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Sep 25, 2010 11:50 AM

non-alcoholic black cake recipe?

Yes, I know. You are probably wondering why anyone would want a non-alcoholic version of something that is basically the cake version of rum balls.

A few months ago, I read the following short article about the wonderfulness of Caribbean black cake: and I commented to the author that I thought it sounded AMAZING. Well, she happens to know that I am Muslim and don't consume alcohol, and mentioned that you can make this non-alcoholic, and she's had that version, and it's good! Another Caribbean native, one who is Muslim, also told me that she'd had non-alcoholic black cake and confirms that it is very good indeed.

Ever since, I've tried to find a non-alcoholic recipe of Caribbean black cake, but I can't find one anywhere. I know it exists.... does anyone know where I can find this recipe?

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  1. In Laurie Colwin's book "Home Cooking", there is a four page recipe for Black Cake, which includes an essay, as well. She asks for a bottle of Passover sweet wine, and a bottle of dark rum. I'm thinking you might be able to substitute grape juice for the wine, and some type of apple or pear juice or nectar for the rum - using equal amounts. No, it won't have the same kick as using alcohol, but the ratio of liquid to fruit and dry ingredients will be the same. One ingredients she does ask for is one pound burnt sugar or one 4 ounce bottle of burnt sugar essence - probably not so easy to find. I have a friend from Barbados who gave me a gift of her black cake at holiday time - and a true gift it was! Good luck.

    3 Replies
    1. re: critter101

      Was that her Home Cooking, or More Home cooking? Because if it's the first, I'm missing some pages or it's been revised since I got mine.

      1. re: mamachef

        It's in "Home Cooking", on pages 180-184.

        1. re: critter101

          so sorry, critter: I just went to check my copy, and guess what book I have? I'm the one with More Home Cooking. D'Oh!

    2. the dried fruit all is soaked in booze and booze is poured over the cake. that's what preserves it and imbues it with flavor. none of that will happen with grape or apple juice and the flavor will be totally different. you might try working with diluted molasses though.

      1. Thank you all for the great advice--that gives me a good starting point. Unfortunately, I don' t know what black cake is SUPPOSED to taste like, but if I come up with something that tastes good on its own merits, that's good enough for me!

        1 Reply
        1. re: lazy_engineer

          You could look up a recipe for a dark fruitcake (one with spices, especially allspice, and molasses) and use rum flavoring in it - any alcohol in the extract would dissipate in the long baking.

        2. Never mind! I contacted a Trinidad-based Muslim who has made this cake before, and she printed her tried and true non-alcoholic black cake recipe on her blog: