Skip to Content

Jamaican Fruit Cake Recipe: Best Rum-Soaked Black Cake to Try

Are you searching for a classic, moist, and flavorful Jamaican fruit cake recipe to add to your collection? Look no further, as we have the perfect Jamaican fruit cake recipe for you to try out! This traditional Caribbean dessert, also known as a black cake or rum cake, is packed with a delightful blend of dried fruits, spices, and rum. It’s a popular choice during Christmas time, but its heavenly taste makes it a year-round favorite. So, let’s dive into this delicious Jamaican fruit cake recipe!

Understanding the Jamaican Fruit Cake

The key to a perfect Jamaican fruit cake lies in the combination of fruits, spices, and alcohol used. Traditionally, a mix of dried fruits, such as raisins, currants, and cherries, are soaked in a blend of rum, red wine, and cherry brandy for an extended period, often weeks or even months. This fruit mixture is then combined with a flavorful cake batter, resulting in a dark, moist, and rich fruit cake. It’s the perfect dessert to enjoy during the Christmas season or any other special occasion.

A close-up of a slice of Jamaican fruit cake, showcasing its dark color and dense texture.

Choosing the Right Ingredients

As with any recipe, the quality and choice of ingredients play a crucial role in the final outcome. For this Jamaican fruit cake recipe, you’ll need a blend of dried fruits, such as raisins, currants, and cherries. You can adjust the fruit combination based on your personal preference, but make sure to use a mix that adds both flavor and texture to the cake. Additionally, using high-quality rum, red label wine, and cherry brandy will enhance the overall taste. Don’t forget the spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, which add depth and warmth to the dessert.

A bowl of mixed dried fruits soaked in rum and wine, ready to be used in the Jamaican fruit cake recipe.

Preparing the Fruit Mixture

One of the most important steps in this Jamaican fruit cake recipe is preparing the fruit mixture. Ideally, the dried fruits should be soaked in a blend of rum, red wine, and cherry brandy for a minimum of two weeks. However, if you’re short on time, soaking the fruits for at least 24 hours will still yield a flavorsome result. The longer the fruits are soaked, the more intense the flavor will be. Some people even soak their fruits for up to a year, so feel free to experiment with the soaking time!

Soaking the Fruits

To prepare the fruit mixture, combine the dried fruits in a large bowl or jar and pour in the rum, red wine, and cherry brandy. Mix well, ensuring all the fruits are fully submerged in the liquid. Cover the bowl or jar with a lid or plastic wrap and store it in a cool, dark place. Stir the mixture occasionally to ensure even soaking.

A jar filled with dried fruits and alcohol, soaking in preparation for the Jamaican fruit cake recipe.

Creating the Cake Batter

Once the fruit mixture is ready, it’s time to create the cake batter. Start by creaming butter and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy. Then, add in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract and almond extract. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients, including purpose flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and baking powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well after each addition. Finally, fold in the soaked fruit mixture, lime zest, and lime juice, ensuring everything is well combined.

A bowl of cake batter with the soaked dried fruits mixed in, ready to be baked into a Jamaican fruit cake.

Baking the Jamaican Fruit Cake

Now it’s time to bake your Jamaican fruit cake. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C) and grease two 9-inch cake pans or a bundt pan. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, you can brush the cake with additional rum or cherry brandy for an extra kick of flavor.

A freshly baked Jamaican fruit cake cooling on a wire rack.

Enjoying Your Jamaican Fruit Cake

Once your Jamaican fruit cake has cooled, it’s time to enjoy this delightful dessert. You can either serve it as-is or top it with a dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of royal icing, or even a scoop of raisin ice cream for a truly indulgent treat. Don’t forget to share your delicious creation with friends and family, as this cake is perfect for Jamaican Christmas celebrations or any other special occasion.

Final Thoughts

This Jamaican fruit cake recipe is a delicious and flavorful addition to your dessert collection. With its moist texture, rich taste, and blend of spices and fruits, it’s no wonder this cake is a staple in Jamaican households.

So why not give this recipe a try and enjoy a taste of the Caribbean in your own home? And if you’re in the mood for more international flavors, check out some other amazing recipes like this Venison Brine Recipe for Smoking or this Thai Green Chili Sauce Recipe.

Perhaps you’re looking for some alternative desserts. If so, I would recommend my Guyanese sponge cake recipe or my copycat Brick Street chocolate cake.

Happy baking!

Classic Jamaican Fruit Cake Recipe - A Taste of the Caribbean

Classic Jamaican Fruit Cake Recipe - A Taste of the Caribbean

Yield: 12-16 slices
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

Indulge in the rich flavors of the Caribbean with this traditional Jamaican Fruit Cake recipe. A dense, moist cake filled with a medley of dried fruits and warm spices, it's the perfect treat for any special occasion or to simply enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.


  • 1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit
  • 1 cup chopped candied citrus peel
  • 1 cup rum or red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1/2 cup browning sauce or dark soy sauce


  1. Soak the dried fruit: In a large jar or airtight container, combine the mixed dried fruit, candied citrus peel, and rum or wine. Seal the container and let the fruit soak at room temperature for at least 24 hours, or up to 2 weeks, shaking the container occasionally.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan, or line it with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, alternating with the soaked fruit mixture, nuts, molasses, and browning sauce. Mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix. The batter will be thick and dense.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake for 2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
  7. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. If desired, brush the cooled cake with additional rum or wine, and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Store the cake in an airtight container for up to 1 week to allow the flavors to meld and intensify.
  9. Serve your Jamaican Fruit Cake in thin slices, accompanied by a hot cup of tea or coffee, and enjoy the warmth and richness of this Caribbean classic.


This fruit cake recipe can be made alcohol-free by substituting the rum or wine with unsweetened fruit juice or water.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 150mgCarbohydrates: 57gNet Carbohydrates: 54gFiber: 3gSugar: 36gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 6g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Skip to Recipe