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Black Cake (Jamaican Fruitcake)

recipe at a glance
Rating: 5/5
10 reviews
1 comment

ready in: over 5 hrs
serves/makes:   2 cakes

recipe id: 12819
cook method: oven, stovetop
Black Cake (Jamaican Fruitcake) Recipe
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1 pound raisins, minced
1 pound prunes, pitted, minced
1 pound dried currants, minced
1 pound glace cherries, minced
6 ounces glace lemon peel, minced
6 ounces glace orange peel, minced
3/4 liter Passover wine
3/4 liter dark rum
2 pounds dark brown sugar
1 cup water
4 1/4 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups sweet butter, softened
10 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup almond paste, if desired


In a large bowl, mix all the fruits thoroughly with the wine and the rum; let the fruit macerate, covered, at room temperature for at least two weeks.

In a heavy skillet combine half of the brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and gently boil the syrup, swirling the skillet occasionally, for a few minutes, or until it is reduced to 1-3/4 cups.

Let the syrup cool; reserve.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg together into a bowl. In the large bowl of an electric mixer cream together the remaining brown sugar and the butter until it is fluffy; then beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in the vanilla, the flour mixture, and 1-1/3 cups of the burnt sugar syrup, reserving the remaining syrup for another use.

In another large bowl, combine well the flour mixture and the fruit mixture and divide the batter between two buttered and floured 10" springform pans. Bake the cakes in the middle of a preheated 350 degrees F oven for two hours, or until a tooth pick inserted in the centers comes out with some crumbs adhering to it. (The centers of these cakes will be quite moist.)

Let the cakes cool in the pans on a rack, remove the sides and bottoms of the pans, and wrap the cakes in foil or wax paper. Let the cakes stand at room temperature for a week.

Roll out half the almond paste between sheets of plastic wrap to form a 10" round and remove the top sheet of plastic wrap. Fit the almond paste layer over one cake, trimming the edge if necessary, and remove the other sheet of plastic wrap. Roll out and fit the remaining almond paste onto the remaining cake in the same manner.

cook's notes

This cake may be iced. Found this while looking for Dark Date/Nut Cake and thought it could be used with only the dates and nuts as well as with all the above fruit.

added by jammer jcarson59


716 calories, 22 grams fat, 107 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams protein per serving.
Show full nutritional data (including Weight Watcher's Points ®, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins, and diabetic exchanges)

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comments & reviews

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Guest at

REVIEW: 4 star recipe rating
havent tried it yet but it looks good

Registered Member at
Member since:
Feb 10, 2002

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
I also got three cakes out of this recipe

Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
It produced 3 cakes and everyone loved them. I have kept the recipe for future use. I added a table spoon of browning though because it was not dark enough

Registered Member at
Member since:
Dec 7, 2012

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
I too have made this black cake at Christmas time since seeing it in Gourmet. I love fruitcake, and I find this one to be extraordinary, even tho my mom's recipe is still my fav (I am sure due to childhood memories, since I haven't made it in years).
I have noticed throughout the years that people who like fruitcake absolutely love black cake. I have also found that people who do not like fruitcake turn a blind eye to any type of fruitcake no matter how delicious. Yes, I have come across some fools who did not like this one, as well. They will never know what they are missing. Well, all I can say is more for me and my fellow fruitcake lovers!!!

Guest at

REVIEW: 4 star recipe rating
I used this recipe two years in a row and I'm a first time baker so I was impressed with the results. The cake is really moist and tasty, but I'm wondering if it should be a bit firmer and given the bake time on the recipe, it gets burned slightly around the edges. How do I prevent that?

Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
I first had Jamaican Black Cake from a monastery in Northern Michagan. Wanting to make it for myself, I found ths recipe to try. I find it very delicious. I wanted to make it in smaller loaves rather than one big cake. If you decide to do this, pay close attention to your baking time. I went for a full hour, changing the positioning of the loaves on the racks half way through, and ended up with about 4 our to 15 that were burned on the top. I am going to try soaking some in rum and see how they turn out!

Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
I also originally found this recipe in Gourmet in 1988. I made it several times, with RAVE reviews! Soak the fruit for at least a couple days. I make one large cake and several small loaves for giving for several years, until I lost the recipe in a move. I am glad someone thought to put it online, as it does not show up at the Gourmet website. One note: there is a huge amount of batter, I have a special extra large bowl to mix in. Also, a 2 gallon jar is good for soaking the fruit...and you can vary the fruit as to what is available. I don't like the preserved "fruitcake" fruits, so use real dried fruits.

Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
This recipe is word for word a recipe I found in Gourmet in November 1988, in an article by Laurie Colwin. Intrigued by the story, the ingredients, and the promise of an amazing experience, I've carried this around promising myself that this year,I will try this. This year,I did. It is wonderful. The original recipe calls for a layer of rolled almond paste and royal icing, which was the fate of one of the cakes. That made it too sweet. The other cake is perfect the way it is. Beware - glaceed cherries, lemons and oranges are hard to find at any time other than the holidays. Soaking the fruit in a decorative glass jar on the kitchen counter adds to the anticipation. Also, the recipe made two 10" and one 8" cake using springform pans.Next year, I may use several 8" or smaller pans so I can freeze or give away whole cakes. Worth the effort.

Guest at


This cake is best when the fruits are prepared and soaked for months; also when cake is cooled pour some good Port Wine over ever 2 days for presevation and moisture.Great, especially if you like a little alcohol taste.

Guest at

REVIEW: 4 star recipe rating
I was a bit nervous at first, being jamaican, the recipe is a bit different; but I must admit it came out quite wonderful. One thing though, I had to add a little browning for more color, as the name says 'blackcake'

Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
I tried this recipe and I have to say the it is GREAT!!! I'm of guyanese descent and I've been looking for a good black cake recipe for years and I'm so thankful to have found this one. This recipe makes a very moist, delicious cake. I will continue to use this recipe in the future. THANKS!!!

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