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  • Writer's pictureBaking with Chickens

Jamaican Rum Cake (Caribbean Black Cake)

I learned that every family has their own rum cake recipe and it's a source of pride. My cousin Todd's family in Jamaica have their cherished recipe that his aunties won't share with him even though he's begged and pleaded. So he recreated it himself after watching hours and hours of YouTube videos and scouring recipes. Jamaican Rum Cake, or Caribbean Black Cake, or Christmas Cake, whatever you call it it's made usually around Christmas time and for celebrations.

chicken with rum cake

The confusing part of his recipe is that there's no rum in it! It uses dried fruit soaked in wine for the best flavor. The fruit is soaked for 3 months or longer, but a few weeks will also work. I made mine with a mix of red wine and spiced rum soaked for 9 months, because (1) I forgot about it, and (2) what's a rum cake without rum?!

This cake packs a boozy punch. After baking it with the mashed up booze-soaked fruit, the finished cake is soaked in MORE booze and it's forking delicious.

A Couple Notes:

  • I advise halving the browning recipe to avoid wasted sugar. I followed the instructions exactly in this recipe to make browning (burnt sugar syrup) but it made WAY more than needed for the cake. Don't overcook or the browning will be thick and sticky like caramel, it should be more liquid. Or buy some pre-made browning online.

  • Decoration: I opted for a simple powdered sugar with maraschino cherries. My cousin Todd like to top his with a cream cheese frosting. It's also delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  • Cake Texture: This recipe made a cake that was more pudding-like in texture than cake. Todd uses more flour in his recipe so it's more like a dense cake. It's all up to your personal preference!

  • Cut the Recipe in Half: There was so much batter and it made three 9-inch cakes! Cut the recipe in half and you'll have a more reasonable amount of cake and batter. And you won't need to use 10 eggs, only 5.

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