This non-alcoholic Guyanese Black Cake has all the flavor of traditional black cake without any of the alcohol. If you are alcohol free, or just looking for a non-alcoholic version of a Guyanese Christmas favorite, then this one is for you!
Non-Alcoholic Black Cake
Black cake is a Guyanese Christmas tradition, no matter what religion you are part of. Muslims in Guyana also make black cake. Although black cake is typically made with rum and wine soaked fruits, then drenched in even more rum, you can also make black cake completely alcohol free and honor all the traditions of the holiday season.
Why You’ll Love This Non-Alcoholic Black Cake Recipe
- Kid Friendly: Everyone should be able to indulge. When you want to celebrate with the whole family, serve this instead of a traditional black cake with rum. This is also great for pregnant people and those abstaining from alcohol.
- Customizable: Feel free to make this cake your own by substituting any of the ingredients for flavors that you like. I have some tasty suggestions too!
- Great for Any Occasion: Although this Carribean treat is usually served during the holiday season, it’s great for any time of the year. Serve it at birthday parties, weddings, and any other special gatherings. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser.
What is Non-Alcoholic Black Cake?
Non-alcoholic black cake is a dense, pudding like cake made with reconstituted dried fruits and warm spices. Typically this cake is made with rum, but in this alcohol free version the fruits are cooked in grape juice.
- Non-Alcoholic Black Cake
- Why You’ll Love This Non-Alcoholic Black Cake Recipe
- What is Non-Alcoholic Black Cake?
- Ingredients for Alcohol-Free Black Cake
- How to Make Non-Alcoholic Black Cake
- How to make browning or burnt sugar for cakes
- Tips for the Best Non-Alcoholic Black Cake
- Recipe Variations & Substitutions
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Non-alcoholic Black Cake
Ingredients for Alcohol-Free Black Cake
Gather all of your ingredients and get ready to treat yourself to this delicious cake!
- Dried Fruits: I use a mixture of raisins, currants, and pitted prunes.
- Concord Grape Juice: Taste-wise, this is a great substitute for wine.
- Spices: Cinnamon Sticks, ground cloves, nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground ginger
- Butter: This adds flavor.
- Sugar: For sweetener.
- All-Purpose Flour: Be precise with the measurement.
- Eggs: This acts as a binding ingredient and adds moisture to the cake.
- Sparkling Grape Juice or Apple Cider: This adds moisture and depth of flavor.
- Browning or Burnt Sugar: This caramelized sugar is a key ingredient.
- Dried Orange Peel: This infuses the dried fruits with citrus flavor.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Non-Alcoholic Black Cake
Here’s how we make the fruits for our alcohol-free black cake.
Step 1: Rinse your dried fruits before adding them to a saucepan.
Step 2: Add the fruits along with grape juice, dried orange peel, cinnamon stick, and ground cloves to a pot.
Step 3: Cook until the grape juice reduces by half then allow to sit at room temperature overnight.
Step 4: When ready to bake, remove the cinnamon stick and add the cooked food to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Store blended fruits in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Making the non-alcoholic black cake batter
Step 5: Combine the blended fruits with creamed butter, sugar, and eggs. Then add browning or burnt sugar, the non-alcoholic vanilla, and almond extract.
Step 6: Add some sparkling grape juice or apple cider. Mix together until fully combined.
Step 7: Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients Gently mix together until completely combined into a smooth batter.
Step 9: Add the non-alcoholic black cake batter to a greased 8×3 round baking pan lined with parchment paper. Smooth the top of the batter to eliminate any peaks. Then bake at 300 °F for 90 minutes.
Step 10: Immediately after the cake comes out of the oven and while it is still hot, pour 1/4 cup of sparkling grape juice or apple cider over the top
Step 11: Let the cake rest until completely cool. Then wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight or up to two days before enjoying. After two days move the cake to the refrigerator. Continue to store the leftover cake in the refrigerator.
How to make browning or burnt sugar for cakes
Learn how to make burn sugar or browning for black cakes by following this recipe. For the non-alcoholic version, use grape juice or apple cider in place of the wine in the recipes.
