Jamaican Black Cake

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Jamaican Black Cake

Photo by Food.52

A special occasion cake, the Jamaican Black Cake is generally at the center of every holiday and celebration – whether it’s Christmas or a wedding, it’s a staple dessert recipe. This moist cake can add a festive tone to your holiday season. Here’s what you need to know about its history and how to make it. 

What Is the Jamaican Black Cake? 

Black Cake is not only a tradition at Christmas and weddings in Jamaica, but it’s a staple that can be found across the Caribbean islands. There are other names it’s known by – rum cake, Christmas cake, or even wedding cake. It is made using dried fruit that has been soaked in either wine or rum. That fruit is then either blended or added whole into the batter. After baking, more wine or rum is poured over the top of the cake to keep it moist. 

Getting Started Making Black Cake

The first step you want to take when you make this delicious treat is soaking your dried fruit. You’ll place the dried fruit in a jar and cover it with your alcohol of choice – either a sweet dessert wine or rum. Then, you let it sit for at least 5 days. If your fruit soaks up all the wine, you’ll want to add more to keep it covering the fruits. The longer you let your fruit sit in the alcohol, the more it will soak up. People tend to be split on the next step – but you can either put the fruits in the blender to make a puree you then use in your batter or you can add them whole. 

Burnt Sugar

Many of the recipes for Black Cake call for burnt sugar. You can use dark brown sugar or purchase burnt sugar through a specialty store, or you cam create your own following the steps in this YouTube video.

Bake at a Low Temperature

Unlike many cakes, you’ll want to bake this one at 250 degrees Fahrenheit so you can get that nice softer pudding-like consistency for your cake. 

How to Make the Jamaican Black Cake

This recipe by Brigid Ransome Washington written for Food52 is an excellent one – particularly if you’d also like to embrace the tradition of making the cake and gifting it to friends or family members.