Desserts & Treats

Gizzada

May 11, 2023 (Last Updated: November 14, 2023)

Gizzada, also known as pinch-me-round, is a Jamaican baked pastry with a shortbread crust and a sweet, spiced, chewy coconut center. Enjoy this delicious coconut tart as a dessert or snack for all your celebrations.

gizzada tarts on a wooden board.

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Gizzada, also known as pinch-me-round, is a Jamaican baked pastry with a shortbread crust and a sweet, slightly spiced, chewy coconut center. Enjoy this delicious coconut tart as a dessert or snack for all your celebrations.

For more Jamaican desserts with coconut, try Jamaican Coconut Drops and Grater Cake.

jamaican gizzada.

Jamaican Gizzada

Gizzada is a mouthwatering baked tart filled with caramelized coconut flakes and plenty of island flavour. Every time I make this, my kitchen is full of the aroma of warm spices. Get ready to experience the best gizzada recipe from the comfort of your own home!

Here’s Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Great For Parties – whether it’s holidays, birthdays, or social gatherings, this shareable snack should be served!
  • So Addictive – these delicious cup-shaped treats have a crisp buttery shell and a soft, sweet chewy inside.
  • Family Friendly Activity – after the coconut filling has cooled, let the kids scoop it into the shells for some fun in the kitchen.
overhead view of gizzada on baking tray.

What is Gizzada?

Gizzada is an open-faced flaky, buttery, tart with a coconut filling. It is sometimes referred to as pinch-me-round due to its pinched crust. In Grenada, this dessert is called a coconut tart.

What is the History of Gizzada?

Although it’s a popular treat in Jamaica, gizzada has origins in Portugal. Sephardic Jews escaped Portugal around 1530 in order to escape the Spanish Inquisition and avoid religious persecution. Some of them went to Greece and Turkey but others found their way to the island of Jamaica. They brought their culture and cuisine with them, and one particular treat was queijada.

The Portuguese dessert that inspired this Caribbean snack is queijada, a tart made with cottage cheese, eggs and sugar. The Jamaican version is made without cheese and eggs and includes island spices.

What Type of Coconut to Use for Gizzada

Fresh dried coconut is best or this gizzada recipe. Dried (brown) coconut has hairy/trashy exterior and deep brown shell. Use this variety of coconut because it has less water coconut than green coconuts. The flesh is thicker and ideal for baking.

What if I Can’t Find Fresh Coconut?

If you’re in a pinch and can’t find the fresh coconut or don’t have the time to shred it, use dry shredded coconut from your local grocery store. Or use coconut flakes as an alternative.

gizzada on baking tray.

Equipment Needed to Make this Recipe

  • Food Processor – this is an optional tool for combining the dough ingredients.
  • Dutch Pot or Saucepan – to cook the spiced coconut mixture.
  • Baking Sheet – to bake gizzada.

Ingredients and Ingredient Notes

Pastry Shell (Crust)

  • Flour – this binds the crust together.
  • Salt – the tart crust is bland without this.
  • Butter – use very cold butter for a perfectly flaky crust.
  • Cold Water – cooler water encourages gluten development and helps the butter to stay cold.

Coconut Filling

  • Coconut – grated, tightly packed.
  • Brown Sugar – this adds colour and sweetness. Add it packed.
  • Nutmeg – grated or ground.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract – this enhances the overall flavour.
  • Salt – optional.
  • Butter – for buttery flavour.
  • Water – this makes it easier to combine the ingredients.

How to Make Gizzada

Pastry Shell (Crust)

By Hand: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal/pebbles. Add the water and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together then knead until the dough forms a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

With a Food Processor: to a food processor, add flour, salt and butter. Pulse on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal/pebbles. Add the water and pulse until the dough pulls together then transfer to a clean surface and knead until the dough forms a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Coconut Filling

Heat a large dutch pot or sauce pan over medium low heat and add water. Then add grated coconut, brown sugar, nutmeg, vanilla extract, salt (optional), and butter. Stir until the liquid has absorbed and the mixture begins to stick together. Remove coconut mixture from heat and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C), and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside. Remove dough from fridge and cut dough into 8 equal sized pieces. Roll each piece out into a round, about a 1/4 inch thick then to shape, lift up a corner of the dough and pinch the edges to create a ridge that will hold the coconut filling. Repeat this motion until you form a pleated cup then repeat for the remaining pieces of dough.