Store black cake in the refrigerator to prevent it from spoiling. If kept in the refrigerator this cake will last for two to three weeks. You may also vacuum seal the cake and freeze it for up to a year.
Tips for the Best Non-Alcoholic Black Cake
- I like to rinse my dried fruits in some cold water before adding them to the saucepan. Feel free to do the same if you like.
- Do not overmix the batter. Otherwise, the cake will be tough, not soft and moist.
- No peeking. While the cake bakes, don’t be tempted to open the oven door. Doing so, makes the temperature fluctuate.
- This non-alcoholic black cake is best enjoyed after it sits for a day or two and the flavors come together. After the cake cools completely, wrap the cake in plastic wrap or place in an air tight container. You may store at room temperature overnight or up to two days, then move to the refrigerator until ready to eat.
Recipe Variations & Substitutions
- Fruits: You may use any combination of dried fruits for this cake. Pitted prunes and raisins help with the texture but feel free to mix it up.
- Juice: I love the taste of concord grape juice in this, but you can also use apple juice or apple cider and one social media follower said she uses orange juice.
- Vegan: You can make this cake vegan by using vegan butter and skipping the eggs in this recipe.
- Gluten Free: To make this recipe gluten free replace the all purpose flour with measure for measure gluten free all purpose flour. Same measurements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Substitute alcohol with grape juice, apple juice, orange juice, or apple cider.
When properly stored in the fridge, this black cake can last up to 3 weeks.
Allow the fruit to soak for 8-12 hours.
Non-alcoholic Black Cake
- Small Mixing Bowl
- 8×3 Round Baking Pan
- 1 Cup Currants
- 1 Cup Raisins
- 1 Cup Pitted Dates
- 1/4 Cup Mixed Peel or Fruit cake fruits
- 1/4 Cup Maraschino Cherries
- 2 Cups Concord Grape Juice (or apple cider)
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 3/4 tsp Ground Clove (divided)
- 2 inches Dried Orange Peel
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cup Butter (Room Temperature)
- 4 Eggs (Room Temperature)
- 3 tbsp Browning or Burnt Sugar
- 3/4 Sparkling Grape Juice or Apple Cider (divided)
- 1 tsp non-alcoholic vanilla extract
- 1 tsp non-alcoholic almond extract
- 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour (Sifted)
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
Making the Fruits
- In a saucepan, combine the currants, raisins, prunes, mixed peel, maraschino cherries, concord grape juice, cinnamon stick, 1/2 tsp cloves and dried orange peel. Then add to medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the grape juice reduces by half, cover and let rest over night or for at least 8 hours before proceeding to next step
Making the Cake
- When reading to bake, cream together the butter and sugar until light in color and texture (about 3 minutes). Then add the eggs one at a time and continue to mix together.
- Preheat Oven to 300 °F
- Next remove the cinnamon stick from the cooked fruits. Then add the fruits and the orange peel to a blender and blend until smooth with a little bit of texture (similar to a salsa consistency). This should table about 30-45 seconds.
- Add the blended fruits to the creamed butter, sugar and eggs. Then add the browning or burnt sugar, sparkling grape juice or apple cider, the non-alcoholic vanilla extract and the non-alcoholic almond extract and mix together well.
- Next in a small mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ground cloves and use a whisk to combine. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient and gently mix until fully combine.
- Pour the cake batter into a greased 8×3 round baking pan, lined with parchment paper. Bake at 300 °F for 90 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean
- Once the cake is done baking, you may add 1/4 cup of sparkling concord grape juice over the top while the cake is still hot. Then allow to cool completely before removing from the pan. This cake is best is allowed to sit for a day or two so that the flavors come together before enjoying.
The information listed in the recipe card is an estimate provided by an online nutrition tool. The tool evaluates ingredient names and amounts then makes calculations based on the number of servings listed for the recipe. It is provided as a general guideline and not as a precise calculation. For precise nutrition information please feel free to add the ingredients to your preferred nutrition calculator or consult a doctor or licensed nutritionist.