This Year, Forget Black Friday– Get Started on Black Cake!


I’m very excited to share that my essay and recipe about Trinidad black cake has been published in today’s Washington Post!

For those of you not from the Caribbean, black cake is a fruit and rum cake (not the fruit cake you’re thinking of) that is traditionally served at Christmas, but needs some lead time.  Now would be a good time to start.

For the story and recipe, please visit “Black cake, a Christmas specialty from Trinidad, involves fruit, booze– and time.”

Here are some exclusive step-by-step photos you’ll only see here!

The glacé fruits.

The dried fruits, soaked in rum and cherry brandy (or a surprise substitute, you’ll need to read the article to find out which.)

 The fruits, glacé and dried, processed for the cake batter.

 Making the browning, or burnt sugar, for the cake.  You’ll want it a few shades darker than this.

 The batter.


A slice of the finished product, and a poem from the Naparima Girls’ cookbook from which the recipe was adapted:


We may live without poetry, music and art,

We may live without Conscience; live without heart,

We may live without Friends and live without Books

But civilized man cannot live without Cooks.

(inscription from the Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook, 1988)

10 responses

  1. I love black cake, had it in Jamaica, my daughters mother in law is from Jamaica and makes black cake every year for the Holidays but she does not use a recipe and said she cannot recall everything thats in it. Now I have a recipe. At my daughters destination wedding the hotel caterer did a black cake wedding cake multi tier, it was amazing. Thanks for posting this.

  2. WOW!!! Washington Post! Congratulations, that’s fantastic. I loved reading your story and seeing your fine photographs here. I’ve been curious about black cae for a few years, and made my first one last year. I’ve learned so much here and cannot wait to get started on the fruit tomorrow.

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