‘Tis the season for fruit cakes and if you’re looking for an extra rich and fruity Christmas Cake, this Jamaican Fruit Cake is the answer. Steeped in rich fruit, texture and colour, this fruit cake can be made without soaking the fruit for weeks in advance.
Ingredients in the Jamaican Fruit Cake
Jamaican fruit cake also known as Black fruit cake or Black cake, is rich in fruit and rum. It is similar to the traditional English fruit cake but with a bit of a Caribbean twist. Unlike traditional fruit cake that requires fruits to be soaked for weeks in advance, this recipe uses fruits that are stewed, roughly blended and then soaked in rum.
Although there are a lot of variations to how this cake is made, this specific recipe uses mostly soft dry fruits, such as raisins, currants and a lot of prunes. These fruits make the cake more fudgy in texture and very rich in taste.
The rest of the ingredients are regular cake staples apart from a cup of molasses. I buy molasses on Amazon and this one works pretty well. You can also check your regular baking supply stores for molasses.
Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, this cake is actually quite easy to make. You will however need a large mixing bowl, a cake beater or best a stand mixer that’ll do all the work for you since this makes a large batch of cake.
Other Christmas Cakes
Christmas Fruit Cake; this one is a classic recipe everyone needs. I make it every year for friends and family and it’s fail-proof
Holiday Fruitcake; you can throw this one together rather quickly and yield great results
Apricot Brandy Cake; this one is rich in flavour and taste. Apart from snipping the dates and apricots, this cake doesn’t demand much effort.
Apricot Almond Cake; Gluten-free and made mostly with apricots and almond flour. An absolute showstopper.
How to make the fruit mix
The fruit mixture for this cake needs to be made a day in advance. Once you’ve got the mixture ready and put it to a boil, you really don’t need to do much. Once the fruits have been stewed, roughly blend the mix and soak it in rum overnight and the mix is ready.
450 gms currants
450 gms raisins
450 gms prunes
200 gms glace cherries
200 gms apricots
3 bay leaves
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
500 ml dark rum
200 ml brandy
In a large bowl, heat about a litre of water, with the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Add the currants, raisins, prunes, cherries and apricots. Add the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg powders. Mix well and cook over a low flame for about 90 minutes. The water should be enough to just about cover the fruits. Check on the mix occasionally and add more water if needed.
Once the mix has cooked, take it off the stove, remove the bay leaves and cinnamon sticks and let the mixture cool down.
Once it has cooled completely, roughly pulse the mix in the mixie. It’s best to leave the mix chunky than have a smooth paste. Add the rum and brandy to the pulsed fruits and leave to soak overnight. This will make enough fruit mix for the recipe below.
Jamaican Fruit CakeCourse: Christmas Cake
If you’re looking for an extra rich and fruity Christmas Cake, this Jamaican Fruit Cake is the answer. Steeped in rich fruit, texture and colour, this fruit cake can be made without soaking the fruit in advance.
1 batch of fruit mix (see above)
450 gms butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
9 large eggs
2 tsp lime zest
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsp nutmeg powder
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup dark rum
- Grease two large square or rectangle cake tins and line them with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 220 C
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in an extra-large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a paddle attachment or an electric cake mixer
- Add the eggs, one by one, beating just until incorporated after each addition
- Add the vanilla and lime zest and mix until just combined
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg powders
- Add the flour mix to the butter and egg mixture, little by little, reserving half a cup to add at the end
- Add the roughly pulsed fruit mix and the molasses to the cake batter. Mix until just combined
- Add the reserved half cup of flour to bring the batter together. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tins and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180 C and bake for a further 45 minutes or until the cake is done
- Once the cakes have baked, pour rum all over the hot cake. Allow the cakes to cool completely, then wrap them in cling film and store them for a week before cutting them into slices