I am super excited today because I am sharing with you a delicious recipe: Jamaican Toto-Caribbean Coconut Cake. I can't take the credit because it comes from Cariel, my Jamaican co-worker. Jamaican Toto is a coconut dessert that is very popular in Jamaica. I love coconut anything, so this cake is just right for me, and all my coconut loving friends.
So, I had lunch with Cariel a few weeks ago and she gave me this recipe. She told me that Jamaican Toto-Caribbean Coconut Cake is one of her favorites, and also a very popular dessert at most family gatherings.
This is definitely the first Jamaican recipe on my blog; more will follow. In talking to her, she told me that she also has a special recipe for Jamaican Jerk Chicken. I think I need to get that recipe very soon. So, I guess I need to schedule another lunch date with Cariel.
Since I am always looking for the origins and history behind foods, I asked Cariel about Jamaican Toto-Caribbean Coconut Cake. She told me that the origins of this lovely coconut dessert, go back to the time of the plantations. At night slaves were hungry from working all day and not getting enough to eat. They would mix coconut molasses with flour to make Toto. They then cooked the mixture by placing it on top of hot coals, and also placing coals on the top.
Finally, as you'll be able to see, the ingredients in Jamaican Toto are very humble, but the cake is so sweet, and so easy to make. I will most likely take the rest to my office because they all LOVE sweets, most of all on a Monday morning when we all need sugar to kick start our week.
Here are the visual step to make a great Toto Cake!
- Preheat your oven to 375°F degrees and gather the ingredients: butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, evaporated milk and coconut milk.
- In your stand mixer cream the butter and both sugars until fluffy.
- Add the eggs, vanilla and beat for 2-3 more minutes until well combined.
- Sift the flour and baking powder then add the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in the mixer bowl.
- Add the evaporated milk ½ cup at a time and mix until well combined.
- Add the coconut milk and mix until combined.
- Add the shredded coconut ½ cup at a time and mix until combined.
- The mixture should be a slightly loose batter as shown.
- Pour the batter into a an 8"x12" greased baking pan. (I like to rub it down with some butter.)
- Lift the pan and gently tap it on the table to level out the batter.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
Maybe after you enjoy a few slices of this tasty coconut cake you'll want to check out some Caribbean destinations for some foodie travel! Have you ever checked out Anguilla with its beautiful beaches? How about some local dining while on the island? Check out these seven restaurants on Anguilla for your next dining adventure!
If you want to check out some other interesting ethnic type desserts your family will love here are a few to make at home.
Pistachio Rosewater Cookies: A Middle Eastern style shortbread cookie with exotic flavors.
Coconut Flan: A Latin American style custard with step-by-step instructions.
French Patisserie Fruit Tart: A simple tart crust filled with yummy vanilla cream and fresh fruit.
Vietnamese Egg Coffee: Yes, this is a dessert you can’t miss and I learned to make it in Hanoi.
Jamaican Toto - Caribbean Coconut Cake
Jamaican Toto is a popular Caribbean coconut cake that is a simple and delicious spice cake and dates back to colonial times. The batter is super easy to make and produces a sweet cake that needs no frosting.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Grease an 8 "x 12" baking pan.
- Using a stand up mixer, cream the butter and sugar, then add the vanilla and the eggs and beat for additional 2-3 minutes.
- In a separate bowl sift flour, and baking powder. Mix in the cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
Slowly begin adding the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Add the evaporated milk ½ cup at a time. Add the coconut milk.
- Finally add the shredded coconut ½ cup at a time.
- Pour into baking pan, and bake for 30-40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Place the cake on a cooling rack, and allow it to come to room temperature.