Beat the winter blues with chocolate

Chocolate Rum Cake

Preparation time: 70 minutes

According to author Troth Wells this versatile cake mix was inspired by Baxter’s Road in Bridgetown, capital of Barbados. Open all hours, it is a buzzy place to eat delicacies such as fried fish, peas and rice, jug-jug...possibly even chocolate rum cake. And all to the background of loud calypso or reggae music.

Taken from the exciting cookbook The Small Planet Vegetarian by Troth Wells. You can create delicious global flavours using low-impact, plant-based ingredients that are kind to the planet. 


  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ½ cup / 110 g butter or margarine
  • 1 ½ cups / 300 g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup / 110 g raisins
  • 2½ cups / 275 g flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup / 100 ml buttermilk or milk
  • 3 tablespoons rum
  • 10 blanched almonds and/or 5 strawberries, halved

Note about sourcing ingredients

Look out for local and seasonal ingredients wherever possible and/or Fairtrade. Find Fairtrade rum - and other drinks - at Vinceremos.


Heat the oven to 350º F/180º C/Gas 4.

  1. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Separate the eggs and retain the whites. Add the egg yolks and raisins to the butter and sugar mix.
  3. Now sift the flour together with the cocoa, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and shake this into the mixture.
  4. After that, pour in the water, buttermilk or milk and rum, and mix round.
  5. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and fold them in gently. Pour into a rectangular, greased tin. Bake for about 50-60 minutes. Towards the end of cooking time, place the almonds on top. When the cake is ready, leave it in the tin for 10 minutes. 
  6. Cool on a rack and decorate with the strawberries - or other seasonal fruit or nuts - before serving.