713. Jamaican Toto Coconut Cake

October 5, 2017mayurisjikoni
Blog post

Coconut and Rum

Theme: Surfing Through The Caribbeans

BM #81- Week 1 Day 3

A Caribbean cuisine theme would be incomplete without a Jamaican dish. Whenever one mentions the Caribbean, Jamaica is what pops up in my mind and I hear its one of the few countries where a Kenyan passport holder can go to without prearranged visa 🙂 A country that has a diverse population, the indigenous tribe, Africans, Indians, Europeans and Chinese. Under the Spanish rule it was called Santiago but after the British took over, they named it Jamaica. Some famous Jamaicans are Bob Marley, the reggae musician, Usain Bolt the sprinter, Chris Gayle cricketeer who plays for West Indies are a few I know of. Ian Fleming writer of James Bond novels, lived in Jamaica and used the island as a setting in his novels.

Jamaica is well known for its sugar, rum, coffee and yams. It is also famous for its jerk spice. Like the other Caribbean islands, the cuisine had a strong influence from the indigenous, Indian, African, Chinese, English and Spanish cuisine. Some famous Jamaican dishes are patties, saltfish, meats and vegetables prepared with jerk spice, bammies, callaloo, coco bread to name a few. Callaloo is what West Africans call greens, the other Caribbean islands call spinach and we know it as amaranth. I was going to make a callaloo dish but at the last minute changed my plan for three reasons.
1) If I am going to prepare one dish from Jamaica then it had to have rum and coconut.
2) I had a sudden craving for some cake. Its been a long time since I’ve baked and eaten one. 3) The name toto fascinated me as Toto in Kiswahili means child.

I came across the Jamaican Toto Coconut Cake  on Cook Like A Jamaican. I got the fresh coconut all grated and ready and was all geared up to bake. I thought I had some brown sugar in my pantry…turned it upside down but didn’t find any. What to do? What to do? It was so much easier when we had a fully functional supermarket just opposite to my apartment. Now its opens everyday but doesn’t sell anything! What baffles me is how can a huge business like Nakumatt get into problems where the entire rows of shelves are lined with single bottles of drinking water! Wouldn’t it be best just to close? Anyway so coming back to sugar what do I use. I thought white sugar, but that wouldn’t impart the same taste as brown. So finally settled for powdered jaggery.  I can tell you, no one would know that I’ve replaced the brown sugar with jaggery. The overall cake turned out delicious especially because of the fresh grated coconut and it tasted like the Christmas Fruit Cake but with not as much fruit. Toto (touts, toe toe bulla) is a referred to a cake that is made from coconut and coconut milk, brown sugar and served as dessert or as a snack.
Over to the recipe and enjoy it with some coffee or ice-cream.




12 pieces

1½ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
¾ cup brown sugar (or jaggery powder as I used)
¾ cup fresh grated or desiccated coconut
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda (soda bicarbonate)
¼ tsp all spice powder
¼ tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp ginger powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup raisins (optional)
1 large egg, well beaten
1 cup coconut milk
¼ cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp Jamaican rum (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
  2. Butter and dust with flour a 8″X8″ square pan or line it with parchment paper.
  3. Melt the butter.
  4. Sieve flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices together.
  5. Add the raisins and grated coconut. Mix well.
  6. In another bowl add sugar, egg, vanilla extract, rum, milk and melted butter.
  7. Whisk it well.
  8. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients. 
  9. Mix but don’t over mix. The batter will be liquidey.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
  11. Bake it for 30-40 minutes until its golden brown in colour and done.
  12. To check if its done, insert a toothpick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
  13. Remove the cake from the tin and let it cool on a wire rack.
  14. Serve.
  • I had some ready powdered jaggery which I used instead of brown sugar.
  • Adding raisins and rum is totally optional.
  • All spice is a pimento(myrtle family) famous in Caribbean. If you can’t get the spice then add a bit of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon.
You may want to check out my other coconut recipes:
eggless coconut cupcakes
Sending this recipe to the following event:


You may want to check out what other Marathoners have made for BM#81 here


  • Herbs Spices and Tradition

    October 5, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    This is a tempting cake recipe.

    I am hosting My Legume Love Affair”MLLA” which is an ongoing blog party from last nine years.Please share your vegetarian and vegan legume recipes.Check the guidelines here-http://herbsspicesandtradition.blogspot.ca/2017/10/hosting-my-legume-love-affair-mlla-112.html

  • Srivalli

    October 6, 2017 at 5:02 am

    Oh wow that's an awesome substitute!..and such a wonderful read on the place…the cake looks so inviting..

  • vaishali sabnani

    October 7, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Enjoyed reading your post and the cake , it looks fabulous . Jaggery must have tasted delicious in Cake !

  • Rafeeda AR

    October 8, 2017 at 5:44 am

    I remember bookmarking this recipes long back when my love for cooking had just kindled up… now seeing the recipe, I am wondering what is holding me back from baking it. I have all ingredients in the house and must get my hands on baking this really soon, without the raisins of course… 😀 Love that you substituted with jaggery, necessity is the mother of invention, no? 🙂

  • veena krishnakumar

    October 8, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Lovely write up Mayuri and the cake with the jaggery looks toooo good. Lovely clicks

  • Varadas Kitchen

    October 9, 2017 at 3:17 am

    I like your innovative substitution. The cake looks lovely!

  • Sharmila- The Happie Friends Potpourri corner

    October 9, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Lovely to know this recipe.. I shall try it out for Christmas!!

  • Ritu Tangri

    October 9, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Nice write up and more than that is the cake. Perfectly baked

  • Priya Suresh

    October 9, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    And this toto coconut cake is calling me, will definitely make some soon.

  • Archana Potdar

    October 10, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Ian Fleming lived in Jamaica?? I loved his books but assumed he lived in London.
    I love the cake and using jaggery wow must have tasted awesome.

  • Sandhya Ramakrishnan

    October 11, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    The name for this cake is so attractive and I am already loving it. Love the flavors in it. I love the flavor of coconut in baked recipes.

  • sushma

    October 11, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Wow perfectly done. Using jaggery is a healthy choice.

  • Chef Mireille

    October 15, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    jaggery would give it such a nice smoky flavor I am sure it tasted awesome

  • I Camp in my Kitchen

    October 16, 2017 at 3:26 am

    Oh love how perfect the cake has come out! Love the flavor of coconut in baked! Scintillating flavor isn’t!

  • Kalyani

    October 22, 2017 at 8:10 am

    lovely read ! and a great cake with jaggery and a hint of rum, am sure this was delicious 🙂

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