Vegan Haitian Rum Cake

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This spongy Haitian rum cake bursts with lovely Caribbean flavours. We made it vegan and sugar-free with coconut milk and maple syrup, all flavoured with lime zest and cinnamon.

Vegan Haitian Rum Cake




Time 1h 15m



After porridges, salads, and savoury patties, we decided to round up our collection of Haitian recipes with a delicious rum cake. Spongy and tasty, this loaf cake bursts with lovely Caribbean flavours, and the good news is it's vegan and sugar-free. Let us show you how we did it!

This cake is based on a classic vegan sponge cake recipe, but it also includes staple ingredients commonly used in Haitian desserts. These are coconut milk, limes, cinnamon, nutmeg and rum. The result is a fluffy cake where the first bites are filled with sweet, spicy, and nutty notes followed by a subtle aftertaste of rum.

Although you can use any baking rum you like, we recommend opting for the Barbancourt brand. This rum is produced and bottled in Haiti, made from Haitian sugar cane juice. It's one of the most well known Haitian rum worldwide, imported in many countries. If you can find it, it's well worth the price!

While classic Haitian cake recipes include eggs, butter, condensed milk, and white sugar, we made ours without dairy, eggs, and refined sugar. Coconut milk is a great replacement for milk and butter as it's rich and creamy. Also, it gives the cake an irresistible tropical flavour that suits the recipe well.

To replace the leaving effect of eggs, we combined baking soda and vinegar with self-raising flour. This means the cake will rise perfectly and become super spongy. Finally, we replaced refined white sugar with maple syrup. Although not a typical Haitian ingredient, the syrup let us cut down on sugars, giving you a healthier recipe.

This Haitian cake is already delicious as it is, but you can frost it with a glace icing and turn it into a glorious celebration cake. You can use our zero-sugar glaze and drizzle it over the cake before serving it. You'll get extra sweetness and texture without adding any sugars — give it a go!


  • Canned Coconut Milk
    480 mL
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
    1 tbsp
  • Zested Limes
  • Self-Raising Flour
    400 g
  • Baking Soda
    1 tsp
  • Ground Nutmeg
    0.5 tsp
  • Ground Cinnamon
    1 tsp
  • Maple Syrup
    100 mL
  • Rum
    4 tbsp
Allergens are marked in bold

Recipe Instructions

step 1

Mix coconut milk with vinegar and lime zest in a bowl.

Let the mixture sit undisturbed while you prepare the other cake ingredients.

step 2

In another bowl, combine self-raising flour with baking soda, ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.

step 3

Now, incorporate the dry ingredients into the milk a few spoons at a time, whisking well in between.

Pour in the maple syrup, rum, and mix all into a smooth cake batter.

step 4

Take a loaf tin and grease with a little vegetable oil.

Then, pour the rum cake batter into the tin, filling it at two-thirds.

Bake the cake in the preheated oven at 160°C (320°F) for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

step 5

The cake is ready when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Finally, transfer the cake onto a wire rack and let it cool down completely before serving.

You can optionally frost the cake with our sugar-free icing and then garnish it with lime slices or coconut flakes.


You can swap lime zest with orange zest and add one teaspoon of orange essence to the cake batter.