Desserts & Treats/ Jamaican/ Vegan

Vegan Jamaican Black Cake Recipe (Eggless)

November 29, 2023 (Last Updated: December 3, 2023)

Vegan Black Cake is a dairy-free, eggless version of the classic Jamaican black cake recipe. This eggless black cake is just as moist, fruity, spiced and boozy as the original. Serve this popular Caribbean cake during the holidays as a special treat!

a slice of vegan jamaican black cake.

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Vegan Black Cake is a dairy-free, eggless version of the classic Jamaican black cake recipe. This eggless black cake is just as moist, fruity, spiced and boozy as the original. Serve this popular Caribbean cake during the holidays as a special treat!

Want to try other vegan desserts? Check out Jamaican Busta Candy (Stagga Back), Tamarind Balls and Jamaican Coconut Drops next.

vegan black cake.

Eggless Black Cake

I can’t imagine Christmas in a Jamaican household without black cake! But traditional Jamaican black cake is made with eggs and dairy so those with dietary restrictions can’t indulge. To be inclusive, (and challenge my culinary skills) I made vegan black cake.

Jamaican black cake without eggs is definitely not a thing but I made it happen with this recipe! Simply swap butter and eggs for vegan butter and apple sauce, and this plant-based recipe is nearly identical to my Authentic Jamaican Black Cake recipe. Everyone deserves a slice of black cake no matter their dietary needs so serve this up!

Here’s Why You’ll Love this Vegan Black Cake Recipe

  • Traditional Christmas Dessert: Given how many vegan Jamaican recipes there are, I’m shocked there aren’t more vegan black recipes. This recipe remedies that while still keeping the essence of the traditional cake.
  • Amazing Flavour & Texture: Don’t let the vegan label fool you! This dessert is still indulgently rich. It’s made with rum soaked fruit, sugar and spices so it still has the familiar taste you love.
  • Crowd Pleaser: More people can indulge when you make vegan desserts. And even if you’re not vegan, you still benefit from consuming fewer eggs and dairy.
jamaican eggless black cake.

What is Jamaican Black Cake?

Jamaican black cake (also referred to as rum cake, Christmas fruit cake and Christmas cake) is a popular Caribbean dessert made with pre-soaked fruit.

Why is it Called Black Cake?

This Caribbean dessert is referred to as black cake because of its strikingly dark colour.

What is the Significance of Black Cake?

Jamaican black cake is very popular during the holiday season but it’s also served at weddings (with royal icing). The main ingredient is rum-soaked fruit, and the longer you let it sit, the stronger the taste. So this cake can take months to prepare.

With that much time invested, this dessert is super special which is why it’s served on special occasions.

slice of eggless vegan black cake.

Jamaican Black Cake Origin

Black cake stems from plum pudding. British colonizers who settled in Jamaica introduced the island to the dessert and islanders made the recipe their own, incorporating local ingredients like rum and spices.

What does Vegan Jamaican Black Cake Taste Like?

Vegan black cake is initially sweet, with subtle hints of wine and a deep spiced flavour. The infusion of rum-soaked dried fruits adds a sweet complexity, resulting in a decadent dessert.

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

  • 8-inch Round Cake Pan: This contains the cake as it bakes.
  • Additional baking pan: To hold water.
  • Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer: Use this to cream the butter and eggs.
  • Wooden Spoon: Use this to fold ingredients together.
  • Large Mixing Bowl: To mix egg mixture.
  • Measuring Cups (liquid and dry): To accurately measure dry and wet ingredients.
  • Measuring Spoons: Use to accurately measure ingredients.
  • Rubber Spatula/Scraper: For scraping out the cake mixture from the bowl.
  • Whisk: This is optional but necessary if no hand mixer.

Ingredients and Ingredient Notes

  • Plant-Based Butter: Ensure it is softened to room temp.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: This has more moisture than white sugar (granulated sugar).
  • Applesauce: This is the perfect substitute for eggs. It’s essential to the structure of your vegan black cake because it acts as a binding ingredient. It also adds moisture, just as eggs would.
  • Vanilla Extract: This enhances the overall flavour.
  • Browning or Homemade Browning Sauce: This dark, savoury sauce adds colour and depth of flavour. Measure it accurately so it doesn’t turn the cake bitter.
  • Molasses: This thick, dark syrup derives from sugar cane. It contributes to the sweetness but also to the colour and the moistness.
  • Spices: Use ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ground allspice.
  • All Purpose Flour: Spooned and leveled.
  • Baking Powder: This leavening agent helps the cake lift as it bakes.
  • Salt: Use this to counteract the sweetness.
  • Fruit for Christmas Cake: Soaked fruit is pureed until smooth, with the rum and wine listed below. Alternatively, use the quick soak method for preparing fruit. See the notes section of the recipe card for details.
  • Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum: Add to fruit when pureeing.
  • J. Wray & Nephew Red Label Wine: Add to fruit when pureeing.
  • Lime: Lime juice and lime zest add a citrusy tang to the cake.

For After Baking

  • J. Wray & Nephew Red Label Wine: To pour overtop cake as soon as it comes out the oven.
  • Red Label Wine and White Overproof Rum: Combined as desired, to spritz cake every few days.

How to Make Vegan Black Cake

  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 applesauce to another large bowl, then add the vanilla, browning, molasses, lime juice and whisk until combined. Then, add cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, salt, and lime zest and gently whisk until incorporated.
  4. Pour applesauce 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, pour 1/2 cup of J. Wray & Nephew Red Label wine overtop while hot. Allow to soak into cake. Then when completely cooled, remove cake from pan, slice and enjoy!

Recipe Substitutions and Tips

  • Fruits: You can use any combination of dried fruits for soaking. Top choices are raisins, currants, prunes, citron, cherries, dates, mixed peels and cranberries.
  • Nuts: For more texture, try adding finely chopped nuts like walnuts to the cake batter.
  • Toppings: Top eggless black cake with edible flowers, vegan frosting, maraschino cherries, or coconut whipped cream.

Serving Suggestions and Tips

Enjoy a slice of vegan black cake after your holiday meal with a warm beverage like Cocoa Tea or something refreshing like Sorrel Drink.

Recipe Notes and Tips for Success

  • Don’t skip the pan of water. Placing a pan of water at the bottom of the oven during the baking process keeps your vegan black cake moist.
  • Do not use dry red wine. It’s not sweet enough for this recipe.
  • Don’t overdo it with the browning. If you use too much, the cake will taste bitter.
  • Avoid peeking too often. If the oven opens and closes too frequently, the temperature fluctuates and the cake won’t cook evenly.
  • It’s totally normal for the cake surface to have a few tiny cracks when you take it out of the oven. They get smaller as the cake cools down.

Can I Make Vegan Black Cake Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! This cake can be stored for months without spoiling. Just store it properly.

Storage Instructions

Room Temperature: After the eggless cake has cooled, store it in an airtight container or tightly wrap it in a combination of parchment paper and aluminum foil, or just foil. Open every few days and refresh the cake with a spritz of rum and wine. It will last up to 1 month at room temperature.

Fridge: Wrap the cake as instructed above and it will last up to 3 months.

Freezer: When properly stored, leftover vegan black cake lasts up to 1 year.

How to Defrost Frozen Black Cake

Allow the cake to thaw overnight in the fridge (approximately 8 hours).

black cake.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What gives black cake its colour?

Browning gives black cake its dark brown hue.

What is the difference between black cake and fruit cake?

Although black cake and fruit cake are sometimes used interchangeably, they are two different desserts. Black cake references a particular style of dark, spiced cake prevalent in Caribbean cuisine, especially Jamaica. Whereas fruit cake is a broader term used to describe any cake with a substantial amount of dried or candied fruits.

What is the difference between classic black cake and vegan black cake?

This vegan black cake recipe is nearly identical to classic black cake except for two ingredients. This recipe swaps butter for vegan butter and eggs for applesauce.

Interested in more Jamaican Dessert Recipes? Check These Out!

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a slice of vegan jamaican black cake.

Vegan Jamaican Black Cake

Taneisha Morris
Vegan Black Cake is a dairy-free, eggless version of the classic Jamaican black cake recipe. This eggless black cake is just as moist, fruity, spiced and boozy as the original. Serve this popular Caribbean cake during the holidays as a special treat!
5 from 2 votes
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 313 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 sugar
  • Wooden Spoon for folding in ingredients
  • Large Mixing Bowl to combine the ingredients
  • 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 Plant-Based Butter softened to room temp. plus more for greasing baking pan
  • 1 cup Dark Brown Sugar packed
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1 cup Fruit for Christmas Cake pureed until smooth, with the rum and wine listed below. OR use the quick soak method for preparing fruit. See notes.
  • 2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 tbsp Browning or Homemade Browning Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Molasses
  • 1/2 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum to be added to fruit when pureeing
  • 1/4 cup J. Wray & Nephew Red Label Wine to be added to fruit when pureeing
  • Juice from 1/2 Lime
  • Zest from 1/2 Lime

For After Baking

  • 1/2 cup J. Wray & Nephew Red Label Wine to pour overtop cake as soon as it comes out the oven or as desired
  • Red Label Wine and White Overproof Rum combined as desired, to spritz cake every few days.

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 applesauce and pureed fruit mixture to another large bowl, then add the vanilla, browning, molasses, lime juice and zest and mix until combined. Then in another bowl, add the flour, breadcrumbs, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, salt and gently whisk until incorporated.
  • Pour applesauce-fruit mixture into the butter-sugar mixture, and mix well with a wooden spoon. Lastly, fold in the flour until well combined.
  • 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, pour 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of J. Wray & Nephew Red Label wine evenly overtop while hot. Allow to soak into cake. Then when completely cooled, remove cake from pan, slice and enjoy!

Video

Recipe Notes

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.
Storage (Room Temp) – after cake has cooled, store in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in a combination of parchment paper and aluminum foil, or just foil. Open every few days and refresh cake with a spritz of rum and wine.

Nutrition

Calories: 313kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 2gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 2gSodium: 311mgPotassium: 155mgFiber: 1gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 9IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 1mg

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) eggless black cake, eggless Jamaican black cake, how to make vegan black cake, vegan black cake, vegan black cake recipe, vegan Jamaican black cake, vegan Jamaican black cake recipe, what is black cake

4 Comments

  • Reply
    Edwina Nwankwo
    December 22, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this delicious and moist black cake recipe. Clean and delicious taste. No after taste!

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      December 27, 2023 at 1:42 pm

      You are so welcome! It’s one of my favourite recipes and definitely one that holds a lot of value in my life so I am happy you enjoyed!!

    • Reply
      Chr
      December 29, 2023 at 7:29 pm

      5 stars
      Excellent flavor and texture! Great with a glass of sorrel!

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