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Caribbean Christmas cake

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Caribbean Christmas cake

By Andy Harris
  • Serves 10
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Caribbean Christmas cake
You will need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 250 gm seeded prunes
  • 200 gm each of raisins, currants and mixed peel
  • 120 gm glacé cherries
  • 80 gm mixed nuts
  • 125 ml dark rum (½ cup)
  • 2 tsp each of vanilla and almond essence
  • 400 gm brown sugar
  • 225 gm plain flour (1½ cups)
  • ½ tsp each ground allspice and nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 225 gm unsalted butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 125 ml Tawny Port (½ cup)
  • 60 ml golden rum (¼ cup)
  • 30 gm glacé cedro, sliced into wafer-thin ribbons, to serve (see note)
  • 3 baby lemon spoon sweets or candied clementines, halved (see note)
  • 440 gm white sugar (2 cups)
  • 60 ml golden rum (¼ cup)
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 eggwhites
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


  • 1
    Combine dried fruit in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and add nuts, dark rum, essences and 60gm of brown sugar. Cover and steep in liquid overnight, then transfer fruit to a heavy-based saucepan with 1 cup cold water. Place over high heat until it begins to simmer then reduce to low heat and cook for another 15 minutes or until soft. Cool.
  • 2
    Sift flour with spices, baking powder and ½ tsp salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer cream butter and remaining brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add fruit mixture and stir to combine, then add reserved flour mixture and stir through.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 150C. Grease and line a 28cm-diameter spring-form pan with baking paper. Spoon cake mixture into pan and bake for 2 hours or until a skewer withdraws clean.
  • 4
    Remove cake from oven, prick all over using a skewer. Combine port and rum in a small jug and pour over cake. Stand for at least 3 hours before turning out. Cake will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
  • 5
    For icing, combine sugar, golden rum, cream of tartar, ¼ tsp salt and ¾ cup water in a saucepan, then cook over low-medium heat until mixture reaches 118C on a sugar thermometer (soft ball stage). Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat eggwhites to stiff peaks. Gradually add hot syrup to eggwhites, beating constantly, then add vanilla and beat for 10 minutes or until icing is cooled and of a spreadable consistency. Ice cake immediately using a small palette knife and serve garnished with cedro ribbons and lemon spoon sweets or candied clementines.


Note Cedro is available from David Jones Food halls. Lemon spoon sweets or preserves are a traditional Greek speciality and are available from Greek delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute with glacé mandarins and other glacé fruits.

  • undefined: Andy Harris