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Published:Thursday | March 29, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Plantain tart
Grater cake

We continue to publish recipes of 50 of Jamaica's sweet treats. So far, we have looked at drops and gizzadas. This week, we look at grater cake and plantain tart.

Grater cake

This is a traditional Jamaican snack and is quite easy to make.

You just have to get your mixture to the right degree of stickiness before removing it from the stove. You will need:

2 cups grated coconut (with all the brown stuff removed).

3 cups granulated sugar (brown sugar can also be used, add ginger though).

1/2 cup water

White vanilla or almond flavouring (optional).

A pinch of salt


1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Ensure it's a thick one.

2. Boil until the coconut is soft. The liquid will be all gone by this time.

3. Ensure that the mixture is sticky enough to hold together.

4. Remove from heat and beat mixture for one to two minutes.

5. Place on a greased sheet in heaps using a tablespoon. Make a small depression in the middle of each cake.

6. Colour a small amount of coconut and place in small heaps atop the bigger cake.

7. Alternately, you may place coconut in a square dish and press with the back of a spoon. Second batch will have to be made in this instance and coloured. Allow to cool and cut into squares.


Plantain tart


2 cups all-purpose flour

1tsp salt

1/4 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch


3tbs shortening, chilled and


1 egg, beaten

1tbs ice-cold water


3 very ripe (black) plantains

1/4 cup white sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

1tsp grated nutmeg

2 drops red food colouring


1 egg white, beaten

White sugar for decoration


1. Prepare the pastry by combining the flour and salt in a bowl. Rub in the butter and shortening until incorporated, and the mixture takes on a sandy appearance. Combine the egg and water, and stir into the flour mixture until a dough forms, then knead for a few turns to bring the dough together. Wrap well and chill for three hours in the refrigerator.

2. While dough is chilling, peel plantains and cut into thirds. Place into a small saucepan with a little water. Bring to a simmer and steam until tender, five to 10 minutes depending on how ripe your plantains are. Once soft, pour out the water, and mash plantains with sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and red food colouring. Set aside to cool.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

4. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thick. Cut into circles using a four- or five-inch round cookie cutter. Spoon a little of the plantain filling into the centre of each circle, then fold in half, to form a half-moon shape. Place the tarts on a baking sheet, brush with beaten egg white, and sprinkle with sugar.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Allow tarts to cool to room temperature before serving.