch of indulgence, pour a quarter cup of red dessert wine over the cake while it’s still warm. Let the cake cool overnight, allowing it to absorb the liquid and further enhance the flavors.

wine poured over jamaican black cake before absorbing
black cake finished

Serve and savor this magnificent creation, savoring every bite.


Q: Can I find the ingredients for Black Cake easily?

A: Most ingredients for Black Cake can be found in local grocery stores, and specialized ingredients like browning and burnt sugar can be purchased online or in Caribbean markets.

Q: How long does Black Cake last?

A: Black Cake can be stored at room temperature for a few days. However, it tends to disappear quickly due to its irresistible taste!

At Takeout Food, we celebrate the joy and artistry of culinary exploration. Black Cake is a true testament to the vibrant flavors and traditions woven into the Caribbean culinary culture. We hope this article has inspired you to embark on your own Black Cake baking adventure, embracing the warmth and indulgence it brings to any occasion.

Remember, Takeout Food is your go-to resource for culinary inspiration. Visit our website Takeout Food for a vast selection of recipes, cooking tips, and culinary insights. Happy cooking!

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