Trinidad Black cake, another Trini favourite during the Christmas season, is not only popular during the Christmas season but also year round, especially at weddings. It seems that black cake is a Caribbean thing also. I believe everyone makes it.
Its popularity could be attributed to a few reasons; probably it's because of the alcohol because I've tasted some black cake that, if you ate too much it, could really get you a little tipsy. Its long shelf life could be another reason that it is so popular. Black cake could easily last a year, provided it has enough rum in it. But then how much is enough? I think that is a personal choice
A Perfect Black Cake
When it comes to personal choice though, I like my black cake with just the right amount of ingredients; not too much rum and a moderate amount of fruits. I find that some people add a little too much of alcohol that makes the cake bordering on soggy or sometimes it has so much fruits that it is crumbly and when you're finished eating you have more cake on you instead of inside of you, haha!!
Now, this recipe is a little different from the traditional black cake recipe because it doesn't require you to soak the fruits. Yes! That's right no soaking of fruits for weeks before you could make your black cake. If you feel to make your black cake today you can make it. I was surprised at how well it still came out since this was the first time we tried it this way also and from the pictures you could see that it was a success.
Also, note this cake is not the heavy version of the black cake.
A Sign of Christmas
Just like sorrel this to me is another sign of Christmas in the "air". Smelling black cake brings back so many memories... Visiting friends and family to "buss ah lime" or going house paranging; being served a nice slice of black cake or hops bread and ham along with some homemade wine, ginger beer or sorrel and you are enjoying yourself even though it is 2 o'clock in the morning and you're trying not to eat too much at this house, because you have four more houses to parang in before you reach home......
It sure brings back memories. But it doesn't have to stop here because I will have even more to reminisce about this Christmas and many more to come from that one smell of black cake. Here is black cake, straight from my trini kitchen to yours. Enjoy.
Trinidad Black Cake Recipe
Trinidad BLACK CAKE
3 ½ -4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
1 bt. sherry brandy
1 cup browning
1 tsp. vanilla essence
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 lbs. fruits (raisins, currants, dates, cherries, mixed peel, almond, sultanas)
grated orange rind
yield: Makes two five pound cakes
Make the browning:
Add sugar to a deep pot over a low flame. Allow to melt and brown. Be careful not to burn the sugar. You may need a pot spoon for stirring to maintain the heat. Once it starts to bubble and looks caramel remove from the heat. Set aside to cool before use.
Sift the flour and the baking soda together in a separate bowl. Add spices to flour.
Cream the butter:
Cream the shortening and sugar.
Beat the eggs. Add the eggs, browning and vanilla essence. Mix well.
Add the flour to the cream mixture.
Blend about about ¾ cup of fruits and ½ cup of sherry brandy to the consistency of a jam .
Add the soaked blended fruits and fruits and mix .
Placed in a greased and floured baking dish and bake in a preheated oven 270-300 degrees Fahrenheit or until cake leaves the sides or for about (3 hours). Test with a thin knife, insert in the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is done.
Pour some rum over cake immediately after it bake. That is my version of Trinidad Black Cake.
This was a long post but coming up soon I'll be posting another favourite cake recipe of ours; sponge cake. Stay tuned. Ah gone!
Trinidad Black Cake
- 3 ½ -4 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup shortening
- 4 eggs
- 1 bt. sherry brandy 25%, 50 proof
- 1 cup browning
- 1 tsp. vanilla essence or extract
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 lbs. fruits raisins, currants, dates, cherries, mixed peel, almond, sultanas
- Grated orange rind
- Rum 80 proof (at least 4 cups)
- Sift the flour and the baking soda together in a separate bowl. Add spices to flour.
- ream the shortening and sugar. Beat the eggs. Add the eggs, browning and vanilla essence. Mix well. Add the flour to the cream mixture.
- Blend about about ¾ cup of fruits and ½ cup of sherry brandy to the consistency of a jam.
- Add the soaked blended fruits and fruits and mix.
- Place in a greased and floured baking dish and bake in a preheated oven 270-300 degrees Fahrenheit or until cake leaves the sides or for about (3 hours).
- Test with a thin knife, insert in the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is done. Pour some rum over the baked cake immediately after it is baked.
Hello, I tried your recipe and loved it so much that I blogged about it. Thanks very much!
Hi, Am a Trini living in Melbourne Australia. A friend passed your website on to me, i have tried the souse,curry goat,xmas cake and many more, they are sooo good, Thank you so much.
Thank you for visiting Diane and do visit again 🙂
This cake sounds great,what is Browning?
the first five pictures explain how to make it. Basically it's caramelized sugar with water added.
hi, is there a way where I can make it without the use of eggs?
I think it's possible, will look into it.
Hi Felix, I was wondering if I could use butter instead of the shortening I do not use shortening at all. I could not find cheery Brandy where I live in the U.S. Any suggest? I will try to make it soon thanks for the great recipe. Judy
Hi Judy, I have been using Arrow brand Wild Cherry Brandy. Being a "trini 2 de bone" it really took me a while to try this. This works just as well and I even use it, mixed with some spiced rum to pour over the cake when it comes out of the oven.
You can use the butter just be sure not to over cream it.
Agent of Change
I used this recipe for Christmas and it was bessssss but 2 weeks later I was reading a magazine and saw it there word for word (they even copied your comments)so I hope you get paid some royalties
Might I ask what was the name of the Magazine? Email me Please.
Hi Felix....I must say thank you so much for all the wonderful recipes .....I have been cooking up a storm...love your site...its my favorite....can I ask one favor please..can you please post the recipe for traditional black cake (with the soaking of the fruits) and also how to make the icing? Thanks and many many blessings
Hello Felix, I can see by the pictures the method for making the browning but what are the quantities of the sugar and water? Im so keen to bake this recipe- a little nervous too as it will be my first ever Xmas type cake. Thank-you for your time!
Don't be too nervous Cindy I have a link showing you how to make browning 🙂
If you still want measurements here goes..... 1 1/2 cups sugar: a little less than 1/4 cup water*
1. The water has to be added gradually but you can't pour too much or else the browning will be watery. So generally the amount of water is a little less than 1/4 cup.
2. The colour of the caramelized sugar must be a dark chocolate colour. Any darker than this and it will be bitter, so be careful.
3. When you make your browning remove from the flame immediately and allow to cool. That is why we did this step first so when you're doing the batter the browning will be cool when you add it later on.
4. Good luck with your first Black Cake and if successful please send me a pic 🙂
Felix! ah loving the new layout. u ever manage to figure out the eggless version of the black cake? A current recurring theme i'm seeing wit eggless baked goods is to use buttermilk instead? unless it serves another obscure purpose i cant yet figure out..
In fact my wife already spoke to someone and got some ideas so look out for it around Christmas.
That might be fruit cake does not look like Trinidad black cake
Thats how my fruit cake looks
Pamela Pelfrey Lee
A traditional Trinidian treat...my sister-in-law Marlene makes this and sends it to Geary!
that is not trini black cake trini black cake is black where is the armond paste and icing
I'm in Toronto CAnada, and cannot find Cherry Brandy here at the LCBO (liquor Store).
What do us Canadians use instead if we want to make any kind of Black Cake?
What happened to the Dark Spiced Rum?