This vegan Trinidad black cake is moist, dense and filled with fruits and alcohol. It’s the perfect vegan alternative to a traditional Trini Christmas rum cake.
You guys. I’m about to make ExSloth history by sharing my first ever cake recipe on the blog.
I’ve always been intimidated by the thought of making cake from scratch but I finally decided to tackle my fears with this vegan Trinidad black cake.
What is Trinidad black cake? Well, it’s basically a cross between a fruit cake and a rum cake but much more moist and a bit more dense.
It’s filled with dried fruit like raisins, mixed peel, sultans and cherries as well as a boatload of alcohol, of course.
Since I won’t be going home for Christmas this year, I’m determined to bring a little Trini Christmas to Canada. I obviously can’t replicate the warm weather so the next best thing is making all the Christmas food.
And since it’s not actually Christmas until the first slice of black cake, I’m starting with dessert. Because #priorities.
Unfortunately, black cake, like most Trini Christmas food, isn’t vegan. So I had to do some experimenting to come up with this vegan version.
Before we get into the recipe, let’s chat substitutions.
First, I swapped out the butter in traditional black cake for a mix of vegan butter and prune puree. You can definitely skip the prunes and do all butter but this is basically a fruit cake so the prune puree works. I also used pumpkin puree to replace the eggs. You can probably get away with using flax eggs or applesauce but I haven’t tested either.
The recipe is fairly simple but does require some advanced prep so the fruits have enough time to soak up the alcohol. The batter itself can be thrown together in about 15 minutes and the cake needs to bake for about 65 to 80 minutes.
Once the cake is out of the oven, the last step is to douse it with a little more alcohol (#neverenough) then allow it to cool completely before devouring.
I know it sounds like a lot of work but:
- This vegan Trinidad black cake is 100% worth it
- The active woking time is only about 20 minutes
- You can munch on leftover rum soaked fruits while you wait, which is arguably the best part.
JK. Nothing beats that first slice of homemade black cake.
More holiday recipes:
- ⅔ cup chopped dried fruit*
- ½ cup each cherry brandy & dark rum, more if necessary
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup prune puree
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp each vanilla & almond extract
- zest of half a lime
- ¾ cup all purpose flour**
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp each allspice & nutmeg
- ¼ cup slivered almonds, divided
- 4 tsp vegan browning, more or less to preference**
- Combine the dried fruits, cherry brandy and dark rum in an airtight container and set aside to soak for at least 3 hours, preferably 1 - 3 days or longer if you can
- Ensure that the alcohol completely covers the fruit at all times. Add more if necessary.
- Once you're ready to bake the cake, puree the fruits in a food processor or blender until you get a chunky jam-like mixture and set aside
- Preheat the oven to 280F (not a mistake!), line an 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper and set aside
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
- Beat in the prune puree and pumpkin puree and mix until well combined
- Add the vanilla and almond along with the lime zest and beat once more
- Carefully whisk or stir in the flour, baking powder and spices being careful not to over mix
- Fold in the fruit and rum mixture along with 2 tbsp almonds and mix until just combined
- Finally, add the browning and mix until the batter is evenly coated
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top with a spatula then top with remaining 2 tbsp slivered almonds if desired
- Bake for 65 - 80 minutes or until the sides of the cake begin to pull away from the parchment paper and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean
- Once the cake is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, about 5 - 10 minutes
- Carefully pierce the cake with a toothpick or fork then drizzle with 1 - 2 tbsp more brandy and/or rum
- You can continue to do this ever 12 - 18 hours for the next few days if desired but I stopped with one
- Allow to cool completely before slicing
**Can sub flour for equal parts unbleached spelt flour if desired
***If you can't find vegan browning you can either leave it out if you don't mine your cake being lighter than usual or you can make your own by carefully burning 2 parts sugar in a heavy bottomed pot until it's dark brown or almost black then stirring in 1 part water. Allow to cool before using.
Want more holiday desserts? Try these brownies next: