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Try These Christmas Recipes From Around the Region: Guyanese Black Cake

by Lou-Ann Jordan Dec 2, 2019

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Christmas is a time to share, not just love and laughter but goodies too. And, this holiday our goal is to share goodies from various countries.

The region is beautifully diverse.  First, in terms of nationality as each country presents unique characteristics found only upon its landscape.  However, also within each nation, there is more multiplicity.

From our assortment of peoples comes an opportunity to appreciate variations in our language, art forms and even our food.  So that’s what we want to talk about, our various types of delicacies.  While there may be similar foods amongst the nations, each country puts their ‘spin’ on familiar recipes.

We want to take a look at recipes you know and love but taken from countries in the region. 

Let’s have our taste buds cross the distance as we borrow traditional Christmas recipes from places like Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Dominica, St. Vincent and St. Lucia. 

We’ll begin in Guyana and try our hand at a Christmas staple, the famous and well-loved black cake.

Guyanese Black Cake


1 lb raisins

1 lb preserved carambola (star fruit/five fingers) fruit

½ lb currants

½ lb prunes

1 cup brown rum

2 lbs brown sugar

1 lb butter

4 eggs, beaten

1 lb flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp mixed spices

¼ lb mixed peel

¼ lb chopped nuts

1 tsp vanilla flavouring


Early-up preparations: Wash and dry the fruits, then grind fruits and soak with ¾ cup of rum. Store covered in a glass jar for two weeks or longer.

For the caramel: Heat 1lb of sugar in a heavy bottom frying pan until melted.  Simmer until dark brown.

Cream butter and 1lb sugar well, and then add beaten eggs a little at a time.  Next, add soaked fruits and rum. Pour in caramel making mixture as dark as desired.

Add sifted flour, baking powder, mixed spice and vanilla flavouring. Fold in mixed peel and chopped nuts.

Pour mixture in baking pan. Bake in slow oven at 375F˚ for approximately 90 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted to test comes out clean. Remove from oven, and lightly brush with rum.

We know there may be some variation in the way you usually make it, but give this recipe a try.  It’s a chance to do black cake the way the Guyanese do. 

Next, we’ll take a trip over to Trinidad and Tobago to check out their version of a Christmas favourite—Ponche de crème.

Source: Guyana Inc.