Venezuelan Black Cake or Christmas Cake – Torta Negra

published by erkarina on Dec 9, 2010

This is the traditional Venezuelan black cake, for Christmas and weddings.

The Venezuelan black cake is a variation of the fruit cake, because it is an Latin American recipes is a Latin variation of the English version, as I mentioned in a post before, this black cake is a bit more spongy that the Trinidadian version and the among of spices is also minor. The black cake or Torta Negra cannot miss in a typical Christmas dinner, that we take on the Christmas Eve, usually closer to midnight, in my family, we usually take dinner at 10 pm an leave midnight to open the presents, the children are so excited that they do not go to sleep until they open their presents, and play with them, well we always go to sleep around 2 or 3 pm on Christmas day, it is a day that the family get together to enjoy the company.

You will find a black cake in almost any Christmas dinner in any Venezuelan family, closer to my family home in El Tigre- Venezuela there is a lady who has a cake shop… and around Christmas time her shop is very busy making only black cake, which is decorated with almonds and cherries and syrup,with very nice designs, no icing, You will find our black cake in weddings, we called “bolo”, it is the same recipe, but the cake is decorated with the formality of the occasion.

The recipe that I will post below, is from MI COCINA, A la Manera de Caracas by Armando Scannone, Page. 558.  There is something that I love from Scannone, you follow the recipe and the result is accurate, and he give a lot of detail but bring the recipes across in a very easy way. It is a pity that his boo is only in Spanish. But if you are interested you can check

(12 to 14 portions)

Ingredients for 1 lb (1/2 kg) of fruit mix, sufficient for one cake:
1/4 cup peeled almond
1/4 cup hazelnut (peeled) 
1/2 cup nuts
1/4 cup orange (crystallized with sugar)
1/2 dried prunes – seedless
Chop all ingredients above very small
1/3 cup of rum
2/3 cup of black beer
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon of ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, grated
1/4 teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated.

One or two weeks before at least prepare the fruits for the cake, mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. The among is sufficient for one cake. Cover the bowl (airtight) and put it in the refrigerator until the day that you will prepare the cake.

Ingredients for the cake
500 gr, 2 cups of the fruit mix prepared before
175 gr of salted butter, 12 scoops
butter to grease the cake pan
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1-2/3  cup of sugar
5 eggs
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Everything at room temperature


  1. Take out from the refrigerator the bowl with the fruit, around three (03) hours before of the cake preparation. keep it cover until it get room temperature.
  2. Turn on the oven at 374 F.
  3. In a round baking pan (25 cm diameter / 9.8 -in) and 8 cm deep (3 -in) . Grease the baking pan and sprinkler with flour. Set aside.
  4. Place butter and salt in a large bowl of electrical mixer and beat  until light in color and creamy consistency. Continue mixing  and add sugar and continue beating for 5 more minutes. Add eggs, one by one,  and beat it for 5 minutes again.
  5. Sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  6. Finlay add the mix of flour and baking powder, one part of the flour and one part of the fruits, use a wooded spoon. One part of flour and one part of fruit. The process should end with flour. Mix all together very good.
  7. Pour the cake mix in the greased and floured baking pan.
  8. Bake the cake for 50 minutes  or until you introduce a knife in the center of the cake and this come out clean. You may have to cover the cake at the end with wax paper to avoid to cook to much the top of the cake.
  9.  Remove the baking pan from the oven. Let it get cool for some minutes and while the cake still hot turn the cake on the cake plate or where you plan to display it.

As you see is very easy, try to make this cake and tell me your impressions… see you later

One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. # 1 by Juana Rojas
    January 3rd, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    SPANISH: Se parece mucho a la receta que hago, con la diferencia de que para la maceración de la confitura preparo primero un caramelo que dejo quemar al que agrego justo antes de bajarlo del fuego 100 grs. de margarina, apagar mezclando enseguida y a continuación anadir una malta también mezclando suavemente, con la finalidad de que el caramelo no endurezca y también de oscurecer el color de la torta y darle más sabor. En esta mezcla una vez enfriada a temperatura ambiente vacío las frutas confitadas y almendras, nueces y avellanas picadas gruesas así como ron, brandy ó whisky, macerar al menos 2 meses; mientras más tiempo pase, mejor sabe. El líquido debe cubrir la confitura.

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