This Caribbean fruit cake is made during the holidays by many homes throughout the Caribbean and in Guyana. My mother always called this “pound cake” because her recipe calls for a pound of just about every ingredient in it. When I was a child, and I helped my mother to bake this cake, we had to wash the salted butter and stir and beat eggs, it seems like forever. But it was worth the waiting. With our modern conveniences and the ability to buy unsalted butter, this recipe is so much easier to bake now for the holidays and special occasions. It is a delicious tradition that my family continues during the holidays and as a special wedding cake for guests.
Preparations for the holidays usually begins in early December. In addition to cleaning homes, (like Spring cleaning in the U.S), families would begin to soak the fruit for this Christmas Cake as well as begin making ginger beer early in December. Enough cake and ginger beer was made to serve all the guests (an open house for family,neighbors and friends) on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. I ate more Christmas cake that others baked when I was growing up by the visits than were eaten in my own home. But I think that was true for everyone else. In addition to the holidays, my Guyanese-German American Family has black cake as a wedding cake. My Baby Poowah (aunt) is a master baker, and she has made and iced this cake for a traditional Guyanese cake for my two children’s weddings.
This recipe is for a crowd as it makes 4 pans of cake. Share as gifts with family and friends for the holidays or share with guests. It is a delicious, moist fruit cake! Here is the fruit processed in the food processor and soaking in rum.
Guyanese Black Cake (Christmas Cake)
- 1 pound seedless raisins
- 1 pound dried currants,
- 1 pound prunes, pitted
- 1 cup sweet sherry or red wine
- 1/3 cup dark rum
- 1 pound unsalted butter (2 cups or four sticks)
- 2 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 dozen eggs
- 4 cups self rising flour (0r all purpose plus 1 Tablespoon baking powder)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin spice or 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and
- One and ahalf teaspoons pumpkin spice
- Or combination of cinnamon cloves and nut Meg
- Step 1 Using either a hand grinder or food processor, mince fruit.
- Step 2 Place minced fruit in a bowl, add sherry or wine and rum, cover and let soak for 2 to 8 weeks. The longer the better.
- Step 3 Preheat oven to 350°.
- Step 4 Grease and flour cake pans (About 4 9inch round pans.)
- Step 5 Beat butter and sugar together.
- Step 6 In a separate bowl, beat all the eggs until fluffy.
- Step 7 Slowly blend with butter mixture.
- Step 8 Add fruit and liquor, mix well.
- Step 9 Sift flour and baking powder together.
- Step 10 Add to fruit mixture.
- Step 11 Add vanilla and spices.
- Step 12 Divide batter between pans and bake in the middle of the oven until knife or fork comes out clean. About 45 to 60 minutes.
- Step 13 Cool in pan before turning out.
- Step 14 Decorate with icing if desired. (For wedding cakes)