How to Make a Delicious Black Bun: A Step-by-Step Guide

The black bun, a traditional Scottish fruitcake, is a delightful treat that often graces festive tables, especially during Hogmanay (Scottish New Year) celebrations. This rich, flavorful cake gets its distinctive dark hue from the generous use of dried fruits, spices, and molasses.

While its appearance might be deceiving, don’t let the name “black bun” deter you. This cake is anything but dull. Its flavor profile is a beautiful medley of sweet, spicy, and fruity notes, making it a true celebration of taste and texture. If you’re looking for a unique baking adventure that yields an incredibly delicious result, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will walk you through how to make a black bun step by step, ensuring a rewarding baking experience and a cake that will impress your family and friends.

What You’ll Need to Make a Black Bun


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups raisins
  • 1 cup currants
  • ½ cup chopped candied peel (citrus or mixed)


  • Two 9-inch round cake pans
  • Parchment paper
  • Electric mixer
  • Large bowl
  • Whisk
  • Rubber spatula
  • Toothpick or cake tester

Step-by-Step Instructions for a Perfect Black Bun

  1. Prepare your pans: Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper for easy removal later. Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. Cream the butter and sugar: In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take about 3-5 minutes using an electric mixer.
  3. Incorporate the eggs and molasses: Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Slowly pour in the molasses and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Combine dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. This ensures the spices are evenly distributed throughout the cake.
  5. Gradually combine wet and dry ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the cooled coffee. Begin and end with the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Avoid overmixing.
  6. Fold in the fruits: Gently fold in the raisins, currants, and candied peel. Make sure they’re evenly dispersed throughout the batter.
  7. Divide and bake: Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool and serve: Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before inverting them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Article by Family Cuisine

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