Delicious Haitian Cake Recipe


Haitian Cake Recipe

This delightful Haitian cake recipe is simple and delicious! The recipe included here makes a tasty, moist cake that is full of delicious flavors including rum and citrus. Two words that easily sum up this recipe are easy and delicious! 

Haitian Cake Recipe cover photo

Haitian Cake (Gateau Au Beurre)

Haitian cake is a lovely cake that can be made in a variety of ways. Usually, Haitian cake is served with light or no frosting, and often features dark, spiced rum. Some cakes are also flavored with lime, or orange zest for a bit of added tropical taste. 

Traditional Haitian Cake – Gateau Ayisyen Zoranj

Traditional Haitian cake has two distinctive ingredients in it. The first is that it contains lime, lemon, or orange zest. This is important because this zest helps to give it a hint of its citrus flavoring. 

The other distinctive ingredient that traditional Haitian cakes contain is dark rum. There are two ways to make this delicious cake that we are going to look at. The first is making this cake completely from scratch, and the second way is a bit of an easier method to also make a version of this delicious cake. 

Haitian Recipes

Much of Haitian cuisine is centered around starch, including many main dishes that focus on potatoes, rice, corn, beans, and plantains. Desserts are a special treat. This cake recipe is a lovely mixture of flavors and spices. When making a traditional Haitian cake from scratch you will want to be sure to include rum, flavoring, and evaporated milk. 

Barbancourt Rum. Barbancourt rum is typically the rum of choice used when making this cake. Barbancourt is made in Haiti, from their sugar cane juice. This rum is one of the country’s most famous exports and is viewed as one of the finest rums throughout the world. However, if you are not able to use this specific rum in your cake, other dark or spiced rums will also work out well.

Evaporated Milk. Evaporated milk is an important ingredient to use when making your cake entirely from scratch. Using evaporated milk helps to add moisture and flavoring to your cake. It will also help your cake be the delightfully golden color once it is finished baking. 

Flavorings. Adding flavorings such as vanilla extract, as well as lime, orange, or lemon zest helps to enhance the overall flavoring of your cake. This makes its taste increase beyond your typical butter or plain vanilla cakes. 

How To Make Haitian Cake

There are two main parts to a Haitian cake, the cake itself and the frosting or icing on top. While icing is not a requirement, many people find that they enjoy the extra sweetness from adding icing to a cake. 

Baking Haitian Cake

There are two ways to make this cake, the first is completely from scratch, the other uses a shortcut, but both ways have a delicious cake as the outcome. Ultimately, the process for making this cake is very similar to any other cake. 

Preheat your oven. Then begin by combining your dry ingredients, then in another bowl combine your wet ingredients, then mix them all together, until no lumps remain. 

I enjoy using a Bundt pan to bake this cake. However, you can also use a springform or cake pan if you prefer. Be sure to generously spray your pan with cooking spray before pouring your cake batter into it. 

Then, bake the cake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. This typically takes between 30-45 minutes, depending on the type of pan you use as well as your oven. 

If the center is still jiggly or your toothpick still has batter on it, cook it longer. If your cake appears to be brown on the outside but is not done in the center, you can cover it with foil and continue to bake until it is completely baked.  

Icing Haitian Cake

Although Haitian cake is delicious without icing, if you like a little extra sweetness, adding an icing drizzle to your cake is simple and delicious. There are several different icing recipes, but one very simple and tasty icing is to simply combine powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a little bit of milk, rum, or amaretto for a delicious icing. Simply mix it up until it is thick, but still able to be drizzled. Then lightly drizzle it over the top of your cooled cake. 

Baking Tips For Traditional Haitian Cake

Baking a traditional Haitian cake is a simple and straightforward process, unlike some other cake recipes. The most difficult part is determining when the cake has been fully baked. To determine this, simply insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, your cake has finished baking. 

The best method for preparing this cake is to mix your ingredients together, pour them into a greased pan, and then bake it in your oven that has been preheated. Once cooled, drizzle your frosting on top of the cake. Easy as that! 

Haitian cake colose up

How To Store Haitian Cake?

The best way to store your cake to keep it fresh is to place it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge. Your cake may also be kept on the countertop for a few days if needed. However, it will not last as long, or be quite as good. If by chance you have cake leftover, you can place it into a plastic storage bag, or an airtight container, and put it in the freezer for up to three months. 

How To Thaw The Cake

If you choose to freeze your cake, thawing your Haitian cake is another challenge. Thawing a cake can be done simply by placing it at room temperature for a few hours or baking it in the oven at 300°F for about 15 minutes. The last way you can thaw a frozen cake is to place it in the microwave, a piece at a time, for 30 seconds to a minute at a time, until your cake has been defrosted. 

Easy Haitian Cake Recipe



1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
1 18 oz. boxed yellow cake mix
1 packege instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
½ cup canola oil 
½ cup cold water
½ cup dark rum (Bacardi, Barbancourt, or spiced rum all work well)
1 Tbsp zest, lemon or orange


1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ Tbsp milk (rum or amoretto will also work well) 

Note: Double check to be sure your yellow cake mix does not already include pudding. This is rare, but if your box mix does happen to exclude it, you can leave out the box of pudding. 


