In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

A Non Traditional Caribbean Christmas Rum/Fruit Cake.

Let’s be CLEAR, this is NOT a traditional Caribbean Christmas cake. However, this is for people who want cake but are a bit afraid of baking. For those of us who want something close to a traditional holiday cake, but didn’t soak their fruits for months leading up to Christmas as we normally do in the Caribbean. And finally, for those of us who just want a simple, quick and tasty cake.. with a hint rum and dried fruits.

You’ll Need…

2 boxed cake mix
1 cup rum (dark)
1 1/2 cup Port (or sherry – any fortified wine)
1 teaspoon nutmeg (fresh grated)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 orange (zest)
1 cup raisins
1 cup prunes (rough chop)
1 cup citrus peel
1 cup mixed fruit
1-2 tablespoon Caribbean Browning
1 1/2 tablespoon Vanilla

  • more Port or Rum for soaking the finished cake
  • whatever ingredients is mentioned on the box of the cake

Tip: Orange Zest – most oranges in north America tend to be coated with wax to enhance their shelf life, so try to get an organic orange for better zest. Wash and pat dry before zesting.

In a food processor or blender place the citrus peel, raisins, mixed fruit, prunes, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, rum, orange zest and Port. I like to give the prunes a rough chop as a means of verifying that there are no seeds. There are times when the package say seedless, but the odd seed still sticks around.

Puree to the consistency you like – I like tasting the ‘fruit’ in the cake so I go a bit chunky. Scrape down the sides.

Now for the packaged white cake (if you can find Orange flavored cake, that will rock).. pour the contents into a large bowl and add whatever the package says (eggs, butter etc). Whisk until smooth.

Add the “Browning” (check you local Caribbean grocers for Caribbean style browning) and whisk in for a bit of color and flavor. Then fold in the pureed fruits into the batter.

Now all you have to do is divide into two baking dishes and bake according to the cake’s package directions. I used a Bundt pan which I sprayed with cooking spray as I find I get a more evenly cooked cake, due to the hole in the center. You’ll notice that I didn’t divide the batter evenly – your choice.

45 Minutes later at 350 F the cake were fully cooked. But do pay attention to the package cooking time and use a toothpick to test doneness (stick a toothpick into the thickest part of the cake and if comes out dry, it’s fully cooked). You may need to adjust the cooking time to compensate for the density of the fruits we added.

Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool (I used the same pan to cook the second cake). Once cool I brushed on some more Port – a Caribbean thing! Feel free to brush with rum instead if you wish.

Remember to NOT drive after eating this Port soaked cake. Simple, light and packed with fruity goodness. A treat when you don’t want all the work associated with a traditional Caribbean Rum / Black / Fruit cake.

Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and don’t forget you can now get my cookbook – The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @

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  1. Anita Woods
    November 4, 2021 / 9:29 am

    Can I make this ahead and freeze it?

  2. Vera
    April 12, 2021 / 11:42 pm

    Would like s traditional Trinadadian Christmas cake recipe please.

  3. Veronica
    March 30, 2021 / 7:48 pm

    Oye Chris yah doing dixie wid de recipes man!!
    Too too good👍🏿

  4. Amanda
    December 27, 2020 / 1:05 pm

    Thank you for this recipe. It was quick and easy. And I got so many compliments. I will definitely be making this again.

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