In most of the Caribbean, rum cakes are a traditional holiday season dessert, descended from the holiday puddings (such as figgy pudding) introduced by English settlers. Traditionally, dried fruit is soaked in rum for three months, and then added to dough prepared with sugar which has been caramelized by boiling in water. The result, also known as "black cake", is similar to a fruitcake, with a lighter texture. It has been proven possible to become intoxicated from consumption of excessive amount of rum cake, and some rum cakes such as Tortuga contain even more than five percent of certain grain alcohols. It is typically made with plums and raisins soaked in rum, as well as brown sugar and a bittersweet caramel called "browning".
In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a special wine, called Black wine is specially produced to be used in the making of black cake. Black cake is traditionally associated with Vincy Christmas.
In Puerto Rico, rum cake is called Bizcocho de Ron, and is a sponge cake, so as to absorb the rum. If fruit is added to it, it is fresh or dried. Raisins and sultanas may be soaked in rum for one day or one night. Bizcochos de Ron are given as gifts during the holiday season, but they are not considered an insulting gift, the way fruitcakes in the U.S. are.