Saint Lucian Black Cake

Black Cake is a Saint Lucian Christmas tradition that is not for the fainthearted. A Caribbean twist on the European and North American fruit cake, our black cake is much darker in colour due to caramelised sugar. It has plenty of alcohol so isn’t a dessert to give to children! This cake is baked with alcohol-soaked fruits, rum and, of course, ‘Looshan’ love!



1 lb currants

1 lb raisins

1 lb prunes

1 lb dates

1 (16 oz) jar maraschino cherries, drained

½ lb mixed peel

¼ lb chopped almonds

1 tbsp angostura bitters

2 ½ cups dark rum

Caramelising Sugar

¾ lb brown sugar

½ cup boiling water 

Final Cooking

2 tsps grated lime peel

2 tsps vanilla

4 cups flour

4 tsps baking powder

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp mixed spice

1 lb butter

2 ¼ cups sugar

9 large eggs


Chop currants, raisins, prunes, dates and cherries. Put in large bowl with mixed peel and almonds. Stir to combine. Sprinkle in bitters and pour rum over mixture. Soak for a minimum of 24 hours, extending to one month.

Caramelising Sugar

Put brown sugar in heavy pit. Stir, letting sugar liquefy. Cook over low heat until dark, stirring constantly, so sugar does not burn. When almost burnt, remove from heat and stir in hot water gradually. Mix well, let cool and pour into container for use in final cooking.

Final Cooking

Preheat oven to 250˚ F.

Bring fruit from its resting place. Stir lime peel, vanilla and caramelised sugar into fruit. Mix well, set aside. Stir together flour, baking powder, cloves and mixed spice. Set aside. Cream together butter and sugar until mixture is light. Add eggs one at a time until blended. Stir in dry ingredients gradually. When mixed, stir in fruit mixture. Pour into pan lined with butter, parchment paper or waxed paper. Place pan into larger shallow pan of hot water. Cook in preheated oven for 2 ½ – 3 hours. Cool for 24 hours in pan. When cool, moisten with rum, remove from pan and wrap in aluminum foil or rum-drenched cloth. Cakes may be stored to ripen. If keeping for any length of time, occasionally add more rum.

fruit cake