Categorized |Desserts

How To Make Caribbean Black Cake Part 2.

In part one of this black cake making recipe we focused on preparing the aromatic fruits we’ll be using to give the cake it truly unique Caribbean flavor. Black cake is one of those desserts you’ll find in just about every Caribbean home during the Christmas holidays and as we’ve discussed in part 1, just about everyone does things a bit different. This black cake recipe is one which takes me back to my childhood in Trinidad and Tobago as we all (brothers and sisters) assisted my mom in making these the night before Christmas. Besides the scent of freshly painted walls, varnished floors, new curtains and bed sheets… the tempting fragrance out of the oven leading up to and including Christmas day is one of pure joyful memories for me. Cake, bread, bake pork and the smoked ham.

Let’s get baking…


You’ll Need…

2 sticks unsalted butter (1/2 lb)
1 cup brown sugar
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon mixed essence
4-5 cups dried fruits (puree/soaked)
2 cups allpurpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon browning (see note below)
1 teaspoon lime zest (grated)
dash of angostura bitters (optional) and a pinch of salt

Note: The browning required to give the cake the dark rich color and Caribbean flavor is not your typical gravy browning. It’s a Caribbean style  burnt sugar browning. Its consistency will be similar to molasses (thick). You can source this at any West Indian grocery store or you can make  your own if you prefer.

* Make sure the eggs are room temperature and the butter is soft.
* if you prefer to use granulated sugar instead of the brown sugar I mentioned, by all means do so. This is just my preference.

We’ll start off by creaming the butter and sugar until you have a fluffy and smooth consistency. You will also notice that the color will become more pale as you cream the butter. This is one of those times you’ll be thankful if you have a standing mixers. we don’t own one (Santa, please bring Chris a Kitchen Aid for Christmas. please boss), so in a large bowl I put the sugar and butter and using my handy hand mixer I went to work. Back in the old days I remember it was my dads job to do this with a large spoon. Mr Man was old school.

After you have a smooth and fluffy batter base, it’s time to start adding the eggs. Remember to have them at room temperature for best results, add one at a time and mix it thoroughly.  Tip : Crack each egg into a small bowl first so you can fish out any shell if any pieces fall in.. this way you’re not diving in the batter for it)

After you’ve added and worked in all the eggs, it’s time to add the vanilla, bitters, mixed essence and lime zest and give it a good mix.  Seeing that I was using a hand mixer I added the soaked fruits in two batches to make less work for the mixer. I added 3 cups, worked it in with a spatula, then gave it a good mix with the hand mixer.. then repeated with the other 2 cups of fruits. I now had the ‘wet’ batter completely mixed.

By now you’ll start getting that wonderful scent of cake batter, spiced by the wonderful soaked fruits. Now it’s time to work with the dry ingredients, then combine everything. In another bowl I placed the flour, pinch of salt, cinnamon, nutmeg (if you have freshly grated that would work best) allspice and baking powder. Give that a good mix and I would even suggest sifting to really have it mix evenly. We’ll now start adding the dry ingredients to the wet batter, but do so in 1/3 amounts (so three times). To make mixing easier and to allow for even mixing.

 With the batter completely mixed, it’s time to add the browning (see note above about type) and time to give the entire batter it’s final mix.


You’ll have enough batter here for 2 round pans (10-12 inches) or as in my case I used 3 disposable rectangle pans. Not only did I grease then, I also lined them with parchment paper to avoid any issues when they were done baking (to remove them). I got the pans in the dollar store and I like the fact that they came with lids, so I could easily seal them when they were cooled. Great for giving as Christmas gifts.

Pour in enough batter to 2/3  up the pan and place in a preheated 250 F oven for 2.5 hours. Since your oven will differ from mine, I suggest you give the cake the toothpick test after the 2.5 hrs to see if it’s fully baked. In the video below I explain this. If it’s not fully cooked, put it back in for another 20-30 minutes. I baked mine on the middle shelf of my oven if you’re wondering and it was completely baked after 2.5 hours.

