Fruit Cake

As a child, preparation for Christmas in my household usually starts just after Christmas. When the last piece of Black Cake and West Indian Fruitcake are consumed my mom would set her fruits for the next Christmas.  That means gathering raisins, currants, prunes, candied cherries and orange peel and meticulously passing it through a hand cranked mill until she has achieved the texture she’s looking for.  Even in these modern times with electrical gadgets such as a food processor she still does it the old fashion way.  Black cake and Fruitcake was serious business in our household, and my Mom makes the best!   I’m sharing an updated recipe as well as a new video on YouTube.  Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already.  I have a playlist of Guyanese Christmas favorites like Plait Bread, Pepperpot, Ginger Beer and Sorrel

Fruit Cake

Fruitcake has always had a bad reputation.  Just the mare mention makes stomachs churn and is usually met with universal disdain.   Traditionally, it is made with chunks of dried fruit, candied fruits and nuts which makes for one hell of a chunky cake filled with lots of not so tasty obstacles.   Not all fruitcakes are created equal.   This Fruitcake may bare the same name and similar ingredients but that’s where the similarity ends.

Fruit Cake


This Fruit Cake is more of a dense sponge cake.  Dried fruits soaked in alcohol (usually Rum) for up to a year is  finely ground, then added to a rich sponge cake batter.  The result is anything but dry, this produces a rich, moist and silky texture that is further enhanced by soaking it in…you guessed it… more Rum.  Hey if I can’t get tipsy from a slice a cake it needs more Rum.   I promise you this, you won’t want to re-gift this cake.   I made one pan for my myself and one for my mother-in-law and less than 24 hours after, I have less than half a pan remaining…yeah it’s that good.

I usually make the fruits in a large batch so that I can make black cake and fruit cake.  Here’s what you need for the fruit mix.  The fruits will need to soak in a jar for at least 2 weeks, it will soften and become infused with the rum.   I also have a Black Cake Q&A video with lots of tips including how to make the fruits to use the same day.

For the Fruits you will need:

3/4 lb raisins

3/4 lb currants

3/4 lb prunes

1/4 lb candied cherries

1/4 lb mix citrus peel

1/4 lb almond or peanuts (optional)

Wash and grind all ingredients.  This can done with a food mill or food processor.  Mix in about 2 cups of rum and allow to sit for at least 2 weeks.  Store in an airtight container.


Fruit Cake


Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 10


  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup fruit mixture


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour  9 inch cake pan.  Set aside. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and orange zest set aside.
  • Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and mix until fluffy and light in color.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition to make sure egg is incorporated.  Please don't rush this step, adding the eggs too soon or too many at one time can cause the mixture to  separate.
  • Next add vanilla extract and almond extract to mixture, mix until incorporated.  Add flour and fruit mix and mix just until combine.  Place into prepared baking dish.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes.   Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • *You can add about 1 tbsp of rum over the top as soon as it out of the oven to enhance the rum flavor.


Cuisine: Guyanese
Author: Jehan Powell