Enjoy a Slice of Carlisle Bay Christmas Rum Cake

Rum Cake
Rum Cake

A leading luxury vacation hot-spot, Carlisle Bay is located on the dual-island destination of Antigua and Barbuda. Beyond its offering of dreamy accommodations, Carlisle Bay is famous for serving up delicious black rum cake: a staple across the Caribbean often served at parties, celebrations and during holiday festivities. This version of the rich, moist and morish fruit cake is made using only local rum from the island’s very own Antigua Distillery: a leading distillery renowned globally for their English Harbour Rum. The deep noir of this decadent dessert is achieved through the wonderful caramelization of soft sandy white sugar and cups of 5-year English Harbour rum. It’s the perfect Christmas and fall holiday treat to warm you from the inside out. For those currently dreaming of spending some quality time in the sun on one of Antigua and Barbuda’s 365 beaches, we’re pleased to share this recipe for Carlisle Bays’ very own Rum Cake to add a touch of tropical decadence to your celebrations this season. 


  • 1lb unsalted butter
  • 1lb white sugar
  • 6 free-range eggs
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1lb plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 75ml food browning
  • 1lb dried blend mixed fruits, mainly cranberry, raisin, currant, dried citrus
  • 2 cups English Harbour 5 Year rum


  1. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy
  2. Add free range eggs and vanilla extract to mix
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg together
  4. Combine dry mixture to sugar, butter, egg mix until all incorporated
  5. Add browning & dried fruits, mix thoroughly
  6. Finally add the rum, taste and add if you wish for a stronger flavour
  7. Place in a greased baking tin of your choice and cover with greaseproof paper
  8. Bake on 280f for 40-60 minutes, checking regularly
  9. The ideal internal temperature of the cake is 205-210 degrees Fahrenheit. 

An extra tip, straight from Antiguans: for a truly booze-filled slice of heaven, soak your dried fruits in the rum for as long as possible, it is not unheard of for the soaking process to start in January or even years in advance. 

Once baked, don’t stop now: treat yourself and loved ones to the vintage English Harbour Rum and serve with a shot on the side, drizzle with rich cream and, rum-infused caramel; and you could even go as far as to pour on more English Harbour Rum. The more the merrier. 

Bon Appetit and Merry Christmas from Antigua and Barbuda!