After you remove the cakes from the oven allow it to cool for a bit, then you can brush a mixture of rum and sherry over it and allow it to soak through the cake. This will give it that added kick! Trust meh!

Before you go I invite you to leave me your comments below.. even if it just to say hello. It’s always appreciated. And don’t forget to join us on facebook and do check out the cooking videos.

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73 Responses to “How To Make Caribbean Black Cake Part 2.”

  1. Michelle B says:

    Hi Chris

    I reside in the uk and just wanted to know what size cup i should use in your recipes as i notice you do not use ounces or kg in your recipes.



  2. Linda says:

    I grew up with my stepdad making and selling these every Christmas and in my opinion made the best black cake on the island. He was from Jamaica but lived on St Thomas. After he died 11years ago, I began to regret not learning to bake all the wonderful goodies he made. My fruits have been soaking from early December and this week I am going to do a test run using your recipe. I will omit the lime zest and bitters as he never used those. Will let you know how it turns. Wish me luck!

  3. Fiona George says:

    Excellent step by step instructions I am going to try and bake I will let you know how it turns out

  4. Tara says:

    I made this cake for Christmas & it was amazing… The cake went in two days thanks to my mum & sister. So I am making another one today. Hopefully this will last longer lol.

  5. Rayne says:

    Hi Chris,
    Happy new year to you and your family. Had to let you know I made this Christmas Eve and it was enjoyed so much it only lasted 2 days. Currently have new batch of fruits soaking.
    Thank you

  6. Tremayne says:

    How do you store it after you have made it?

  7. Kathy (Trinidad) says:

    Am a lover of black cake. I tried making it from another recipe but did not like the finished result. Was not here for the Christmas and am having family and friends over on Sunday. About to start my cake in a few minutes and am using this recipe. Am sure its going to come out perfect. Am going to give you a feed back on the completed, baked and tasted product.

  8. Esther Chatterpaul-Taylor says:

    Oh my Chris, I followed your recipe to the T…so they r in the oven baking and Voila..can’t wait to eat me some Black cake!!!Thank you!!

  9. Alana says:

    Hey Chris I made this last year family loved it .I’m Guyanese so its a bit different from my mom and grandmother.Any how we will enjoy it this year again. Is it OK to bake it 1week before and just add a little sherry and or wine till I’m ready to serve?

  10. Sheila says:

    Turned out great. Tastes amazing. I know my bro n sis in NY who’s about to receive theirs by mail soon will enjoy it too. BF calls it liquor cake :)
    Thank you for this recipe


  11. Beverley Jones says:

    Great job christ

  12. Beverley Jones says:

    I certainly have learn a lot thank you .I remember those days back home we the younger kids took terns to wash the butter but instead we are using unsalted butter instead the way you showed us to make it as i remember is exactly i was taught .Usually my sister baked my cake but this year she will not be baking so i will ,thanks for the tips, great job

  13. Sheila says:

    Im about to give your recipe a try. Gotta to try and impress the in laws to be…
    will let you know how my cake turns out


  14. Its wonderful to see Trinidad black cake taking a big stand for the best cake for christmas….We are from Madeira island originally ,,but I was only five years old,,when my family moved to Trinidad to make it our new home ,,,and that we did,,and loved every minute of it..My aunt (my mother’s sister was a wiz in the kitchen,,and she saw how the black cake was produced,,and in those days there were no fancy mixers,,the hand was the mixer and we all joined in…I don’t think any one enjoys Christmas as we did…..they were the best………..thank you Querino xx

  15. Elnora.Cottle says:

    Hi Chris season greetings to you and your family. Iam going to soak my fruits to make my cake,tonight to make black cake it will be my first time making it ,with your recipe i am sure it will come out great. thanks and have a great Christmas.


  1. […] engage in as we visit family and friends during the Christmas season on the islands. Currants roll, Caribbean fruit (rum) cake, Jamaican spice bun, rock buns (coconut drops), red coconut tart and pineapple […]

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