A Black & White Christmas Affair – Belizean Fruit Cake Recipes

by McNab Editorial Team
Fruit cake recipe

One of the highlights when visiting any country is the food. It’s what brings people together. Sharing a meal with family and friends is the most communal and binding thing as it is at the root of our survival. It is a great vehicle for sharing culture with people from different backgrounds and simply the center of Belizean hospitality. Christmas means family and food for so many and with it right around the corner, there’s no doubt that most households have already began to plan what food they will be preparing and indulging in this year – from the appetizers, the main course, the desserts – ideas are flowing! 

white fruit cake

No matter the odds, a delicious traditional Belizean spread makes it the best time of the year. If you’re planning to spend Christmas in Belize, one of the most significant elements to be found on a Belizean dining table during this time is the iconic Black or White Fruit Cake. It is a Belizean tradition and one that you must definitely try to get your hands on when visiting for the Christmas holidays. The key ingredients for this delightful delicacy are dried fruits, nuts, and of course rum! The preserved fruits are baked in the cake and then stored for a couple of days after being soaked with local Belizean rum. Black/White fruit cake is moist inside with a brown crust outside. The combination of a sweet cake and rum is sure to make an excellent end to a magnificent meal!  


For those trying their hand at making a black or white fruit cake for the first time, we’ve got you covered. Sweeten up your holiday season with these recipes from the Flavors of Belize cookbook. 

Black Fruit Cake 


  • 4 cups Traveller’s gold rum 
  • 7 cups brown sugar, firmly packed, divided 
  • 2 pounds raisins 
  • 1 pound prunes, quartered 
  • 2 pounds candied mixed fruit 
  • 1 pound candied red cherries 
  • 1 cup pecans, diced 
  • 8 eggs 
  • 1 pound butter, room temperature 
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon allspice 
  • 3 teaspoons nutmeg 
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon powder 
  • 2 cups Belikin Stout 
  • 1 cup caramel coloring 


Preheat oven to 275F. Line 3 to 4 cake pans, 8” each, with parchment paper and grease paper with shortening. Stew fruits with rum and 2 cups brown sugar in a medium pot until most of the rum is absorbed. Set aside to cool. Cream butter and 5 cups sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Combine flour, baking powder, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon, alternating with stout and coloring. Fold in fruit and pecans and toss until blended. Fill prepared baking pans ¾ full and bake for about 3 hours.  


  • ½ cup butter 
  • 2 cups powdered sugar 
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla 
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or rum 

Beat butter until fluffy. Fold in powdered sugar. Add vanilla and brandy or rum and combine. Serve with black fruit cake. 

fruit cake

White Fruit Cake 


  • 1 pound butter, room temperature 
  • 2 cups white sugar 
  • 4 eggs, plus 1 for fruits 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus ¼ cup for fruits 
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 cup evaporated milk 
  • 1 cup pineapple juice 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • 2 teaspoons lemon essence 
  • 1 pound white raisins 
  • 2 pounds candied mixed fruit 
  • ½ pound red candied cherries 
  • ½ pound green candied cherries 
  • 1 cup pecans, diced 


Preheat oven to 275 F. Line 3 cake pans, 8” each with parchment paper and grease paper with shortening. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat until light and fluffy. Combine flour and baking powder and add to butter mixture alternately with milk, pineapple juice, vanilla, and lemon essence. Combine raisins, mixed fruit, and cherries then toss with 1 egg and ¼ cup flour. Add pecans. Fold into batter and fill prepared baking pans ¾ full. Bake for about 3 hours.  

We wish you a happy holiday season and a year filled with happy, safe travels! From all of us at Caribbean Culture and Lifestyle. 

Written by: Vivian Lizarraga. All photos by Flavors of Belize. 

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