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Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding is a rich, oven-baked dessert dotted with rum-soaked raisins and finished with a silky smooth custard topping. This Caribbean treat is made with sweet potatoes, coconut milk, a touch of ginger and island spices for a truly indulgent experience. Enjoy this anytime treat in the morning, after dinner or on a special occasion.

For more Jamaican dessert recipes, try this Jamaican Black Cake and Jamaican Coconut Drops next! Or, if you’re looking for a sweet authentic Jamaican nightcap, try my Jamaican Guinness PunchJamaican Carrot Juice with Stout (Boiling Method) or Jamaican Sorrel Drink Recipe!

a slice of jamaican sweet potato pudding.
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Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

This popular Jamaican snack is one of my favourites! But, we must first clarify that this is made with a specific kind of sweet potato, not the orange fleshed ones we’re typically use to seeing. This decadent pudding is moist, with a touch of warm spices like sweet potato pie but in cake form. You will fall more in love with each mouthwatering bite!

Here’s Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Perfect Anytime Treat – I’ve had this comfort dessert with breakfast, midday, after dinner, and as a late-night snack. But it can also be served during the holidays as a delectable treat.
  • Easy Prep – this sweet potato pudding recipe comes together easily. After some simple prep, you combine the ingredients and bake.
  • Authentically Jamaican  – there is something so satisfying about following the steps to a traditional Jamaican recipe. We are grating sweet potatoes by hand, adding raisins (with a little bit of rum) and using all of the familiar flavours of the island.
jamaican sweet potato pudding.

What is Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding?

Jamaican-style sweet potato pudding is a baked mixture of sweet potato, yam, flour, spices, and coconut milk. It usually includes raisins and a custard topping.

Traditional Jamaican sweet potato pudding was baked over a coal pit, with hot coals placed underneath and on top of the covered dish. This method of preparing the pudding is lovingly referred to as, “hell a top, ‘hell a bottom and hallelujah in the middle.”

What is the Difference Between Jamaican and American Sweet Potatoes?

Jamaican sweet potatoes have a white flesh with red skin, versus the American sweet potato that has orange flesh with reddish-brown skin. The Jamaican sweet potato pudding is much starchier than the American. The American sweet potato is also much softer when cooked, which is why it is not recommended to use this type of sweet potato for this recipe.

Can I Use Regular (American) Sweet Potato for this Recipe?

No. It is not recommended to use American sweet potatoes as the texture is much softer and less starchier once cooked. It will lead to a very mushy textured pudding.

jamaican sweet potato pudding ingredients flatlay.

What’s Needed to Make This Recipe (Kitchen Tools and Equipment)

  • 1 9-inch Cake Pan – to bake the pudding.
  • Wooden Spoon – for mixing.
  • Large Mixing Bowls – for combining the ingredients.
  • Large Grater – to break down the potato and the yam.
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups – to ensure accurate amounts of each ingredient.
  • Rubber Spatula/Scraper – to add the pudding to the cake pan and then later to add the custard topping.
  • Whisk – to remove lumps in the mixture.

Ingredients and Ingredient Notes

Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

  • Jamaican Sweet Potato – this white-fleshed sweet potato, also known as batata, is sweeter than American sweet potatoes, making them perfect for desserts. They are also denser and contain more starch.
  • Yellow Yam – dry and starchy, these have a more neutral flavour than Jamaican sweet potatoes. They complement each other well and help to bind the pudding together.
  • Fresh Ginger – an essential Jamaican flavour that adds a pop of freshness and spice.
  • Flour – this keeps the pudding firm and helps with the overall texture. Reserve 1 tbsp for dusting the raisins.
  • Coconut Milk – use full-fat coconut milk for a creamy mixture.
  • Vanilla Extract – for an added depth of taste.
  • Spices – I used a trio of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground allspice. These warm spices are the base of the flavour.
  • Salt – to enhance the other flavours.
  • Brown Sugar – make sure it is packed into the measuring cup.
  • Raisins – it is traditional to include dried fruit in this recipe, however feel free to omit.
  • Red Label Wine and White Overproof Rum –  for soaking raisins..
  • Unsalted Butter – melted and cooled.

Custard (Soft Top)

  • Coconut Milk
  • Brown Sugar
  • Ground Cinnamon

How to Make Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

1. Prepare the Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9-inch springform or cake pan.

Carefully peel then grate the sweet potatoes, yellow yam and ginger using the medium side of a large grater; then set aside.

2. Combine Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk, butter, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and the liquid from the raisins (if using). Whisk together until combined with no lumps.

Add the grated sweet potato, yam and ginger to the liquid ingredients and mixed until combined. If you want a smoother texture use an immersion blender (or regular blender) to blend to desired consistency. Sift the flour into the mixture and mix until incorporated. Lightly dust the raisins with 1 tbsp of flour, then gently fold into the pudding mixture (if using).

3. Bake the Sweet Potato Pudding

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.

4. Make the Custard (Soft Top)

Whisk together all the ingredients for the custard (soft top), in a small bowl until all combined.

Remove from oven after 1 hour of baking, add the custard topping, and then continue to bake for another 45 minutes to an hour (if needed).

Remove from oven, allow to completely cool, then remove from pan, slice and enjoy!

jamaican sweet potato pudding.

Recipe Substitutions and Tips

  • Sweetness – for natural sweetness, you can add blended dates instead of sugar or simply reduce the amount of sugar.
  • Topping – add shredded coconut.
  • Flavour – Instead of vanilla extract, use almond essence.
  • Browning – while not necessary, this makes the pudding darker.
  • Skip the Custard – for a less sweet pudding, omit the custard.
  • Use a Food Processor – Grating the sweet potatoes take time so if you need a shortcut, chop the potatoes then add them to a food processor or blender with a splash of coconut milk. This is NOT the traditional or my preferred way, however it is a method some use.

