Jamaican Style Black Fruit Cake Recipe.

Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake

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.


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.

If you haven’t read my last blog already,  Jamaican Sorrel Drink is traditionally also served during the Christmas holidays and pairs nicely with this fruit cake. Click HERE for the sorrel recipe.

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.


© Food Explora 2022 All Rights Reserved.

Before you scroll down to the recipe, follow me on My Instagram and FaceBook

JamaicanISHfoodie is a food and travel explora that will take you on a cultural journey. He exhibits everything related to food, culture, and travel.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Kevin Foodie (@jamaicanishfoodie)

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links. When you buy through any of these links, we will receive a commission. This is at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Food Explora and allowing the blog site to continue to bring you valuable content.

If you do not own a Gourmia Air Fryer, here are my links for your shopping convenience. They are easy to use and clean. 


Jamaican Style Black Fruit Cake

Here are all the ingredients you will need.

Below are some amazon ingredient links for your shopping convenience.

Your kitchen will need one of these kitchen cookwares. Click on each for more detailed information and your shopping convenience.


Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake

How To Make Jamaican Rum Black Fruit Cake

Kevin Foodie
Jamaican black fruit cake is a popular Christmas and New Year's dessert. It's rummy and full of different appealing flavors and textures. All our senses (sight, smell, taste, and feel) are used during this baking process.
Our parents and grandparents did not use a recipe. They rely on their experiences and judgment. This recipe produces a very moist and dense fruit cake that you will enjoy and appreciate.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Soaking Fruits In Rum and Wine 30 days
Course Dessert
Cuisine Caribbean, Jamaican
Servings 16 People


  • Oven
  • Hand Mixer
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Zester
  • Food Processor or Blender
  • 8-inches Foil Baking Tins or Pans (2)
  • Sieve


Rum Infused Fruits Ingredients

  • cups Mixed Peels
  • cups Raisins
  • 2 cups currants
  • 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

  • cups All-purpose Flour
  • 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
  • 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.
    Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake
  • 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.
    Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake
  • 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.
    Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake

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.
    Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake

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.
    Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake
  • Zest a medium lime and lemon with a ZESTER; each should yield about 1 to 2 tablespoons.
    Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake. lemon zest
  • 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.
    Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake. eggs
  • 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.
    Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake
  • 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.
    Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake
  • 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.
    Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas 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.
    sifted flour
  • 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.
    Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake
  • 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.
    Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake
  • 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.
    Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake



Food Explora's  Fruit Cake Bake Tips:
Easy Way Out
My mother recently taught me this tip. You can substitute a cake mix for the step of creaming the butter and sugar.
Prepare your favorite Cake Mix according to the instructions on the box.
Mix in 2 cups of the blended rum fruit mix into the cake batter. Bake at 250°F for about 1 1/2 hours, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
The texture and flavor will differ from that of a traditional black fruit cake. However, you will still enjoy the flavor.
Wine Substitutes
Red Label Wine was out of stock in NYC stores due to the Christmas cake season. As a result, I substituted Cherry Brandy and Manischewitz red wine.
The Wooden Spoon Test
One way to test that the cake batter is the right consistency is that a wooden spoon will stand erect in the cake batter without toppling over. Jamaican Black Fruit Christmas Cake
The Fast Lane Drunken Fruits
The preparation of Black Fruit Cake for the Christmas season usually begins the year before. For the next Christmas cake season, the fruits are soaked in rum and wine for about a year.
If you want to make this cake before Christmas or New Year's, cook the fruits in the wine and rum for 10 to 15 minutes before blending to your desired texture.
This method allows the alcohol to penetrate and flavor the fruits much more quickly. However, the longer the fruits soak in the rum and wine, the better the fruit cake tastes, at least in my opinion.
Give Fruit Cake A Steam Bath
Baking pans may be lined with grease or wax paper. For a more moist cake, place pans with cake batter inside a large and wide enough container. Fill the container with water halfway up the sides of the cake pan and slow cook in the oven at 250 °F.
Lock In The Moisture
After the cakes have been dressed with wine and have completely cooled. Remove the cakes from the pan and wrap them with plastic wrap and then in a foil sheet.
This will lock in the moisture and prevent them from drying out. Drizzle and bathe cake with the cherry wine or brandy each week to replenish the moisture.
The cakes can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 months and up to 1 year in the freezer.
Keyword Black Cake, Black Fruit Cake, Christmas Cake, Currant, J Wray and Nephew White Rum, Jamaican Fruit Cake, Mixed Peels, Prune, Raisins, Red Label Wine

© Food Explora 2022 All Rights Reserved.

I would love to know what you think. Please leave a comment and star rating. What is your favorite Christmas sweet treat?

37 thoughts on “Jamaican Style Black Fruit Cake Recipe.”

  1. This looks amazing, I’d love to try it sometime. Love that you include an easy way out for those of us that aren’t prepared.
    Hope you had a very merry Christmas and happy new year!

  2. 5 stars
    I love all of your Jamaican recipes! I think I’d really enjoy this Jamaican Style Black Fruit Cake Recipe. I’ve never used cherry brandy, but I can imagine it gives off a great flavor in this cake. Thanks for sharing, Kevin!

  3. I baked on grandmarket night and I didn’t even get a proper slice out of 4 tins!!! And to think my fruit cake didn’t turnout like last year and I was missing one ingredient. I keep shying away from using the zest. In my recipe I use the orange rind but I never use it. I always domy cakes without it

  4. I am usually not one for fruit cakes, but this sounds delicious and love how many memories it brings back for you! I really love when people share food and memories of them, makes a recipe even more special! Thanks for sharing Kevin!

  5. 5 stars
    The cake looks yummy in the photo. I’ve never heard of it before as I am not familiar with Jamaican cuisine, but I’m happy I learned about this new recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you Kevin
        I have always done the traditional black cake, but I am not as young as I used to be, and making 10-12 cakes takes a lot out of me. I had tried the cake mix version years ago but didn’t really like the outcome. I came across your recipe, tried it and it was a hit I told everyone I will be do this one this year.
        I might try adding a small amount of flour and see what happens.
        Thank you again. Blessings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating