Christmas/ Desserts & Treats/ Jamaican

Alcohol Free Jamaican Black Cake

December 12, 2023 (Last Updated: March 2, 2024)

Alcohol-free Jamaican Black Cake has the fruity, spiced flavour of traditional black cake without rum or wine. This classic dessert is popular across the Caribbean and is a staple for special occasions. Now the whole family can celebrate Christmas and weddings with a deliciously moist no alcohol black cake!

a slice of jamaican alcohol free black cake.

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Alcohol Free Jamaican Black Cake has the fruity, spiced flavour of traditional black cake without rum or wine. This classic dessert is popular across the Caribbean and is a staple for special occasions. Now the whole family can celebrate Christmas and weddings with a deliciously moist non-alcoholic black cake or Jamaican fruit cake!

Looking for more black cake recipes? Try my Authentic Jamaican Black Cake and Vegan Jamaican Black Cake Recipe (Eggless) recipe next!

non-alcoholic black (rum) cake.

Alcohol Free Black Cake

It’s not a Jamaican celebration if there’s no black cake in sight! I can’t imagine the holiday season without this festive, sweet indulgence. Of course, traditional black cake is made with lots of rum and sweet red wine.

But maybe you want an alcohol-free black cake? This recipe swaps alcohol for grape juice or alcohol-free wine so everyone can enjoy a slice without worrying about getting tipsy!

Here’s Why You’ll Love this Alcohol Free Jamaican Black Cake Recipe

  • Kid Friendly: Let’s be honest, some black cake recipes are especially boozy. Although measuring is always encouraged, it’s hard to account for all those spritzes to keep it moist. Instead of chancing it, just have an alcohol-free option for children, adults who don’t drink and designated drivers.
  • Just as Delicious: Soaked fruit is still the main source of flavour in this recipe. The dried fruit is not soaked in rum but fruit juice, so you still get a depth of sweetness. And, the cake is even more moist without alcohol.
  • Perfect for All Occasions: Because this recipe excludes alcohol, it doesn’t take as long to make which means you can make it more often! Craving black cake? Whip this up year round!
a slice of jamaican fruit cake in hand.

What is Jamaican Black Cake?

Jamaican Black Cake, also known as Christmas cake or rum cake, is a traditional Caribbean dessert. It is a rich, moist, dense fruitcake made with a variety of dried fruits, such as raisins, currants, and prunes, soaked in rum and red wine for an extended period. The cake is characterized by its dark colour, which is achieved by incorporating browning and molasses.

What does Alcohol Free Black Cake taste like?

Black cake without alcohol is still fruity and spiced. But without the addition of alcohol, the cake’s flavour profile is less intense in terms of the characteristic boozy notes. Instead, the main flavour components are the warm spices, dried fruits, and other ingredients like brown sugar, molasses and fresh lime. It is sweeter than traditional black cake and has more of a Christmas fruit cake flavour.

How to Soak Fruits without Alcohol

  1. Prepare the Fruits: Combine the prunes, raisins, cranberries, cherries, mixed fruit and mixed peels in a large airtight container.
  2. Soak the Fruits: Pour the grape juice or alcohol-removed wine (non-alcoholic wine) over the mixed fruits, ensuring that the liquid covers all the fruits. Stir well to make sure all the fruits are evenly coated.
  3. Soaking Time: Allow the fruits to soak in the grape juice or alcohol-removed wine (non-alcoholic wine) until they are rehydrated and plump. If needed, add more liquid over time.
  4. Use in the Cake: Once the fruits have soaked and are plump, you can use them in your Christmas cake recipe as directed. Follow the steps in the recipe card below.
ingredients flatlay overhead view.

What’s Needed to Make This Recipe (Kitchen Tools and Equipment)

  • 9-inch Round Cake Pan: Use this to contain and bake the cake. You’ll need an additional baking pan to hold water. This produce steam so the cake retains moisture as it bakes.
  • Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer: This creams the butter and eggs.
  • Wooden Spoon: Fold black cake ingredients with this.
  • Large Mixing Bowl: Use to stir egg mixture.
  • Measuring Cups: You need measuring cups for liquid and dry ingredients to accurately measure.
  • Measuring Spoons: Use to accurately measure ingredients.
  • Rubber Spatula/Scraper: For scraping out the cake mixture from the bowl.
  • Whisk: Use this as an alternative to a hand mixer.

Alcohol Free Jamaican Black Cake Ingredients and Ingredient Notes

  • Salted Butter: Soften to room temp. You’ll need more to grease the baking pan.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: packed
  • Large Eggs: Room-temperature eggs provide structure, moisture, and richness.
  • Vanilla Extract: A must have for a touch of vanilla flavour. It enhances the overall taste.
  • Browning or Homemade Browning Sauce: serves to add both color and flavor to the cake. It is a dark, caramelized liquid that contributes a rich, deep brown hue to the cake, giving it its characteristic dark colour.
  • Molasses: This enhances the colour and sweetness.
  • Spices: Use a warm medley of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ground allspice.
  • All Purpose Flour: Spooned and leveled for accurate measuring.
  • Baking Powder: This ensures the cake rises.
  • Salt: It won’t make the cake salty. It just enhances the other ingredients.
  • Fruit for Christmas Cake: Soak the fruits in grape juice or alcohol-removed wine (non-alcoholic wine) for at least 8 hours, ensuring they absorb the liquid and are well hydrated and plump before pureeing until smooth to use in the cake.
  • Grape Juice or Alcohol-Removed Red Wine: Add this to the fruit when pureeing, about 1/2 cup.
  • Lime: Use lime juice and zest.

How to Make Black Cake Without Alcohol

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C) and prepare a 9-inch round cake pan by greasing the bottom and sides using butter. Set aside an additional cake pan of water to be placed at the bottom of the oven during the baking process.
  2. Add the butter and dark brown sugar to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and cream on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 to 6 minutes). Set aside.
  3. Add eggs to another large bowl, and beat using a hand mixer or whisk until light yellow in colour and foamy on top (about 3 to 5 minutes). To the egg mixture add the vanilla, browning, molasses, lime juice and gently mix using low speed (about 30 seconds). Then, add cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, salt, and lime zest and gently mix using low speed again (about 30 seconds).
  4. Pour egg mixture into the butter-sugar mixture, and fold well with a wooden spoon until fully mixed (about 3 minutes). Then fold in the pureed fruit mixture, and lastly the flour.
  5. Pour cake mixture into prepared cake pan and place into the oven along with the additional cake pan of water underneath (on the bottom rack) to ensure the cake does not dry out. Bake for approximately 2 hours (baking times will vary), cake is ready when a toothpick comes out clean or almost clean after inserting into the center of the cake.
  6. Once cake done, remove from oven and place cake pan on a cooling rack. Then when completely cooled, remove cake from pan, slice and enjoy!

Recipe Substitutions and Tips

This alcohol-free black cake recipe is a variation of Traditional Jamaican Black Cake made with wine and rum. If you want a dairy-free, eggless version of this dessert, check out Vegan Jamaican Black Cake Recipe (Eggless).

Serving Suggestions and Tips

Non-alcoholic black cake is best enjoyed within a few hours of making it. Eat it as is at room temperature or add icing, maraschino cherries, whipped cream, or powdered sugar. You can also enjoy it with tea, coffee or ice cream.

Recipe Notes and Tips for Success

  • Use room temperature ingredients for easier mixing. Take the eggs and butter out of the refrigerator an hour before baking so they can come to room temperature.
  • Do not overmix the batter or you run the risk of the cake becoming tough.
  • Remember to place a cake pan full of water on the bottom shelf of the oven while the cake bakes. The steam it generates will keep the cake moist.
  • Browning is the key to getting the deep rich colour that makes black cake “black”. Depending on the brand of browning, you may need more or less than the amount listed. I used the Grace brand, other brands such as Bedessee Jamaica Pride brand you will need less. But be careful not to use too much (depending on the brand) because it can leave a bitter aftertaste.
  • If you prefer a cakier (cake-like texture), you can add 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs and 1 cup flour.  
batter for alcohol free black cake.

Can I Make Alcohol Free Black Cake Ahead of Time?

Without alcohol to preserve the cake, it’s best to make this within a day or 2 of making it.

Storage Instructions

Wrap leftover alcohol-free black cake with plastic wrap and store it at room temperature. Because it does not contain alcohol, the cake should be consumed within 2-3 days.

alcohol free black cake sliced.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a good substitute for alcohol in Christmas cake?

Use red grape juice or non-alcoholic wine as substitutes for alcohol in black cake.

How do you preserve a cake without alcohol?

The best way to preserve alcohol-free black cake is to refrigerate or freeze it.

How long will fruitcake keep without alcohol?

Black cake without alcohol does not last anywhere near as long as traditional black cake. However, you can extend the shelf life by wrapping it tightly with plastic wrap. It lasts 3 days at room temperature, in the fridge for 5 days and up to 3 months in the freezer.

Can kids eat Christmas cake with alcohol?

Never serve uncooked food containing alcohol to children. Classic rum cake is spritzed with alcohol regularly to preserve it so the alcohol is definitely not “cooked out” or evaporated.

Interested in more Jamaican Dessert recipes? Check These Out!

