Torta Negra Colombiana (Colombian Black Cake)

This post is also available in Spanish

Torta Negra Colombiana (Colombian Black Cake)

Since starting this blog, I’ve had at least fifty people email me asking how to make Torta Negra Colombiana.

Growing up in Colombia, it wasn’t a birthday party, wedding, anniversary or any other special event without Torta Negra. Considering all the queries for Torta Negra, I figured it was time to post a recipe for this wonderful Colombian cake!

This is my mom’s and aunt’s recipe, substituting dulce quemado for the bakers caramel and omiting the papaya calada (candied papaya). But other than those slight modifications, this is the same cake I’ve eaten all my life. There are many variations of this Colombian cake throughout the country, every person and family having their own recipe, using different combinations of fruits and nuts in the cake.

Torta Negra Colombiana (Colombian Black Cake)

My mom likes to decorated her Torta Negra with buttercream frosting, but you can use the frosting of your choice.

Buen provecho!

Torta Negra Colombiana (Colombian Black Cake)



(Makes two 8-inch round cakes)

  • 2 cups of pitted prunes
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup port wine
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 2 cups brevas caladas (candied figs)
  • 1 pound butter
  • 1 pound sugar
  • 12 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 pound all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons of bakers caramel or dulce quemado, or molasses

Torta Negra Colombiana (Colombian Black Cake)


  1. One to two weeks before you make the cake, place the prunes, raisins,1/4 cup of rum and 1/2 cup of wine in a non reactive container.
  2. When you are ready to make the cakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Butter and flour two 8 inches round cake pans and set aside.
  4. Place the raisins, prunes and brevas in the food processor and process for about 60 seconds. Transfer the fruit mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and set aside.
  6. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla extract, and add the eggs, a couple at a time. Add the flour mixture and mix on the lower speed for about one minute. Add bakers caramel and mix for one more minute. Stir in the fruit using your hands until well combined.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake until cakes are done on top or a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Unmold the cakes and brush with the remaining rum and wine. Wrap cakes with plastic wrap, and then with aluminum foil. Let the cakes stand at room temperature for at least 3 days before serving or up to three weeks in the fridge before frosting.
  9. Torta Negra Colombiana (Colombian Black Cake)

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  1. Sandi Montealegre White says

    Erica, I have been waiting for this for a long time I already have the dulce quemao. It brings back memories!! 1000 Gracias!

          • Cb says

            You can make it. Take 1 cake of panella cook in a pan until it’s dark caramel color. Take off the stove, place hot pot in sink. Pour in 1 cup of very strong coffee and 1 cup of port wine. (Do it slowly it will bubble like crazy. That’s why it’s in the sink) return it to the flame and cook off the liquid. It should be thicker but not to thick and almost black. If it’s too thick the quemado will harden in strips as you pour it into the batter. You can also but it in good spanish food stores.

  2. Rosie says

    I grew up loving this delicious black cake and I have struggled for a long time trying to find the recipe. Thank you so much for making this dream a reality. Thank you, thank youuuuu!!

  3. Norma-Platanos, Mangoes & Me! says

    Mu girfriend just brought me a few pieces…I have to ask her if its your recipe as I gave her your blog to follow… the way it was delicioso!

  4. Viviana says

    Thank You, Thank You!!! for posting this!! I’m Colombian but was born and raised here. I had this cake once as a child and my mother didn’t know how to make it. I’ve searched for this recipe for years. I found one recipe but it seemed complicated .I will definitely try this for the holidays!!

  5. Heidi says

    Hi Erica,
    thank you for your wonderful blog.
    Since I live in Europe and I know the flour is different in many countries, i have a little question. Does your all purpose flour have baking powder added, as it does in many countries?

  6. Diana says

    I never cooked Colombian food when I was home, I did Italian, greek and all kinds of other different countries and now that I am in the US I miss the arepa de chocolo and the frijoles and all of these yummy traditional Colombian goodies, I love this website and my family enjoy the Colombian flavors, I never learned how to make tamales nor this cake nor many of the delicious traditional Colombian dishes and I have been feeding my family Colombian food for the last 3 months since I found the website, such a wonderful job keep it up

  7. Xenia says

    I didn’t realize the aging time required, it’s Sunday and I wanted to make the cake for next sat, what can I shorten the rum soak time or the minimum three day aging time?

  8. emilia says

    Oh, my! Por Dios, this is incredible! I’ve got to try it. Need to get the girls together for some tea to taste this wonder. Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. Majita says

    Erica: puedo reemplazar el port wine por cualquier otro vino rojo? Es para usar si es posible el mismo que consumo a diario. Gracias.

  10. Majita says

    Can I use any regular red wine here? Like a merlot or cabernet? I am trying to use the ones I already have at home, what I usually drink.

  11. Diana says

    Hi, is the dulce quemado the same as the “burnt sugar colour” listed above?
    there is a hispanic store by my home, but I do not think they would call it “dulce quemado”. I live in California and Hispanics in this region may call it something different. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • Erica Dinho says

      Dulce quemado is made with panela or piloncillo. I used “burnt sugar”, I don’t know if the brand you found made the same sugar I used, but you can try it!

  12. Sofia says

    Why do I have to let it stand three days before serving? Can I make it the 24th (christmas) in the morning and have it stand until dinner at night? Thank you!

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