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Sweet, sweet Jamaican Coconut Toto

Published:Tuesday | July 28, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Feast your eyes on the sweet, savory, authentic Jamaican Coconut Toto.
Just popped these babies out the oven.
The batter just before the masterpiece.
On your mark, all set, bake.
Pauline Trowers mixing up a storm.

Looking for an easy way to celebrate Independence? I've got the right thing for you ... the Jamaican Coconut Toto!

It's the easiest recipe to follow and has stood the test of time. The slaves used molasses, coconut and flour to bake a cake at nights because they were hungry and underfed. They baked the cake the traditional way by placing fire coals on top of a metal sheet, placed over a cake pan, which also had fire beneath.

In this day and age, it's as easy as throwing in your favourite spices and putting it in your oven. Food met up with Pauline Trowers, who has been baking for 34 years and now bakes from the 'top of her head'. She shared with us the insight of baking the true Jamaican Coconut Toto.

With this recipe, you can duplicate this delectable dessert.




4 cups flour

11/2 cups brown sugar

3 tsp baking powder

2 cups grated coconut

1/4 cup raisins (optional)

1 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp grated ginger

1/2 cup melted margarine

11/2-2 cups coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs (optional)

1/4 cup Red Label Wine (optional)

1 tbsp white rum (optional)




- Grease baking tins.

- Preheat oven- 3508F

- Combine dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, sugar, grated coconut, baking powder, salt, raisins, mixed spice, nutmeg, ginger.

- Beat eggs and melt margarine.

- Mix together wet ingredients: eggs, margarine, coconut milk, vanilla, Red Label Wine and white rum.

- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix lightly.

- Pour into greased baking tin and bake at 3508F for 30 minutes, or when done.

- Remove from oven, cool, cut and serve.

Trowers explained, "With toto, you can freestyle and, like me, add a 'likkle strong',". She adds that her 'likkle strong' - Red Label Wine or white rum - preserves and also gives the toto a nice flavour.