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Guyanese Black Cake Recipe

Looking for a delicious and indulgent dessert to serve at your next special occasion or holiday gathering? Look no further than this Guyanese black cake recipe, a moist and flavorful Caribbean fruitcake that is sure to impress your taste buds.

guyanese black cake cut into 6 slices on a white plate on top of a red table cloth

At first glance, this cake might look like a dense and dark chocolate cake, but it is actually a traditional Caribbean dessert that goes by many different names, including Caribbean fruit cake, Christmas cake, and even wedding cake in some parts of the Caribbean. Made with a blend of dried fruits, spices, and liquor, this cake is a beloved treat that is often served during the holiday season and various occasions.

While every family has their own version of this cake with their unquantified secret ingredients, the basic recipe consists of a blend of dried fruit, spices, and liquor that are combined to make a thick fruit mixture. This is then added to a rich cake batter made with butter, dark brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and eggs, before being baked slowly in a low oven until it reaches a deep dark color.

To make this cake, the first things you’ll need to do are prepare the dried fruit mixture and the cake batter. This typically involves soaking a blend of raisins, currants, prunes, and maraschino cherries in a glass jar with a mixture of dark rum, red wine, and cherry brandy for at least a week before baking. Meanwhile, the cake batter is made by creaming butter and dark brown sugar, before adding eggs, flour, baking powder, and a range of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Once the fruit mixture is ready, it’s blended in a food processor or grinder until it reaches a smooth consistency, before being added to the cake batter. The mixture is then poured into a cake pan lined with parchment paper and baked in a preheated oven for about 2-2.5 hours until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

guyanese black cake in a round tin pan

While this cake can be a bit time-consuming to make, the result is a deliciously moist and flavorful dessert that is perfect for special occasions or the holiday season. Whether you’re serving it as a dessert after a holiday meal or giving it as a gift, this Guyanese black cake is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.

Tips & Tricks:


  • To make a Caribbean rum cake, substitute the dried fruit mixture with chopped pecans or walnuts, and use only dark rum for the liquor.
  • If you’re looking for a lighter cake from the same region, we recommend our Guyanese Sponge Cake Recipe.
  • For a moist Jamaican black cake, use a blend of dried fruits such as prunes, raisins, currants, and dates, and add a cup of molasses to the batter for added moisture.
  • For a holiday twist, add a teaspoon of lime zest or a thick layer of marzipan on top of the cake before baking.
guyanese black cake with a slice cut out of it

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Related Recipes:

  • If you’re looking for another Caribbean dessert to try, check out the recipe for Caribbean rum punch.
  • For a similar dessert with British
  • colonial roots, try making a British plum pudding, which is another dense and rich dessert that is typically served during the holiday season.
  • If you love dense and moist cakes, you might also enjoy trying out a classic chocolate cake or an almond cake, which are both delicious and indulgent options.

So if you’re ready to make the perfect black cake, gather your dried fruit, browning sauce, and bottle of rum, and get ready to experience the taste of the Caribbean islands. Whether you’re making it for the first time or have been perfecting your recipe for years, this delicious cake is sure to be a crowd-pleaser that will leave your guests wanting more. Happy baking!

guyanese black cake cut into 6 slices on a white plate on top of a red table cloth

Guyanese Black Cake Recipe

Yield: 9 inch round cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

This recipe for Guyanese black cake is a deliciously spiced and moist dessert that is perfect for special occasions and celebrations. Packed with mixed candied fruit, raisins, and currants, and infused with a variety of liquors, this cake has a rich and complex flavor that is sure to impress.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup cherry brandy
  • 1/4 cup browning sauce
  • 1 cup mixed candied fruit
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup chopped prunes
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup molasses


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Grease and line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Add the rum, red wine, cherry brandy, and browning sauce, and mix until well combined.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined.
  6. Stir in the mixed candied fruit, raisins, currants, prunes, almonds, and molasses until evenly distributed.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  8. Bake for 2-2.5 hours or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Serve the black cake at room temperature. It can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.


  • Browning sauce is a popular ingredient in Caribbean cooking that gives the cake its dark color. You can find it at Caribbean or specialty grocery stores or make it yourself using burnt sugar.
  • Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before starting to mix the batter to ensure even mixing.
  • When mixing in the fruits and nuts, make sure they are evenly distributed in the batter.
  • The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If it's still sticky, continue baking for a few more minutes before testing again.
  • Let the cake cool completely before slicing to ensure it holds together. This cake tastes even better the next day, so consider making it ahead of time if you can.
  • This recipe calls for a variety of liquors, but you can substitute with your preferred dark rum or brandy if you don't have the specific types listed. However, the unique combination of liquors is what gives this cake its signature flavor.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 Slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 635Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 652mgCarbohydrates: 104gFiber: 3gSugar: 77gProtein: 7g

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