Caribbean Black Cake

Servings: Makes: 3 (8-inch) cakes
Cook Time:


  • 3 lbs. California Prunes
  • 1 lb. maraschino cherries
  • 2 cups + ¼ cup cherry brandy
  • 4 cups + ¼ cup dark rum
  • 2 ½ cups + 2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 10 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 limes, zested
  • 3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. Angostura bitters
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon


  1. Add California Prunes and maraschino cherries to a container with air-tight lid. Pour in 2 cups cherry brandy and 4 cups dark rum. Cover and let soak for at least 24 hours or for up to 3 months.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 275°F. Line 3 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Add fruits, reserving the liquid, to a food processor. Pulse until fruits have turned into a paste. Add reserved liquid and pulse again to adjust consistency, if necessary. Set aside. Fruit mixture should be like a paste.
  4. To make the browning, add 2 ½ cups brown sugar to a small pot on medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Monitor so the sugar does not burn, otherwise it will become bitter. When the sugar has dissolved and turned a deep brown (not black), remove from heat. Slowly drizzle in boiling water while stirring vigorously. The sugar will rise and bubble, so drizzle slowly and stir quickly. Continue stirring until it has settled into a very dark brown thick liquid. Set aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, add butter and 2 cups of brown sugar. Cream using a hand mixer until fluffy. One at a time, mix the eggs in. Add lime zest, bitters, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and combine. Transfer to a larger mixing bowl.
  6. In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, one third at a time, and mix well. Add 3 cups of fruit mixture to batter and combine well. Add in the browning, one tablespoon at a time. Combine and adjust with more browning until batter is desired colour. Should be a dark brown.
  8. Pour batter into cake pans and bake for 1 ½ hours or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once cakes are out of the oven, prick all over with a toothpick. Add ¼ cup of both cherry brandy and dark rum to a measuring cup and pour over the cakes. Let cool and then cover with plastic wrap.
  9. Cake is best served 3 days later. Enjoy!

More great recipes