Serving Suggestions and Tips

Jamaican sweet potato pudding can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature… whatever your preference!

jamaican sweet potato pudding.

Recipe Notes and Tips for Success

  • Thoroughly rinse the sweet potatoes. Or you risk dirt or debris ending up in your pudding.
  • Be careful when grating the potatoes. Pay close attention so you don’t run your fingers over the grates and cut each potato in half to make it more manageable when grating.
  • The colour change of potatoes and yam is ok. The potatoes and yam will change colour and turn reddish-brown after it is exposed to oxygen. This is fine and it will not affect the taste of the pudding.
  • Let Jamaican sweet potato pudding cool down before serving. Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes so it can be firm when you go to slice into it.
  • Leave space. Leave about 1-inch of space at the top of your cake pan after pouring in the mixture to allow room for the soft top.

Can I Make this Ahead of Time?

Yes. If you plan to soak the raisins in rum, they should be fully immersed in alcohol for 24 hours (or overnight) at room temperature.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover Jamaican sweet potato pudding in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

If frozen, it will last up to one month. The day before you plan to eat it, remove the pudding from the freezer and thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

It doesn’t have to be microwaved but if you prefer it hot, warm it up in 30-second intervals.

jamaican sweet potato pudding.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should I flour my raisins?

Lightly flour the raisins before adding to the pudding to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan.

What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams?

Sweet potatoes are more commonly found in North America than yams. Many “yam” recipes use sweet potatoes for convenience. Although they may be referred to interchangeably, the root vegetables are not the same. Yams are drier and less creamy when cooked. They can also be much larger than sweet potatoes.

What is a Jamaican sweet potato called?

Jamaican sweet potatoes may be called Caribbean sweet potato, batata, Cuban sweet potato, white yam, Florida yam, camote, kamote, or kumara. Keep in mind, they are not actually yams.

Where can I find the sweet potatoes needed for Jamaican sweet potato pudding?

Try your local Caribbean, African, Indian, or Asian market. Look for them under any of the previously mentioned names.

See My Story Below for Step-by-Step Instructions

Interested in more Jamaican and Delicious Recipes? Check These Out!

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4.44 from 16 votes

Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding is a rich, oven-baked dessert dotted with rum-soaked raisins and finished with a silky smooth custard topping. This Caribbean treat is made with sweet potatoes, coconut milk, a touch of ginger and island spices for a truly indulgent experience. Enjoy this anytime treat in the morning, after dinner or on a special occasion.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 1 9-inch pudding

Equipment

  • 1 10-inch Springform Pan
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Large Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups
  • Large Grater
  • Rubber Spatula/Scraper
  • Whisk

Ingredients 

Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

  • 2 pounds Jamaican Sweet Potato, washed, peeled and grated or blended
  • 1 pound Yellow Yam, peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup Flour, sifted, plus 1 tbsp for dusting raisins optional
  • 3 cups Coconut Milk, or 2 (400ml) cans
  • 2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup Raisins, optional
  • 2 tbsp J. Wray & Nephew Red Label Wine, for soaking raisins
  • 1 tbsp White Overproof Rum, for soaking raisins

Custard (Soft Top)

  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9-inch springform or cake pan. Carefully peel then grate the sweet potatoes, yellow yam and ginger using the medium side of a large grater; then set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk, butter, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and the liquid from the raisins (if using). Whisk together until combined with no lumps.
  • Add the grated sweet potato, yam and ginger to the liquid ingredients and mixed until combined. If you want a smoother texture use an immersion blender (or regular blender) to blend to desired consistency. Sift the flour into the mixture and mix until incorporated. Lightly dust the raisins with 1 tbsp of flour, then gently fold into the pudding mixture (if using).
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven after 1 hour of baking, add the custard topping, and then continue to bake for another 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Remove from oven, allow to completely cool, then remove from pan, slice and enjoy!

Custard (Soft Top)

  • Whisk together all the ingredients for the custard (soft top), in a small bowl until all combined.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 6628kcal | Carbohydrates: 886g | Protein: 61g | Fat: 337g | Saturated Fat: 273g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 34g | Trans Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 244mg | Sodium: 1999mg | Potassium: 10653mg | Fiber: 60g | Sugar: 419g | Vitamin A: 132199IU | Vitamin C: 116mg | Calcium: 1045mg | Iron: 57mg
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jamaican sweet potato pudding.

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About Taneisha Morris

My name is Taneisha, this is my online kitchen and I'm thrilled you're here. Take your time exploring the site; there's plenty to discover and be inspired by. Pull up a seat and make yourself at home!

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made it today. It’s cooling now. Flavor is amazing and texture is perfect. I am now 3 for 3 with your puddings. Thanks so much.

  2. 5 stars
    This page is really informative I really appreciate your time and advice your page is amazing thank you

    1. Hi Lisa! I really appreciate this feedback, I’m glad you found it informative and useful – thank you so much! I hope you enjoy all the recipes!

  3. Hello – I am trying your recipe – it is baking in the oven now. I have a couple of questions:

    What size springform pan is best? Your recipe says 10 inch in one spot and 9 inch in another? I used a 9 inch but I think it was too small (had batter left over).

    Some recipes call for 2 cups of flour (similar amount of sweet potato and yam)…would these recipes turn out more like cake?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Ann! Truthfully you can use either size – 9 or 10-inch, one will yield a taller cake as well may need just a little extra baking time. The more flour you use the more cakier the texture, that is correct!