The only word that comes to my mind when I think Jamaican Rum Cake is Christmas! Many know it as Jamaican Christmas Cake or Jamaican Fruit Cake or Black Cake. It would be difficult to find someone who doesn’t love a Jamaican Rum Cake at Christmas time! I mean, they are so much better than regular cakes and one is never enough.
This dish actually drives me down memory lane when my mother used to make it at home and our neighbors would smell the aroma of the came being cooked. They would make any excuse to come over. My mother would bake over 20 Jamaican Rum Cakes at a time and share with friends, family and neighbours. Here is the recipe that my mother taught me. There are no hidden surprises. You can use available dry-fruits and you can add anything you think will make it better. Celebrating Christmas in Jamaican style is never complete without Jamaican Fruit Cake and a cup of sorrel.
For preparing the cake
- 3 cups baking flour
- 3 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice for baking
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Lime rind (finely grated)
- 8 oz butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons browning
- 12 eggs
- 2 teaspoon rose water
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup sherry (blackberry brandy can also be used)
Choice of Nuts and wine
- 1 pound raisins, grounded or chopped
- 1 pound prunes, grounded or chopped
- 1 pound currants, grounded or chopped
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg, grated or grounded
- Red Label Wine (or wine of your choice)
- Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum (or rum of your choice)
There is no restriction on the nuts or dry-fruits to be used for this cake.
- If you plan to prepare this cake then the fruits and nuts need to be soaked in the wine-and-rum mixture a day before.
Put all the nuts in a jar (with a closing lid) and pour in the rum and wine, sufficient enough to cover the fruits. Leave them for a day’s time so that the liquor is well soaked.
- For preparing the cake batter, combine the baking flour, baking powder along with cinnamon and mixed spice. Sprinkle some salt in it and combine them well together.
- Add in the breadcrumbs and lime-rind and continue to stir. Leave this mixture aside.
- Take a separate container (preferably large in size) and combine the butter and sugar together. Mix them well so that the sugar is well-granulated.
- Mix in the browning and the soaked fruits (they can be slightly grounded, if preferred). Keep stirring the batter constantly.
- In another bowl, beat the eggs till they become light and fluffy and then pour in the rose water along with vanilla and some sherry. Stir it well.
- Pour the egg mix into the bowl containing the butter mixture and fold in gently for the air to get in. Do not mix or stir vigorously.
- Slowly fold the flour mix and render the batter smooth and even.
- Once the batter is ready, grease the baking pan and put a grease paper in it.
- Pour the prepared batter and spread it evenly.
- Place the filled pans in the oven and let them bake for 2 hours at 300 degree F.
- Keep an eye on the cakes so that they do not get over-baked. The cake is said to be ready once the knife, when inserted in it, comes out clean.
- To ensure the cake’s batter has the right consistency, place a wooden spoon and let it stand upright in the center of the mixture. If the thickness is as desired, the spoon won’t fall. If not, add some more flour and get the consistency correct.
- While the cake is being baked in the oven, place a container filled with water at the bottom-most section of the oven. This will prevent the cake from drying out during the baking process.
- For storing the cake up to several weeks, keep pouring some wine occasionally at its top and keep the cake tightly wrapped in aluminum foil.
- For those with a “sweet tooth” (like me) icing is a must for Jamaican Rum Cake.