To Die For Guyanese Black Cake (Fruit or Christmas Cake)

To Die For Guyanese Black Cake (Fruit or Christmas Cake)

Black Cake by any other name does not taste the same. Black cake is the term used to refer to a dense cake made from lots of aged rum-soaked dried fruit.This recipe is for Black Cake or Christmas cake as they say in Guyana. It is a fruit cake that is served during the Christmas holidays and other special occasions such as a wedding. My mother also called this recipe “pound cake” because it calls for a pound of everything. When I was a child and I helped my mother and grandmother  prepare this cake, we had to wash and stir the salted butter to take out the salt. I am sure glad that I can just buy unsalted butter now. It seems that egg beating took forever then too. Thank God for modern appliances. It was worth the effort though as it was delicious. My cousins also remember having to save sardine cans to bake the cake. Glad we don’t have to do that anymore, but for those who recycle, it would be a great way to make small cakes and get the little tykes involved.

During the holidays, every home baked their version of Black cake. Family and friends would visit each other over the course of the Christmas Holiday, and you either ate or took home a piece of this cake. Black cake and ginger beer was served everywhere we went. So do you still keep this tradition?

Fruits processed in the food processor and soaking in rum. I used our local eastern shore, Maryland rum. (Picaroon Rum from Blackwater Distilling on Kent Island, Maryland, but you can use Guyana’s El Dorado Rum or good local craft rum.

Christmas Cake/Blackcake/Caribbean Furitcake

June 1, 2018
: 15 min
: 45 min
: 60 min
: Moderate


  • 1 Pound seedless raisins (16ozs.)
  • 1 Pound Dried currants (16 ozs.)
  • 1 Pound pitted prunes (16 ozs.)
  • 1 Cup Sweet Sherry or wine
  • 1/3 Cup dark rum
  • 1 Pound unsalted butter (2 Cups or 4 sticks)
  • 2 3/4 Cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 4 Cups self-rising flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin spice (or combo cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg)
  • Step 1 Mince all fruit in grinder or food processor.
  • Step 2 Place in large bowl and add 1 cup wine and 1/3 cup dark rum.
  • Step 3 Cover and let soak for 2-8 weeks (can do it shorter if pressed for time but the longer the better)
  • Step 4 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Step 5 Grease and flour cake pans (about 4 9 inch round pans).
  • Step 6 Beat flour and sugar together.
  • Step 7 In a separate container, beat all the eggs until fluffy.
  • Step 8 Slowly blend with butter mixture.
  • Step 9 Add fruit and liquor mixture. Mix well.
  • Step 10 Sift flour and baking powder together. Add to fruit mixture.
  • Step 11 Add vanilla and spices.
  • Step 12 Divide batter between 4 pans and bake in the middle of the oven until knife or fork comes out clean. (45-60 minutes).
  • Step 13 Cool in pan before turning it out.
  • Step 14 Decorate with icing if desired.

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