Grandma’s Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding
There is just something about Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding that makes it simply irresistible! Because once you’ve tried it you just can’t enough. For many Jamaicans, sweet potato pudding “ah di boss!” when compared to other puddings.
Jamaican sweet potato pudding or sweet potato ‘pone’ is a traditional dessert that uses simple ingredients but takes expertise to get an authentic homemade flavour and tantalizing texture. I’ve known many pudding-lovers who’ve travelled far and wide just to get their hands on a slice of this mouth-watering dessert. But, if you’ve ever faced that problem, search no more. Because today, you’ll get to enjoy the whole ‘pudding pan’ by learning how to make sweet potato pudding yourself. My ‘no-fuss’ recipe, will teach you how to easily bake this appetizing Jamaican favourite, that’s smooth in texture and rich in flavour!
The Sweetest Memories
One of my sweetest memories of growing up in Jamaica was family trips to my grandmother’s house in August Town. For me, my Grandma’s house is like ‘foodie heaven’, because everything she cooked tasted great.
On weekend trips, we all looked forward to grandma’s mouth-watering Saturday soup or Sunday dinner. I can vividly remember the feeling of joy every dinnertime at Grandma’s. But when Grandma baked her famous sweet potato pudding, the feeling was even sweeter. Nothing could beat a nice warm slice of grandma’s sweet potato pudding on a Saturday or Sunday evening. Her small kitchen would be full of pudding lovers huddling with their sheets of foil paper in hand. This was because we all had to get our extra share of pudding to take home and enjoy. For me, getting a slice of pudding from one of the corners of the pudding pan (where the edges were dark and crispy) was divine. Because everybody knows when it comes to puddings – ah di sweetest part dat! (That’s the sweetest part!).
The Proof is in the Pudding!
Grandma Ma Pum’s sweet potato pudding was the best. Her pudding was steamed on a wood-fire and filled with the most delicious flavours of sweet potatoes, coconut milk and spices. But that traditional way of baking sweet potato pudding was long and tedious. In order to make this recipe easier, I’ve developed one that eliminates the ‘grating’ step, which our Jamaican old-timers prefer. As a result, you can bake and enjoy your sweet potato pudding in a shorter time. My recipe also gives you the steps to make the soft topping or ‘custard’ for your sweet potato pudding, which most people enjoy.
After many years of developing this recipe, I’m happy to finally share it with you. Let’s get started on this easy and delicious Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding recipe, lovingly inspired by my Grandma ‘Ma Pum’.
Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding Recipe
- 2 lbs white sweet potato (purple skin)
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- 2 tbsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp almond essence
- 1 tbsp mixed spice
- 1 tbsp rum
Dry Ingredients (combine in a separate bowl)
- 1 cup flour all purpose
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup cornmeal refined
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- ½ tsp salt to taste
- 1 tbsp ginger powder
- 1½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup raisins optional
- ¼ cup thick coconut milk
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ tsp browning (optional)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp melted butter
- Peel and wash the sweet potatoes.
- Cut the sweet potatoes into small (½ inch) pieces and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
- Add some water to a large baking dish (make it 3/4 full), and place it on the lowest rack/level of the oven. This 'steaming pan' is what will steam the pudding.
- Grease a 9-inch round baking tin and set aside.
- Add 4 cups of the chopped potatoes to a blender with 1 ½ cups of coconut milk.
- Blend the sweet potatoes on high until smooth, then pour it into a large mixing bowl. Follow this technique to blend the chopped potatoes: Blend the mixture for 5 seconds, stop, then stir it completely before blending for another 5 seconds. Blend and stir a few times more until the mixture is smooth. (the blended potatoes should have a thick, lumpy consistency).
- Add the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, almond essence, rum, and liquid mixed spice then mix well. If you have powdered mixed spice, add it to the flour mixture in the step below.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour and other dry ingredients then whisk together.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the blended sweet potatoes and mix well until there is no trace of the flour.
- Toss the raisins in a small bowl of flour then sieve off the excess flour. Drop the raisins evenly into the batter then stir the batter lightly until there are no raisins visible.
- Pour the mixture into the greased baking tin, place it on the oven rack above the 'steaming pan' pan, and bake for 1 hour and 50 minutes.
- Prepare the custard mixture in a small bowl and set aside.
- After 1 hour and 50 minutes, remove the pudding from the oven and spoon the custard mix on top. Use the back of the spoon to evenly spread the custard over the entire surface of the pudding.
- Return the pudding to the oven and bake for a further 10 - 15 minutes.
- Remove the pudding from the oven and let it rest on the countertop uncovered for at least 2 hours. The pudding must cool completely so it's firm enough to slice. (Allow the pudding to 'sit' uncovered for approximately 3 - 6 hours to get the right texture). If you can resist the delicious smell, let the pudding cool overnight in the refrigerator before slicing it. I find that sweet potato has the best flavour and texture 1 - 2 days after baking.
- When the pudding cools, enjoy it on its own or with a scoop of your favourite ice cream.
- Bless up, slice, serve and enjoy it!
- To preserve your pudding, refrigerate any leftovers after eating.
- Thanks for trying my recipe! Please remember to come back and leave me a rating & review to show your support and provide feedback 🙂