Fill each shell with the coconut filling and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the coconut filling begins to slightly brown and the crust begins to turn golden brown.

Recipe Substitutions and Tips

  • Add honey – a teaspoon of honey keeps the filling moist.
  • Spices – for depth of flavour, add more spices like ginger. allspice and cinnamon.
  • Gluten-Free – use gluten-free flour to make this recipe gluten-free.
  • Vegan Gizzada – use cold vegan butter.

Serving Suggestions and Tips

  • Beverages – enjoy it with hot tea, hot chocolate or Caribbean Chocolate Tea (Cocoa Tea)
  • Ice Cream serve this baked treat with a side of your favourite ice cream.
  • Whipped Cream – keep it light and sweet with some whipped cream on top.
  • Maraschino Cherries – top each pastry with a cherry for cute presentation and a touch of fruity flavour.

Pastry Dough Tips for Success

  • Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. This will help the crust keeps its structure as it bakes.
  • Ensure the dough is tightly pinched so they don’t unravel as they bake.
  • Parbake (partially bake) the crust. This prevents the crust from getting soggy.
gizzada tarts on a wooden board.

Can I Make this Ahead of Time?

Yes! Make the pastry shells and filling ahead of time. Freeze them separately then combine and bake when you are ready to serve.

Storage Instructions

Wrap leftovers individually in plastic wrap in order to keep them from drying out. They will last up to 4 days at room temperature. Store them in the fridge for up to one week.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Jamaican gizzada made of?

This baked good is made with flour, salt, butter, water, grated coconut, brown sugar, nutmeg and vanilla.

What type of pastry is gizzada made from?

This sweet treat is made with a shortbread crust.

What is another name for gizzada?

Gizzada originates from the Portuguese word guisada. Jamaicans sometimes refer to it as pinch-me-round.

Interested in more Jamaican Dessert Recipes? Check These Out!

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gizzada tarts on a wooden board.

Gizzada

Taneisha Morris
Gizzada, also known as pinch-me-round, is a Jamaican baked pastry with a shortbread crust and a sweet, spiced, chewy coconut center. Enjoy this delicious coconut tart as a dessert or snack for all your celebrations.
4 from 5 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Desserts & Treats, Jamaican, Snacks
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 8 servings
Calories 381 kcal

Equipment

  • Food Processor optional
  • Dutch Pot or saucepan
  • Baking Sheet

Ingredients
  

Pastry Shell (Crust)

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 6-8 tbsp Cold Water

Coconut Filling

  • 2 cups Coconut grated, tightly packed
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar packed
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg grated or ground
  • 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Salt optional
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 cup Water

Instructions
 

Pastry Shell (Crust)

  • By Hand: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal/pebbles. Add the water and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together then knead until the dough forms a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • With a Food Processor: to a food processor, add flour, salt and butter. Pulse on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal/pebbles. Add the water and pulse until the dough pulls together then transfer to a clean surface and knead until the dough forms a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Coconut Filling

  • Heat a large dutch pot or sauce pan over medium low heat and add water. Then add grated coconut, brown sugar, nutmeg, vanilla extract, salt (optional), and butter. Stir until the liquid has absorbed and the mixture begins to stick together. Remove coconut mixture from heat and allow to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C), and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.
  • Remove dough from fridge and cut dough into 8 equal sized pieces. Roll each piece out into a round, about a 1/4 inch thick then to shape, lift up a corner of the dough and pinch the edges to create a ridge that will hold the coconut filling. Repeat this motion until you form a pleated cup then repeat for the remaining pieces of dough.
  • Fill each shell with the coconut filling and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the coconut filling begins to slightly brown and the crust begins to turn golden brown.

Video

Recipe Notes

Make-ahead Tip: The dough can be made ahead of time and frozen for up to one month.

Nutrition

Calories: 381kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 4gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 332mgPotassium: 138mgFiber: 3gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 398IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 2mg

Note, the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary based on products used.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a star rating and a comment below! You can also tag @theseasoned.skillet and use #theseasonedskillet on Instagram!
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