Before you begin, gather all your ingredients, and heavily coat your baking pan with cooking spray. Now you are ready to go!  


Step 1: Preheat Oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F

Step 2: Mix

In a mixing bowl, combine all your ingredients. Mix just until combine, and no lumps remain. Pour into your greased pan and spread evenly. 

Step 3: Bake

Place in the oven and bake for 35-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If using a bunt pan, allow for the cake to cool for 5 minutes before you flip it and allow it to set before removing your baking pan. Allow your cake to cool before drizzling your frosting on top. 

Step 4: Frosting

In a mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Stir to combine. Drizzle on top of your cooled cake. Serve and enjoy! 

Haitian cake one mini cake

Scratch Made Haitian Cake Recipe


1 cup of butter, soft 
1 ½ cups of sugar 
3 eggs 
1 can evaporated milk 
2 Tbsp dark rum 
1/8 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder 
2 Tbsp of vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 lime, zested 


Step 1: Preheat Oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F

Step 2: Mix

In a mixing bowl, combine all your ingredients, except for your zest. Mix until combined. Add in your zest and fold in. 

Step 3: Bake

Generously spray your baking pan with cooking spray. Pour your batter into the pan, and bake for 35-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If using a Bundt pan, allow for the cake to cool for 5 minutes before you flip it and allow it to set before removing your baking pan. Allow your cake to cool before drizzling your frosting on top.

Step 4: Frosting

In a mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Stir to combine. Drizzle on top of your cooled cake. Serve and enjoy! 


If you are struggling with your cake baking all the way through the inside, but the outside is done, try covering your cake with a piece of foil and continuing to bake for a few more minutes at a time. 

Haitian Butter Cake (Gateau au beurre)

Butter cake is another name for Haitian cake. This cake is often noted for a lemon flavor or being topped in coconut instead of icing. To adapt this cake recipe into a butter cake, simply leave off the icing and top with lemon or coconut. 

What Is Haitian Butter Cake?

Haitian butter cake is noted for its addition of rum, which gives it a lovely dense texture. This butter cake is also noted for including condensed milk. Some cakes also include flavorings such as vanilla, lemon, spiced rum, or nutmeg. 

Variations Of Butter Cake

There are many ways to variate butter cakes. Most of the variations come into play by the different types of flavorings and toppings used. Some of the different flavors commonly used are vanilla, rum, coconut, lemon, lime, oranges, and almond. 

Butter Cake Vs. Rum Cake

Butter cakes and rum cakes are very similar. The main difference is that butter cakes contain butter, while some rum cakes use oil instead of butter. Butter cakes can sometimes be categorized as rum cakes. 

What Is Barbancourt Rum?

Barbancourt rum is a brand of rum that is produced in Haiti. It is made from sugar cane juices and bottled right in Haiti. This company is one of the country’s oldest companies and is known worldwide for producing the finest rums. 

How Is Barbancourt Rum Made?

Rum produced by Barbancourt is made out of sugar cane juice, instead of sugar cane’s byproduct molasses. The company uses a method known as charentaise, which is a double distillation used in the manufacturing process. The different aromas of Barbancourt rum is made by using different handcrafted oak barrels. 

Haitian cake mini cakes

Recipe Variations

There are many different recipe variations for Haitian cake. These variations are often called by different names, but ultimately, they are all the same cake. Below is an overview of a few of the variations. 

Simple Orange Cake (Haitian Gateau A L’Orange) 

Haitian orange cake is made by using the above recipe, only being sure to use orange zest for the delightful orange citrus flavor. 

How To Make Haitian Orange Cake

To make an orange cake, simply include 1 Tbsp orange zest in your batter. If desired, you can also add orange extract, to give the extra orange flavoring. 

Haitian Pound Cake

Haitian pound cake is another name for the above recipe. This cake is typically made by using the above recipe and baking the cake in a Bundt pan. 

Traditional Haitian Cake Baked To Perfection

A traditional Haitian cake that is baked to perfection is made using the above recipe. The cake is a delicious moist cake that is a bit dense and full of a mixture of rum and citrus flavors. Often, a Haitian cake will have a light inside to the cake, and a dark outside. 

Simple Orange Cake (Haitian Gateau A L’orange)

A simple orange cake can be made using the above easy recipe. To make it a delightful orange flavor, add 1 Tbsp fresh orange zest, along with 1 tsp orange extract. Easy and delicious! 

Haitian Cupcakes

Haitian cupcakes are another fun way to make Haitian cake in smaller portions. Also, if you have mini bunt pans these also work nicely for cute little cakes! 

Haitian Cake | Gateau Ayisyen

Haitian cake is a delicious cake that is very moist and dense. It has a subtle rum flavor to it with a hint of citrus. Be sure to add this cake to your list of recipes to try! This cake is perfect for all gatherings, and will have everyone coming back for seconds! 

Have you ever tried Haitian cake? What do you think about it?
What are your favorite flavors to add to the cake batter?

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Faith Has been cooking and baking for many years! she loves to share her recipes with the world, and hopes you will enjoy them too!

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