Jamaican Black Fruit Cake is known by different names throughout the Caribbean diaspora. This traditional Christmas dessert also called “Black Fruit Cake,” “Christmas Cake,” “Rum Cake,” or “Black Cake,” is arguably the best-tasting cake ever invented.
In this blog, you will learn a bit about black cake and how to make this traditional sweet delicacy.
JAMAICAN CHRISTMAS TRADITION
Baking this black fruit cake brought back many childhood memories for me. My mother reigned supreme over this family Christmas tradition.
Growing up, Black Fruit Cake baking was a family affair in our house and many households in Jamaica, and almost everyone pitched in.
Because we did not own a mixer at the time, my siblings took turns creaming the butter and sugar with the infamous aluminum metal spoon. This method was time-consuming and was also a good arm workout.
Our first reward was to argue about who did the most work and thus earned the right to lick the raw fruit cake batter from the bowl or spoon. However, in the Christmas spirit of sharing, we all ended up enjoying the fruits of our labor.
Where Did Black Fruit Cake Originate?
According to Caribbean Heritage Magazine and NPR , the invention of the black cake dates back to the 1700s to 1800s during British colonial rule. It was said that black fruit cake evolved from the Plum Pudding, which the British colonizers brought and introduced to the Caribbean.
The locals improved the recipe by adding their own spin using local ingredients. Since then, Black Fruit Cake has evolved and become a Christmas holiday tradition in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean.
Click HERE to read more about the History of Black Fruit Cake
Why You Should Make Jamaican Black Fruit Cake?
Eating black fruit cake will make you forget about your worries. The aroma of the rum fruit cake baking permeated our home and the yards of our neighbors.
We could not wait for the twelve fruit cakes to come out of the oven, drizzled with liquor, cool down, and have our first slice of cake for dessert.
A black fruit cake recipe has many variations. As a result, the color, flavor, and texture vary from one another.
This traditional delicacy is not just for Christmas; it is also popular as a wedding, birthday, or anniversary cake. It can be made for any occasion at any time of year. Furthermore, because of the rum content, it has a long shelf life.
Do not be intimidated by the number of ingredients in my recipe. “If Yuh Waa Good, Yuh Nose Haffi Run,” is a commonly used phrase used by many Jamaicans.
In other words, in order to achieve certain goals, such as baking a delicious black fruit cake, you must make sacrifices.
Happy Holidays And A Blessed New Year
I hope you enjoy this Jamaican fruit cake recipe as much as my family does. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year filled with joy and a delicious slice of my Jamaican rum fruit cake.
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Jamaican Style Black Fruit Cake
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How To Make Jamaican Rum Black Fruit Cake
- Hand Mixer
- Wooden Spoon
- Mixing Bowls
- Food Processor or Blender
- 8-inches Foil Baking Tins or Pans (2)
Rum Infused Fruits Ingredients
- 3½ cups Mixed Peels
- 2½ cups Raisins
- 2 cups currants
- 2½ cups Prunes
- 3 cups Cherry Brandy or Red Label Wine
- 2 cups Manischewitz Cherry Wine
- 3 cups J Wray & Nephew White Rum
Dry Cake Ingredients
- 1¼ cups All-purpose Flour
- 2½ cups Light Brown Sugar
- 1 medium Lime and Lemon, Zested
- ¼ cup Browning Sauce
- 1 tbsp. Cinnamon Powder
- 2 tsp. Nutmeg, Grated
- 1 tsp Salt
Wet Cake Ingredients
- 2 sticks Unsalted Butter (16 oz.)
- 5 medium Brown or White Eggs
- ¼ cup J Wray & Nephew White Rum
- ⅓ cup Cherry Brandy or Red Label Wine
- 1 tsp. Almond Extract
- 2 tbsp. Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup Browning
Soaking Fruits In Rum and Wine
- This is the most important and simplest part of the black fruit cake recipe, and it can be done months ahead of time. The fruits used in this recipe, however, were only soaked in rum/wine for about a month.Combine the mixed peels, currants, raisins, and prunes in a mixing bowl.
- Stir the fruits together with a spoon to evenly distrbute them. Pour in roughly equal parts red wine, cherry brandy, and white rum until the fruits are covered. This step does not have a specific recipe. The goal is for the fruits to soak up the alcohol's delicious goodness.
- Fill clean glass jars with the rum fruits. Do not overfill the jars with fruits. You'll need space for the fruits to expand as they absorb the rum during storage. Cover glass jars with lids and store them at room temperature.The fruit ingredients in this recipe produced three glass containers. Each glass container holds approximately 3-4 cups of soaked rum fruits.
Let's Blend The Fruits
- Add 3 cups of the rum-soaked fruits (1 glass jar) to a food processor or blender and blend on low until smooth or desired texture is reached. Personally, I prefer mine a little chunky.
Cream Butter and Sugar
- The butter in the recipe must be room temperature soft. In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and brown sugar. Cream them together with a hand mixer until they are light and fluffy.
- Zest a medium lime and lemon with a ZESTER; each should yield about 1 to 2 tablespoons.
- Break each egg into a bowl. Mix the lemon and lime zest into the egg. The zest not only adds flavor, but also masks some of the raw egg smell.
- While mixing on medium speed, gradually add the zesty eggs to the creamed butter-sugar mixture. The mixture may appear curdled, but this is perfectly fine.
- After the eggs have been incorporated, add the blended rum fruits. Combine these ingredients with a wooden spoon. You can use the mixer to help combine all of the ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 250 °F.
- Mix the browning, white rum, and wine into the cake batter with a spoon. The amount of browning you use determines how dark the cake will turn out; the more you use, the darker the cake.However, do not add too much browning sauce; It is actually burnt sugar. Adding too much may result in a bitter fruit cake.
Prepare The Dry Ingredients
- Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon powder in a mixing bowl. Mix in the grated nutmeg thoroughly.
- Cut and fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients in small batches with a spoon until evenly distributed.I personally like to add the vanilla and almond extracts at the end. Using a spoon, incorporate the liquid extracts into the cake batter.
- Grease each 8-inch cake pans with unsalted butter. In this recipe, however, I portioned some of the cake batter to fill a 5-inch pan.Pour the fruit cake batter evenly into each pan and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until an Inserted bamboo skewer into the center of each cake comes out clean. Remove them from the oven.
- In a small bowl, combine equal parts wine and rum (about 1/4 cup). Drizzle the rum mixture over each cake while it is still warm. Allow it to cool completely at room temperature. Each pan of fruit cake yields 8 to 10 servings or slices.
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