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Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake

Courtesy of the New York Public Library

Courtesy of the New York Public Library

In the nineteenth century Caribbean enslaved Africans made culinary inventions from the extra measure of sugar, their master’s doled out during the Christmas holidays. Cake is very labor intensive and expensive which is probably the reason why people don’t make it year round.

Christmas Cake


¾ cup honey

½ cup sugar

2 cups or more flour

12 teaspoon powdered ginger

½ teaspoon cardamom seed ground to a powder

1/8 teaspoon cloves

Speck white pepper

Pinch salt

¼ to ½ teaspoon soda

1 tablespoon water

2 ounces blanched almonds chopped fine


Cream the butter, sugar and honey and slowly add the dry ingredients, the water, last of all. Bake as for fruit cake.

Elizabeth D. K. Dooley, Puerto Rican Cook Book (1948)


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