Also called Jamaican Fruitcake, or Jamaican/Caribbean Christmas Cake, Black Cake, or Wedding Cake, this rum-soaked delicacy can take up to a year to prepare for the very dedicated. But it’s worth the time and trouble. For best results you want to make the fruit mixture at least 3 months ahead of time and bake it about 5 days before you plan to serve it to let the flavors blend. This recipe is enough for two 9-inch round cakes. You’ll need:
The drunken fruit mixture (all of it)
10 ounces all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
11 ounces unsalted butter, soft
11 ounces dark brown sugar
7 eggs, room temperature
Zest of 2 limes
Zest of 1 orange
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons Caribbean browning
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease two 9″ round cake layer pans and line them with parchment.
Next, a few cups at a time, finely chop the fruit in a food processor. Add more rum if the mixture gets too thick. You’re after a paste that’s semi-pourable, like pesto sauce.
Next, sift together your flour, leavening, and spices. Set the mixture aside. To mix, cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle (mixing can be done by hand or in a machine, I generally use a machine because I’m lazy). Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the citrus zest, extracts, and browning. Stir in the fruit.
Scoop the mixture into a large bowl, and, using your largest spatula or scraper, fold in the flour mixture. Divide the batter between the pans, and bake them for about two hours, until a sharp knife or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool in the pans, brushing them with rum about every 20-30 minutes until they’re at room temperature. Turn them out by inverting the cakes onto racks that have been covered in cheese cloth. Wrap them in the cloth, then in foil, and allow them to cure in a cool place (the refrigerator or the cellar in an airtight container) for 3-5 days before serving.
Tightly wrapped, the cakes will keep for up to a month.