Saturday, December 27, 2008

West Indian Christmas fruit cake

Christmas in the Caribbean is celebrated with friends and family like many around the world. Many of the traditions have been handed down from family to family. Many of these traditions originated in merry old England and in the Caribbean we have made them our own. We have deleted and added many ingredients to suit our tastes. Christmas is not Christmas without a fruit cake. I am not saying that I can bake one like my mum but from the recent comments I am almost there. After many trials and tribulations I have finally worked out (with the help of my mum) a recipe that will be successful and very easy to prepare. This recipe can be doubled.

Fruit Cake Recipe

1/2 lb /250 grams butter ( I used the one with salt)
1/2 lb /250 grams granulated sugar
1/2 lb /250 grams eggs (I weighed them)
1/2 lb/250 grams self raising flour
grated rind of lime or lemon about 1/2 tsp
2-3 tbs gravy browning (Burgess/ Cross and Blackwell)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp vanilla essence
generous dash or two of angostura bitters
3 to 4 cups of mixed fruit (raisins, currants, prunes, some candied cherries, candied mixed peel and some chopped nuts can be added) that have been soaked in port wine and rum ( I steam mine on a low heat for several hours adding wine and rum to keep moist). You can mince the mixed fruit or cut up large pieces like the prunes and cherries.

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl for 10 to 15 mins, add eggs one at a time beating them in. Add lime zest, cinnamon, Angostura, nutmeg and vanilla. Beat until creamy add self raising flour a little at a time until all has been added. Slowly add mixed fruit add more if you need to. The mixture will be very thick, add the browning a tablespoon at a time beating it in until it reaches a medium to dark brown colour. Be careful do not put too much browning in since it will make the cake bitter. Line the bottom of a non stick spring form cake pan with grease proof paper or use parchment paper. Spray on some butter flavour non stick spay (Crisco or Pam) sprinkle flour on the pan and pour in cake mixture leaving at least an inch and a half or 3-4 cms at the top. Place in an oven to bake at 320 degrees or 160 Celcius. Place a pan with water at the bottom of oven this will allow the cake to cook without drying out. Bake for 40-55 minutes and test with a long bamboo skewer in the centre of cake. It will be ready when the skewer comes out dry, when you press your finger on the centre of the cake and it springs back or when the cake begins to leave the sides of the pan. If some of the mixture comes out on the skewer, continue to bake until it comes out dry. Remove from oven when cooked and let it sit to cool. Remove from pan when still warm but not too hot or cake will break. Pour some rum about 1/4 cup onto the cake and leave to cool. Serve when cool or wrap in parchment paper and store until ready to use. Keep sprinkling with rum until ready to use. Bon apetit!!


  1. This looks like a wonderful Xmas cake .. I love dark fruit cake and even though I'm not one to do a lot of baking .. I would give this one a try ! Thanks !

  2. You are very welcome and please let me know the results.

  3. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! I'll be making a few of these cakes this Christmas, though my "recipe" is more or less a dictated version, handed down to me by family elders. Will you be baking any this year? Perhaps that appears more recently in your cool blog, which I'll surely check out shortly.

  4. Thanks for this recipe, tried it this afternoon. Soooo..... Pleased with results. Tastes delicious too!

  5. Tried your recipe and I'm so pleased with results. Thank you, as it was easy to follow. Tastes good too!

  6. I'm going to soak my fruit for a year or three in rum like I used to when I was home, 20+ years ago. Saving it for my kids weddings. Thanks for the recipe!


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