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Nina Compton’s Caribbean Black Fruit Cake


1 pound dried fruit, soaked in rum or wine*

1 cup rum, wine, sherry, or brandy, divided

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1½ cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

5 eggs

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon rosewater, optional

1½ cup molasses

*Use dried cherries, currants, raisins, dates, cranberries, apricots or a mixture thereof. Ideally, the fruit would soak in rum or wine anywhere from a few days up to a year. If that’s not an option, Compton suggests using store-bought bourbon-soaked cherries or boiling dry fruit to speed up the soaking process.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain soaked fruit and puree half of it in a blender with 1/3 cup of rum or wine, and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until well incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. Set aside. Add eggs one at a time to butter-sugar mixture, incorporating thoroughly. Add soaked and pureed fruit, zest, lime juice, vanilla, rosewater (if using), remaining rum or wine, and molasses, and mix well. Add all sifted dry ingredients slowly and mix until batter comes together. Do not overmix.
  2. Pour batter into a greased Bundt cake pan. Bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan, then turn over to remove cake. The cake keeps up to a month, wrapped in plastic, at room temperature.
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