Hello, Good News! If you’re looking for a festive and flavorful dessert to impress your family and friends, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll show you how to make a traditional Guyanese fruit cake that’s moist, boozy, and rich with the flavor of rum-soaked fruits. This is not your typical fruit cake that’s dry, dense, and full of chunky fruits. This is a light, airy, and spiced cake that’s a delicious mash-up between pound cake and black cake. You’ll love this recipe!
But before we get into the details of how to make this amazing cake, let’s learn a bit more about its origin and history. Fruit cake is a popular holiday dessert in many countries, and each region has its own unique take on the dish. In Guyana, the traditional fruit cake is made with a variety of local fruits, such as cherries, pineapple, and papaya. The cake is often spiced with ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, giving it a warm and flavorful taste. The fruits are usually soaked in rum or brandy for several days or weeks before being added to the cake batter. This helps to plump up the fruits and infuse them with flavor. The cake is then baked in a slow oven, so that the fruit has time to caramelize and the cake develops a deep, rich flavor.
What You’ll Need to Make Guyanese Fruit Cake
To make a Guyanese fruit cake, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Butter: Use room temperature butter so the sugar crystals will easily dissolve.
- Sugar: This is mixed with the butter, for a sweet creamy base.
- Eggs: These are added one at a time, to create a smooth and fluffy batter.
- Flour: This is sifted with baking powder and mixed spice, to give the cake structure and flavor.
- Baking powder: This helps the cake rise and become light and airy.
- Mixed spice: This is a blend of spices that typically includes cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and ginger. You can buy it ready-made or make your own.
- Fruits: These are the star of the show. You’ll need raisins, currants, prunes, cherries, pineapple, papaya, candied mixed peel, and nuts. You can use fresh or dried fruits, depending on your preference and availability.
- Rum or brandy: These are used to soak the fruits and add flavor and moisture to the cake. You can use any type of rum or brandy you like, but dark ones tend to have more depth and richness.
- Vanilla extract: This adds a subtle sweetness and aroma to the cake.
- Almond extract: This enhances the nutty flavor of the cake.
- Honey: This adds a touch of natural sweetness and helps the cake stay moist.
- Orange liqueur or orange zest: These add a citrusy note and complement the fruity flavor of the cake.
To make a Guyanese fruit cake, you’ll need the following equipment:
- A large bowl: This is used to cream the butter and sugar together.
- A mixer: This can be either a hand mixer or a stand mixer. You’ll use it to beat the eggs and mix the batter.
- A wooden spoon or spatula: This is used to fold in the fruits and nuts into the batter.
- A sieve: This is used to sift the flour with the baking powder and mixed spice.
- A measuring cup and spoons: These are used to measure out the ingredients accurately.
- A knife and cutting board: These are used to chop up the fruits and nuts if needed.
- A baking pan: This can be either a round or square pan, depending on your preference. You’ll need to grease it and line it with waxed paper or parchment paper.
- An oven: This is used to bake the cake at a low temperature for about an hour.
- A skewer or toothpick: This is used to test if the cake is done by inserting it into the center. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
- A wire rack: This is used to cool down the cake after baking.
How to Make Guyanese Fruit Cake
Step 1: Soak the Fruits
The first step in making Guyanese fruit cake is to soak the fruits in rum or brandy. This will help to plump up the fruits and infuse them with flavor. You can do this several days or weeks in advance, or even a year ahead if you want to make a really boozy cake. Here’s how to do it:
- Wash and dry the fruits. If using fresh fruits, peel and chop them into small pieces. If using dried fruits, you can leave them whole or chop them if you prefer.
- Place the fruits in a large glass jar or bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Pour enough rum or brandy to cover the fruits completely. You can also add some sugar, honey, or molasses if you want to sweeten the mixture.
- Seal the jar or bowl and store it in a cool, dark place. Shake or stir the mixture occasionally to make sure the fruits are well coated with the alcohol.
- Let the fruits soak for at least a week, or longer if you have time. The longer they soak, the more flavor they will have.
Step 2: Cream the Butter and Sugar
The next step in making Guyanese fruit cake is to cream the butter and sugar together. This will create a light and fluffy base for the cake batter. Here’s how to do it:
- Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C). Grease and line your baking pan with waxed paper or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with a mixer until well combined and creamy. This may take about 10 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture may look curdled at first, but don’t worry, it will smooth out as you add more eggs.
Step 3: Add the Fruits and Nuts
The next step in making Guyanese fruit cake is to add the fruits and nuts to the batter. This will give the cake its texture and flavor. Here’s how to do it:
- Drain the soaked fruits, reserving some of the liquid for later. You can use a colander or a sieve to do this.
- Add about 2 cups of the fruits to the butter and sugar mixture. Stir well with a wooden spoon or spatula to distribute them evenly.
- Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, rum, orange liqueur or orange zest, and honey to the batter. Mix well to combine.
- Fold in the candied mixed peel and chopped nuts with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Step 4: Add the Flour and Spices
The next step in making Guyanese fruit cake is to add the flour and spices to the batter. This will give the cake its structure and flavor. Here’s how to do it:
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and mixed spice.
- Add about half of the flour mixture to the batter and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Add enough of the reserved fruit liquid to make a smooth and thick batter. You may not need all of it, depending on how moist your fruits are.
- Add the remaining flour mixture and mix well until no dry spots remain.
Step 5: Bake the Cake
The final step in making Guyanese fruit cake is to bake the cake in a slow oven. This will allow the cake to cook evenly and develop a deep, rich flavor. Here’s how to do it:
- Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
- Bake for about an hour, or until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool slightly in the pan before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
A Table Breakdown of Guyanese Fruit Cake Recipe
To help you visualize how much ingredients you’ll need for different sizes of cakes, we’ve prepared a table breakdown of Guyanese fruit cake recipe for you. You can use this as a guide when shopping for ingredients or scaling up or down your recipe. The table shows how much ingredients you’ll need for 8-inch round cakes that are about 2 inches high. You can adjust accordingly for other sizes of pans or heights of cakes.
|Cake Size||Butter||Sugar||Eggs||Flour||Baking Powder||Mixed Spice||Fruits||Rum or Brandy||Vanilla Extract||Almond Extract||Honey||Orange Liqueur or Zest||Candied Mixed Peel||Nuts|
|8-inch round cake (1 cake)||1 cup (227 g)||1 cup (200 g)||4 large eggs||2 cups (240 g)||2 teaspoons (8 g)||2 teaspoons (4 g)||2 cups (300 g)||1 cup (240 ml)||1 teaspoon (4 ml)||1/2 teaspoon (2 ml)||2 tablespoons (30 ml)||2 tablespoons (30 ml) or zest of one orange||1/4 cup (50 g)||1/4 cup (30 g)|
|8-inch round cake (2 cakes)||2 cups (454 g)||2 cups (400 g)||8 large eggs||4 cups (480 g)||4 teaspoons (16 g)||4 teaspoons (8 g)||4 cups (600 g)||2 cups (480 ml)||2 teaspoons (8 ml)||1 teaspoon (4 ml)||4 tablespoons (60 ml)||4 tablespoons (60 ml) or zest of two oranges||1/2 cup (100 g)||1/2 cup (60 g)|