I love black cake! However, I don’t enjoy the tummy ache that comes after I’ve indulged in a slice or two. I used a mixture of gluten free ingredients to come up with this gluten free black cake. Last year I substituted the wheat flour in my black cake recipe for a gluten free flour. The results were good but after a few days of soaking in rum, the cake became grainy and almost inedible. This year I used a combination of gluten free flours for my Gluten Free Black Cake recipe. It’s been a week and it is still yummy and not grainy. I’ve also added a page to my blog for all things gluten free. Check it out here for other great gluten free recipes!

First Things, First

We can’t make black cake without rum soaked fruits and this gluten free black cake is no exception. Click the photo below for my post on how to soak and process your fruits for black cake and fruit cake! For this recipe you will need 1.5 lbs of soaked fruits processed into a smooth paste.

The Gluten Free Black Cake Batter

After creaming the sugar and butter and adding the eggs, I add the dry ingredients to the egg, sugar, butter mixture and mix together to form a smooth batter. This black cake batter is thick and pasty looking because of the types of flour used, but don’t be nervous it still makes a pretty delicious gluten free black cake. If you are part of a house hold where you are the only one that is gluten free (like me) and need the recipe for traditional wheat based black cake, I have a really tasty black cake recipe. Click here for that black cake recipe!

I used my stand mixer for this gluten free black cake recipe but you can use a hand held mixer if you prefer. I should also note that this recipe gives you a small 6 inch round pan of cake. When I am making gluten free anything I usually scale down and make smaller portions because I’m the only one eating it, and I don’t want to over indulge.

Adding the fruits, rum and wine

I added the browning, wine, essence, rum and orange zest to the macerated fruits and mixed it really well. Usually I would add the fruits and wet ingredients to the creamed butter, sugar and eggs and then add in the dry ingredients. However, while baking this gluten free black cake, I was a little distracted by my kids and ended up doing it this way. It didn’t impact the taste or texture of the black cake, but I did notice that there were a few tiny patches in the finished cake, where the cake batter didn’t quite mix with the fruits and browning. I highly recommend adding the fruits to the creamed butter and sugar first, then adding the dry ingredients a little at a time.

Baking the Gluten Free Caribbean Black Cake

When I lived in Guyana my mom baked her Black cake, Fruit Cake and Sponge Cake in danish cookie tins. For a bit of nostalgia and because I didn’t have a tin small enough for this cake, I used a cookie tin I bought from the dollar store. Just like I would a regular baking pan, I greased the cookie tin with butter and lined it with parchment paper. Before I put the tin in the oven, I covered the bottom with a bit of foil. The cookie tin was really thin and I didn’t want the cake to burn. The tin worked well and my cake baked up perfectly.

The batter for this Gluten Free Black Cake is very thick. So I used a wet spatula to smooth the top out a bit before baking. After baking I poured a tablespoon of dark Caribbean rum over the top of the cake. As the cake cools it will darken. Once the cake cooled completely I wrapped the cake with plastic wrap. I recommend that you keep it in a covered container.  Let the cake rest for 2-3 days before serving. Black cake is better served stale. Allow those flavors to come together and that rum to soak into the cake before serving. I guarantee you even gluten eaters will appreciate this gluten free black cake. I hope you give this cake a try! Follow me on instagram where I share more gluten free tips for every day cooking and baking.


The Gluten Free Black Cake Recipe:

Gluten Free Black Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Black cake is a dense and moist cake made with rum soaked macerated fruits. This cake has all the flavors of black cake without any of the gluten.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Caribbean/Gluten Free
Serves: 1 6 inch small cake
  • 1 stick of butter (at room temperature)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of King Arthur measure for measure flour
  • ¼ cup of potato flour
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon powdered/ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon clove powder
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1½ lbs of rum soaked macerated fruits
  • 3 tablespoons browning
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon almond essence
  • 3 tablespoons dark Caribbean rum
  • ¼ cup port wine
  1. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add eggs one at a time until all are combined
  2. Add fruits, then browning, 2 tablespoons of rum, all of the wine, vanilla essence, almond essence and orange zest
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the measure for measure flour, potato flour and almond flour
  4. Then add the nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and baking powder
  5. Add the dried ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time and combine to make a smooth batter
  6. Preheat oven to 300 °F
  7. Scoop batter into a greased 6 inch round baking/cake pan
  8. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the cake comes out clean and free of batter
  9. I start to check the cake at 1 hour and 10 minutes and keep checking every 10 minutes to ensure it doesn't burn
  10. Once the cake is completely cooked and a tooth pick inserted into the cake comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven
  11. Brush a tablespoon of rum over the top of the cake while it is still hot
  12. Let cake cool completely, then wrap with plastic wrap and let rest for 2-3 days before enjoying
This is a gluten free cake, the batter will look slightly thicker and denser than regular cake batter before baking but once baked you will not be able to tell the difference between this cake and a regular wheat based cake.

Feel free to add more than 1 tablespoon of rum to your cake when it first comes out of the oven if you like!

Black cake gets better with age. Let your cake rest for at least 3 days before eating, it will be worth it.



  1. Safhrana Bhikam May 8, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Hi i love your recipes. I have Neen doing very well wi them. Thank you so much. I have been looking for a while now for this local black cake we use to have in guyana. They use to say it was made from stale bread lol. Wou you haPpen to have any idea how its made?

    1. Althea Brown May 8, 2020 at 7:25 pm

      Are you talking about Chester Cake?

  2. Safhrana Bhikam May 8, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    No. There’s no pastry Dough on the one i am talking about. It’s black like black cake, but not made with fruits. Does not have a Cake teXture either.

    1. Althea Brown May 8, 2020 at 7:45 pm

      Hmmm I’ll have to consult with my mom and aunt and see if they know.

  3. Safhrana Bhikam May 8, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Was a ver cheep cake. They Use to cut it into big squares to sell. Almo rubbery to the touch. If u press on it it woul sling back. If i am not wrong it was considered a poor man cake. When you buy it from the snackers u can get a mix of that, jam slice (which i made toniGht) and red cake. I am from berbice so iDk if it’s a berbice Thing.

  4. Safhrana Bhikam May 8, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    Was a ver cheep cake. They Use to cut it into big squares to sell. Almost rubbery to the touch. If u press on it it woul sling back. If i am not wrong it was considered a poor man cake. When you buy it from the snackers u can get a mix of that, jam slice (which i made toniGht) and red cake. I am from berbice so iDk if it’s a berbice Thing.

    1. Althea Brown May 8, 2020 at 7:56 pm

      Ok I’ll ask

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