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a slice of jamaican alcohol free black cake.

Alcohol Free Jamaican Black Cake Recipe

Taneisha Morris
Alcohol Free Jamaican Black Cake has the fruity, spiced flavour of traditional black cake without rum or wine. This classic dessert is popular across the Caribbean and is a staple for special occasions. Now the whole family can celebrate Christmas and weddings with a deliciously moist no alcohol black cake!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Soaking Fruit 7 days
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Desserts & Treats
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 10 servings
Calories 413 kcal

Equipment

  • 8-inch Round Cake Pan plus an additional baking pan to hold water
  • Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer to cream the butter and eggs
  • Wooden Spoon for folding in ingredients
  • Large Mixing Bowl to mix egg mixture
  • Measuring Cups liquid and dry, to accurately measure ingredients
  • Measuring Spoons to accurately measure ingredients
  • Rubber Spatula/Scraper for scraping out the cake mixture from bowl
  • Whisk optional, needed if no hand mixer

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1/2 cup Salted Butter softened to room temp. plus more for greasing baking pan
  • 1 cup Dark Brown Sugar packed
  • 6 Large Eggs room temp.
  • 2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 5 tbsp Browning or Homemade Browning Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Molasses
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour spooned and leveled
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 cups Fruit for Christmas Cake pureed until smooth, with the grape or alcohol removed wine.
  • 1/2 cup Grape Juice or alcohol-removed red wine, to be added to fruit when pureeing
  • Juice from 1/2 Lime
  • Zest from 1/2 Lime

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C) and prepare a 8-inch round cake pan by greasing the bottom and sides using butter. Set aside an additional cake pan of water to be placed at the bottom of the oven during the baking process.
  • Add the butter and dark brown sugar to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and cream on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 to 6 minutes). Set aside.
  • Add eggs to another large bowl, and beat using a hand mixer or whisk until light yellow in colour and foamy on top (about 3 to 5 minutes). To the egg mixture add the vanilla, browning, molasses, lime juice and gently mix using low speed (about 30 seconds). Then, add cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, salt, and lime zest and gently mix using low speed again (about 30 seconds).
  • Pour egg mixture into the butter-sugar mixture, and fold well with a wooden spoon until fully mixed (about 3 minutes). Then fold in the pureed fruit mixture, and lastly the flour.
  • Pour cake mixture into prepared cake pan and place into the oven along with the additional cake pan of water underneath (on the bottom rack) to ensure the cake does not dry out. Bake for approximately 2 hours (baking times will vary), cake is ready when a toothpick comes out clean or almost clean after inserting into the center of the cake.
  • Once cake done, remove from oven and place cake pan on a cooling rack. Then when completely cooled, remove cake from pan, slice and enjoy!

Video

Recipe Notes

Fruit for Christmas Cake: Soak the fruits in grape juice or alcohol-removed wine (non-alcoholic wine), ensuring they absorb the liquid and are well hydrated and plump before pureeing until smooth to use in the cake. Follow the instructions as per the recipe.
Browning – this is key to getting the deep rich colour that makes black cake “black”. Depending on the brand of browning, you may need more or less than the amount listed. I used the Grace brand, other brands such as Bedessee Jamaica Pride brand you will need less. Also, be careful not to use too much (depending on brand) as it can leave a bitter after taste.
Yield – this recipe is for one 8-inch cake. If you want two cakes, simply double the recipe ingredients – this will yield two 8-inch cakes. If you prefer a smaller cake, divide the recipe ingredients in half (by two) and this will yield a smaller 6-inch (or smaller) cake.
Cake Batter Readiness Test – a good test to determine whether your cake is ready for the oven is to stick a wooden spoon in the middle of the cake batter. If the spoons slowly begins to fall then rapidly falls to the side, you are set and cake ready for the oven!

Nutrition

Calories: 413kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 6gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 387mgPotassium: 164mgFiber: 1gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 713IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 94mgIron: 2mg

Note, the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary based on products used.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a star rating and a comment below! You can also tag @theseasoned.skillet and use #theseasonedskillet on Instagram!
Keyword(s) Alcohol-Free Black Cake, Alcohol-Free Jamaican Black Cake, black cake recipe without alcohol, Black Cake without Alcohol, how to make alcohol-free black cake, how to make black cake without alcohol, Jamaican Black Cake without Alcohol

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Chadene B
    December 30, 2023 at 8:38 pm

    I can’t believe I’m just finding this now! Being pregnant, I felt so left out not eating traditional black cake with my family – but this recipe is a Godsend! Thank you and can’t wait to try this, even with Christmas over 🙂

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      February 13, 2024 at 12:13 pm

      So happy you came across this recipe, also, congratulations on your bundle!!

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