Jamaican Fruit Cake

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A delicious and rich version of Jamaican Fruit Cake that is especially popular around Christmas. it is vegan, gluten-free, and alcohol-free with an amazing taste and moist texture!

Jamaican Fruit Cake

\Jamaican Fruit Cake

I don’t drink alcohol,  instead, I substituted grape juice for the alcohol. Red wine, rum or Port wine that is traditionally used. 

I must say with my version you won’t even miss the alcohol, when I serve this to my hubby, he was blown away and told me how I outdid myself and request I make another cake right away to serve along with my Sweet Potato Pudding and Sorrel Drink.

Jamaican Christmas Cake Recipe on a white background topped with pomegranate arils

Jamaican Fruit Cake, also known as, Jamaican Christmas Cake, Wedding cake, Jamaican Black Cake. It is the cake of choice for weddings, parties or any formal occasion in Jamaica. 

This fruit cake is usually made by soaking dried fruits in alcohol. It is soaked for as little as a few days to years, usually, the latter is the norm.

Making this cake brings back childhood memories. My mom making several of this cake so she could share it with friends and family during Christmas. The smell of our home was amazing as she baked them.

step by step images of Jamaican Fruit Cake

For my Jamaican Fruit Cake  I used Bob’s Red Mills Gluten-Free All-Purpose flour, you may substitute flour of your choice, such as oat-flour, rice flour.

For deep brown color, I used molasses but in Jamaica, we used browning as well.  The color was perfect without the use of browning.

How To Make Jamaican Fruit Cake?

To make the cake:

I didn’t have time to soak my fruits so I boiled them in grape just for 10 minutes.

Reserve a small amount to add to the batter as is for the texture.

I used a springform pan for easy release, but a well-oiled baking pan or parchment-lined pan will work fine.

I used a non-dairy butter, Earth Balance Buttery Spread.

For sweetener, I used coconut sugar to help with a deep rich color. You can substitute with a dark brown sweetener like ‘Sucanat’ or turbinado sugar.

Any dried fruit combination can be used but traditionally, its raisins, cherries, mixed peel, prunes, currants but I have made a delicious cake with the addition of Trader Joes Golden Berry Blend.

Jamaican Fruit Cake

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Categories: ,


257 kcal / 1074 kJ
12 g
3 g
34 g
Per portion

Cooking Time

20 min
1 h
Ready in:
1 h 20 min
12 servings



  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Spray 9-inch round baking pan and set aside. Place grape juice and dried fruits in a large saucepan on medium heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow fruits to cool.
  2. Place 1 1/2 cups of the fruits and remaining liquid in a blender or food processor and puree. Pour in a medium bowl, add molasses, softened butter, almond extract, vanilla, and lemon zest, mix well.
  3. In a large bowl, combine, gluten-free flour, almond flour, sugar, ground flaxseeds, baking powder, allspice, and salt
  4. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredient and stir well to combine. Add remaining dried fruits and stir. Pour batter into prepare round baking pan. Bake for 60-90 minutes, or when fork is inserted in the center it comes out clean.


Jamaican Fruit Cake Alcohol-Free, Vegan, Gluten-Free

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

Please Leave a Comment and a Rating

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  1. Rachel Edwards
    January 23, 2020

    Hi from the UK. Fantastic, I just love fruit cake!!
    Just wanted to know if I use Self raising flour, do I still need the almond flour? I’ll take out the baking powder and salt and still use the flaxseeds.

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      January 23, 2020

      Hi Rachel, nice to meet you. I would still add the almond flour if you have it. If you don’t then leave it out. I hope you enjoy it.

  2. Anthony
    December 29, 2019

    Made this cake and it was amazing. Family went back for more. Thank you Michelle.

  3. Ashley
    December 1, 2019

    Hi Michelle,
    Could I use regular all purpose flour , measure for measure, in place of the gluten free ap flour? If so, would this work well in combination with the almond flour ? Alternatively, is it possible to only use regular all purpose flour in place of both gluten free flours ? Any additional advice/tweaks needed to maintain a good texture? Thanks

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      December 1, 2019

      Ashley, either the regular all-purpose or the combination with almond flour will work according to readers’ feedback.

      • Ashley
        December 1, 2019

        That’s great! I just discovered I have gf coconut flour on hand. I may use a combination of it with the regular ap flour. Thanks!

        • Michelle Blackwood, RN
          December 1, 2019

          That’s awesome, use a lot less coconut flour since it absorbs a lot more water than regular flour, hope you enjoy!

  4. melina
    November 30, 2019

    I made the cake oil free by replacing the non-dairy butter for applesauce.

  5. Ann Marie
    October 16, 2019

    Made it for my husband’s birthday, he loved it and kept saying how moist it is. Thank you very much aunty Michelle for sharing your recipes with us. God bless you.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 16, 2019

      Ann Marie, happy belated birthday to your husband. I’m so happy you both enjoyed it. God bless you too.

  6. Anita Sharma
    April 18, 2019

    I am making the cake today and I am excited. The only thing I did differently was to mix up a batch of fruits in brandy beforehand. SO i used two cups of that mixture instead of soaking the fruits in the grape juice. Crossing fingers it turns out well! The batter was very thick and I had to scoop it out with my spatula. Hope that is normal. Will let you know how it turned out.

  7. Coreen
    January 23, 2019

    I must say I tried this recipe a second time over the holidays as I was not fully satisfied with my result the first time (due to an error on my part). On the second attempt, I used the ingredients listed except I used dates to replace the sugar, I used rose water and vanilla essence to replace almond extract and vanilla respectively,regular all purpose flour and oat flour to replace the almond flour. It is a great recipe!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 23, 2019

      Thank you Coreen for your feedback, I’m so happy it turned out well on your second attempt. Your adjustments sound great.

  8. Kerry
    December 29, 2018

    I made this for Christmas and it was amazing. It reminded me of home right away. I’ll be making it again tonight. Is there any specific reason why you use almond flour along with gf flour? Thank you

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 29, 2018

      Kerry I’m so happy you enjoyed it and you are going to make it again. I made it with gluten-free flour and almond flour because I’m gluten-intolerant ever since I had a bowel resection following being nicked in my bowels during a c-section 9 years ago. That combination results in the best cake-like texture, just like regular flour. Hope you enjoy.

      • Kerry
        December 30, 2018

        Thank so much for responding. I was wondering because I thought of using all gluten free flour and no almond flour. Good to know. Thank you!

  9. Ann
    December 27, 2018

    …Forgot to leave some comments.

    This has become my go to recipe for black cake. This cake was flavorful, rich, and easy to make. The only thing I added was additional grape juice after mixing the wet and dry ingredients together. The next time I will also reduce the amount of sugar since the fruits and the molasses are already sweet.

    Thanks so much for another fine recipe. Looking forward to making this again! Blessings.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 27, 2018

      That’s awesome Ann, I’m so happy you enjoy it. Thank you very much for your feedback. Love that you adjusted it to your taste. Happy New Year.

  10. Anne
    December 27, 2018

    Absolutely delicious!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 27, 2018

      Thank you Anne!

  11. Coreen
    December 19, 2018

    I’m making this recipe right now.it yielded enough to make 4 one pound and 1 two pound cakes. I was unable to get vegan butter so I used one that listed no dairy ingredients. Also instead of almond extract I used rose water with almond and instead of vanilla I used vanilla essence with almond. I was unable to find gluten-free flour so I used all purpose flour and I used oats flour in place of almond flour. I left out the lemon zest as I was out of lemons and I used cane sugar as coconut was unavailable. The molasses tasted a bit strong but I added a little extra sugar and oat flour to try and tone it down. I hope it turns out well but it was fun trying it as I’ve never baked a fruit cake

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 20, 2018

      Wow Coreen, I love how you are able to make this recipe yours with all the adjustments you have made. I hope you enjoy it. Please let us know how it turned out.

  12. Onebrytesmile
    November 15, 2018

    Hello, I want to make this for Thanksgiving next week. It looks amazing. If I were to use eggs instead of flax, how many should I use? Thanks!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 15, 2018

      Hello, that’s awesome. Eggs aren’t necessary for this recipe, it won’t fall apart without it. Concerning the amount, I really don’t know. Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Sylvia
    November 15, 2018

    Love your website. So glad I found you. I have some fruits I have been soaking in rum for two years, I look forward to trying your recipe. Do you know the shelf life for the cake? I am still eating pieces of my traditional wedding cake with fondant icing, from 11 years ago.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 15, 2018

      Thank you Sylvia, I’m happy you are here and enjoy my recipe. Wow, that’s a long time for you to have cake remaining, I admire your discipline! This cake will not keep as long as traditional fruit cake because it doesn’t have any alcohol in it and it is moist. I should say about 2 days outside and 2-4 days in the refrigerator and up to 4 months in the freezer. If you are making it with regular flour. With gluten-free flour, I recommend that you keep it in an airtight container. All the best and Happy Holidays.

  14. Marina Yanay-Triner
    November 14, 2018

    What a beautiful looking cake!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 14, 2018

      Thank you Marina, hope you try it.

  15. Paula
    November 13, 2018

    Thanks for the yumny recipe. I can’t wait to try it. Can I use chia seeds instead of the flax seeds?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 13, 2018

      Paula you are welcome, absolutely chia seeds will be perfect.

  16. Okito Boothe
    November 13, 2018

    Hi Michelle, my fellow Gainesville Jamaican gluten free vegan. Lol. That’s a mouthful. You are a godsend! Question for you though… Is there a substitute for the almond flour that won’t leave the cake dry? Unfortunately, I have a severe nut allergy, so the almond flour won’t work for me. Thanks in advance.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 13, 2018

      Okito, that’s so cool that you are local. Welcome to my page, so happy you found me. adding ground sunflower seeds would definitely work. Hope you enjoy!

  17. susie
    November 13, 2018

    I cannot believe you make this without eggs. What makes it rise??

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 13, 2018

      Lol Susie, honestly I hate the smell of eggs in baked goods, makes me nauseated. I have been baking like this for over 20 years and baking powder makes it rise. Hope you try it.

  18. Shernette
    January 11, 2018

    I have been searching for a recipe like yours for the longest and this tastes pretty good, thank you

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 11, 2018

      So happy you found my website Shernette, hope you get to try my other recipes

  19. Norma
    December 30, 2017

    This recipe reminds me of the recipe we ate growing up in the Caribbean!

  20. Pedro Nicolas
    December 30, 2017

    Love this recipe, I will be making it every holiday, so delicious!

  21. Theo
    December 28, 2017

    I have been looking for a recipe like yours for a while so happy!

  22. Maria Lara
    December 27, 2017

    Oh my, this cake tastes wonderful, thank you for sharing!

  23. Denise
    December 27, 2017

    By the way I forgot to add that I baked mine with Spelt Flour.

  24. Denise
    December 27, 2017

    While looking for an alternative to the traditional Christmas cake I came across yours. I made it for Christmas and it was a major hit. I have tried others vegan cakes and they never came out dark enough to look like the real Jamaican I grew up on. This one did and it was nice and soft and super easy to make. Will be making again for the New Year. Thank You for showing me that foods on the vegan lifestyle do not have to be complicated.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 27, 2017

      Denise, so happy for your feedback. I’m so happy it turned out great for you, my hubby went to get more molasses so that I can make for the New Year as well.

  25. Dunori
    December 22, 2017

    I’ve had this on my mind all month! I was thinking of making it almost the exact same way too (A/P flour instead and not skipping the “spirits”). I was looking for some guidance first though because it will be my first time making it and I found it here… Thanks!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 22, 2017

      Aww Dunori you are welcome, it is so easy to make so enjoy and Merry Christmas!

      • alecia anderson
        October 19, 2018

        Hi Michelle, love your ideas although i’m not vegan but I love eating healthy food and after looking at some of your recipes and ideas healthier choice make me switch to being a vegan

        • Michelle Blackwood
          October 19, 2018

          Wow that’s amazing Alecia, thank you for your inspiring feedback. All the best on your journey!