Regarding the Caribbean Fruitcake

…or plum cake, or “black cake” or Christmas cake. It has a lot of names. I’ve been looking into this, and have learned that doing one of these right means macerating the fruit for a good long time. Which is to say: weeks or months. Indeed, a Jamaican friend of mine made it clear to me that islanders take this step extremely seriously. More seriously even than their northerly fruitcake-loving brethren. Where North Americans bake the cake early then age it, Caribbeans age the fruit then bake the cake. So you don’t just whip one of these up, in other words. Maybe what we’ll do is get a few components ready over the next week or so, lay them down, and then save the baking until closer to Christmas.

5 thoughts on “Regarding the Caribbean Fruitcake”

  1. I’m in!! I can’t find one of these outside of Panamá, where in the old days (40 yrs ago?) they were served as Groom’s Cake at weddings. I have an old Craig Clairborne recipe for this that I have used over the years. But it takes great intention because those fruits should be macerating already! We can plead cultural ignorance and start this week.

    1. Exactly. We’re not locals! How are we supposed to know how to do this correctly?

      Some recipes I’ve seen call for macerating the fruit for a year in advance! Talk about a train that’s left the station. If I get attached to this I’ll shoot for a real cake for next year!


      – Joe

  2. Er yes, well. If I did that there’d be no fruit left by baking time. As it is I start with a good bit more fruit than my recipe says, and have a little nibble every time I go to the pantry to stir it – and that’s just a day or two.

  3. I have fruit macerating since last September. I was going to make black cake for a Guyanese friend who was supposed to get married this year and has now been postponed until 2021. So the fruit mixture is going to get nice and aged. Wasn’t sure what type of rum to use, so I settled on a spiced rum from Costco. No wine. Should I add a cheap and fruity red?

    1. Hey Annie!

      That sounds great. I’d just press on doing what you’re doing. Who knows what sort of spiced wedding cake masterpiece you have stewing away in the basement? I want a full report when it finally get made! 😉

      Thanks for checking in!

      – Joe

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