Jamaican Toto (Coconut Cake)

Jamaican Toto

Jamaican Toto is a time-honored traditional Jamaican dessert enjoyed after family Sunday dinner. Made with desiccated coconut, spices, milk, and flour, it’s worth experiencing with each bite.

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This traditional Jamaican dessert is a worthwhile treat passed down by generations in the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, upon researching this dish, it seems that it’s not as common as I thought. 

I don’t think everyone wants to share the secret to their recipe. Thank God I am not :). 

I remember my mom would regale us with stories of how her mom (my grandmother) would ensure they had some baked goods in the house.

Toto Cake (Coconut Cake)

Often, with limited ingredients and financial backing, my grandmother knew how to throw down in the kitchen and make a good dish for her husband and kids. 

I didn’t get the chance to meet my grandmother as she died when I was a small child, but I would have loved to have baked and cooked for her and gotten the best guidance in the kitchen. 

I dedicate this post and recipe to her. 

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What is Jamaican Toto?

Jamaican Toto, pronounced toe-toe, is a traditional coconut cake made with shredded coconut, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and coconut milk. 

Enjoyed by Jamaicans as a dessert or snack at home or family gatherings –  this recipe also comes with a history dating back to slavery times. 

When slaves would be hungry from being underfed after working on plantations, they’d make this dish a lot simpler than we do today. 

Photo by Jonas Ducker on Unsplash

They’d mix molasses, coconut, and flour, then bake it with hot coal on top of a metal sheet covering the cake and underneath the baking pan. 

Though it’s not a popular dish online or worldwide, it’s still a traditional recipe passed down each generation. 

Ingredients To Use 

Though, in slavery time, this recipe would only use 2-3 ingredients, today’s recipe has been modified to give more flavor and moisture. 

  • Shredded coconut – also called coconut trash in Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean gives texture to the cake. 
  • Milk – coconut milk is the preferred choice for this recipe. Usually, after grating the coconut, Jamaicans would squeeze the milk from the coconut and then use it for the recipe.
  • Flour 
  • Baking soda 
  • Baking powder
  • Brown sugar 
  • Nutmeg 
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla flavoring 
  • Eggs
  • Butter 
  • Salt

How To Make Jamaican Toto 

When I first made this recipe, it didn’t come out as I wanted. You could taste the egg after baking, which shouldn’t be. 

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But through trial and error, I am proud to share this recipe as it is just how I remember tasting it when I was younger. 

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Directions: 

  1. In a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients – flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  3. Cream sugar and butter in a separate bowl with a hand mixer or by hand until fluffy. 
  4. Add beaten eggs to the creamed butter and whisk to combine. Set aside. 
  5. Add milk to the egg mixture. Stir in vanilla and ginger flavoring. 
  6. In portions, gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients to combine.
  7. Stir in grated coconut into the mixture until combined.  
  8. Pour batter into an 8-inch greased and floured baking pan and bake for 30-45 minutes. 
  9. Test with a toothpick in different areas. If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done baking. 
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 
  11. Serve. 

Serving Suggestions 

After baking this delicious cake, I was so excited to take the first bite that I didn’t even let it cool properly, haha. 

But after cooling it, I enjoyed it with some coffee ice cream. It’s also great on its own.

Most Jamaicans would enjoy this as a dessert after dinner.

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However, you can enjoy a slice any time of the day as a snack and even for breakfast with a cup of coffee.

Jamaican Toto ( Coconut Cake)

Tips For Making Jamaican Toto 

Through trial and error, along with research, I was able to share this perfect recipe for the best-tasting Jamaican Toto recipe ever! 

  • Spice up your toto recipe by adding dried fruits such as dates, currants, raisins, and mixed fruits. 
  • Some recipes would also add white rum to the egg or the batter. It helps eliminate the raw egg smell and adds flavor to the cake. One to three tablespoons would work great for this recipe. 
  • You may also try stout beer instead of white rum, which is what I did. 
  • You can use cooled melted butter if you don’t want to go through creaming the butter.

Storage Tips 

This recipe lets you keep the cake on your countertop in a clean and covered cake stand. 

When you’re ready, just cut a slice and enjoy. No reheating is needed!

Jamaican Toto

Thanks for being here and I hope you enjoyed the recipe and content.

Comment below if you made this recipe. You can also take a photo and tag me on Instagram @theshyfoodblogger and hashtag #theshyfoodblogger

Connect and follow me for more content and recipes on Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok.

~ TheShyFoodBlogger

Jamaican Toto

Jamaican Toto (Coconut Cake)

Jamaican Toto is a time-honored traditional Jamaican dessert enjoyed after family Sunday dinner. Made with desiccated coconut, spices, milk, and flour, it’s worth experiencing with each bite.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Caribbean, Jamaican
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups flour sifted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cup milk coconut milk or skimmed milk
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 ½ cups grated coconut coconut trash
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup butter or margarine soften, room temp., optional
  • ¼ tsp ginger flavoring optional
  • ½ cup butter or margarine (soften, room temp., optional)

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients – flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cream sugar and butter in a separate bowl with a hand mixer or by hand until fluffy.
  • Add beaten eggs to the creamed butter and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Add milk to the egg mixture. Stir in vanilla and ginger flavoring.
  • In portions, gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients to combine.
  • Stir in grated coconut into the mixture until combined.
  • Pour batter into an 8-inch greased and floured baking pan and bake for 30-45 minutes.
  • Test with a toothpick in different areas. If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done baking.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Serve.

Notes

Notes For Making Jamaican Toto

  • Spice up your toto recipe by adding dried fruits such as dates, currants, raisins, and mixed fruits. 
  • Some recipes would also add white rum to the egg or the batter. It helps eliminate the raw egg smell and adds flavor to the cake. One to three tablespoons would work great for this recipe. 
  • You may also try stout beer instead of white rum, which is what I did. 
  • You can use cooled melted butter if you don’t want to go through creaming the butter.
Keyword Coconut Cake, Jamaican Toto
Category:

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