Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

This traditional Jamaican sweet potato pudding is packed with flavors both bold and warm. Often served during holidays and at gatherings, it’s the ultimate comfort treat. Many thanks to Tiffany-Anne Parkes for sharing her recipe with us!

Prep
1 hr
Bake
2 hrs 10 mins to 2 hrs 15 mins
Total
1 day 7 hrs
Yield
one 10” round
Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding cake with a slice removed - select to zoom
Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding cake with a slice removed - select to zoom
Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding cake with a slice removed - select to zoom

Instructions

  1. To prepare the raisins: Combine the raisins and rum in a small bowl, making sure the raisins are fully immersed. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

  2. To make the pudding: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  3. Peel and rinse the potatoes, and dice them into approximately 1/2” cubes.

  4. Place the diced potatoes and unsweetened coconut cream in the work bowl of a food processor and blend until fairly smooth. Depending on the size of the processor, you may need to do this in batches.

  5. Transfer the potato mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the molasses, sugars, extracts, and spices.

  6. Stir 4 tablespoons (57g) of the butter into the mixture, then gradually mix in the flour and salt.

  7. Drain the raisins, discarding any excess liquid. Add half the raisins to the pudding mixture, stirring to thoroughly combine.

  8. Use the remaining 2 tablespoons (28g) butter to grease the bottom of a lidded 4-quart (approximately 10” diameter) Dutch oven.

  9. Run the banana leaf halves over an open flame until fairly soft. Line the pot with the banana leaves by laying the two halves perpendicular to one another to form a cross, then pressing them to the bottom and sides of the pot.

  10. Transfer the pudding mixture to the prepared pot. Cut off any overhanging leaves and cover the pot.

  11. To bake the pudding: Bake the pudding for 45 minutes. Remove it from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining raisins.

  12. Re-cover and continue to bake for 85 to 90 minutes, or until set.

  13. Remove the pudding from the oven and allow it to rest and cool fully, at least 4 hours.

  14. To make the sauce: In a small pan set over medium heat, brown the butter.

  15. Add the sugar and water, stirring to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 15 minutes.

  16. Stir in the ginger juice, rum, and salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for another 5 minutes.

  17. Stir in half the sliced banana and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the sauce to cool for 15 minutes before serving. If not using immediately, cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

  18. To serve the pudding: Remove the completely cooled pudding from the Dutch oven by flipping the pot upside down over a large plate. Remove the banana leaf.

  19. Cut the pudding into slices, then garnish each serving with toasted pecans and a spoonful of sauce. A generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen custard is always welcome!

  20. Storage information: Store leftover pudding in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days; any leftover sauce should be covered and refrigerated.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Japanese and Caribbean sweet potatoes are sweeter than the typical American sweet potato, which makes them better suited for desserts. In addition, they’re denser and starchier, which helps with this pudding’s texture. If you can’t find the red-skinned, white-fleshed Caribbean sweet potatoes (sometimes called Jamaican sweet potatoes), substitute dense, starchy yams; or use all Japanese sweet potatoes (a.k.a. Japanese yams or Murasaki sweet potatoes), which are available in many supermarkets.

  • Parchment paper can be substituted for the banana leaf. Take two sheets of 16 1/2" x 12 1/4" parchment and crumple each into a ball. Flatten the parchment completely and overlap the two sheets in a cross, pressing them into the Dutch oven to completely cover the bottom and sides of the pan. The paper won’t lie flush with the sides, but crumpling it first will make fitting it into the pan easier.