Subscribe for all my updates and don't miss a thing! Sign me up!

Delicious Jamaican Toto!
Coconut Cake Recipe

Sharing Is Caring! Share this awesome content with your friends now.


New! See the real Jamaica in VIDEOS!
Click Here and see why over 140,000 fans are raving about my YouTube Channel!

Jamaican Toto Coconut Cake | (Photo Credit: Grace Foods)Jamaican Toto Coconut Cake | (Photo Credit: Grace Foods)

by Venesha Johnson | Associater Writer

Recently I was saying out loud, speaking to myself, that I hadn’t had or seen a slice of warm Toto (pronounced as Toe-tuh) in a very long time, and my younger sibling dared to ask “wah name suh?” I was truly offended by the fact that not one of my three younger sisters had a clue as to what Toto is.

New! How much do you love Jamaica?

Join our growing list of well-thinking Jamaica-loving folks who are demonstrating what a friendly, helpful and fun Jamaican community looks like. Click Here to learn more.

And, if you ever need a trustworthy and knowledgeable local guide, consider booking a private tour with us!

You see, Toto is a staple in Jamaica. Or at least, it used to be. There was a time when Toto was frequently made in Jamaican households. It was the go-to cake for most because the ingredients were simple and easily found in every Jamaican kitchen, and it didn’t require a lot of time and attention.

When I think of Toto, I think about the days when after church service the elder ladies would gather in the back, slicing up big baking tins of Toto to be shared with everyone.

But Toto has been around for what may seem like forever. Toto is Jamaican. The tradition of making Toto goes as far back as the times of slavery. It is said that after long days of toil and labour, plus being severely underfed, the slaves would come together to make Toto.

All they needed, were the few ingredients available to them to make this heavy and filling cake, coconut, molasses and flour. Of course, back then, they didn’t have modern ovens as we do, so they would use what Jamaicans fondly refer to as “hell a top, hell a bottom and hallelujah in the middle” to bake the Totos.

This method simply consisted of using a coal stove at the bottom of the baking pan or, in most cases, a Dutch pot and using a metallic sheet or zinc with hot coal on top of the pot. This way, the cake bakes from both sides simultaneously.

One of the main differences with Toto now, compared to back then, is the elimination of molasses from the ingredients, it is instead replaced with other spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.

It may not be quite as easy for us to get our hands on a slice of Toto these days, unless its made at home or if you are lucky enough to run into a street vendor who walks around with a tray filled with slices of Toto, Potato and Cornmeal Pudding, otherwise the chances are quite slim.

So just in case, you can’t get any Toto to buy, here is a simple recipe of how you can make your very own Toto (coconut cake) at home.

Jamaican Toto (Coconut Cake)


  • 14 oz. butter
  • 1 ½ baking flour
  • 8 oz. sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • two eggs
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice for flavour
  • 2 cups of freshly grated coconut
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. The first step is to cream your butter and sugar, you can choose to do this the old fashion way by using your hands, but if you are not up to the extra work feel free to grab your hand mixer.

  2. Add your wet ingredients minus the evaporated milk, that is your eggs and vanilla extract and combine for another 3 to 5 minutes.

  3. Step 3, it's now time to add all your dry ingredients. Ensure to gently sift in your flour first. Then add your baking powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon powder. Also, add your grated coconut at this point.

  4. Your evaporated milk is what you will use to combine the ingredients into a relatively smooth batter. While it may be tempting, refrain from using condensed milk, unlike evaporated milk, condensed milk is sweetened and in this case, the extra sugar isn’t needed.

  5. Grease a shallow baking tin then spread the mixture out evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes, using the toothpick method to test for its readiness.

Serve hot and enjoy.. 

Feel free to share this recipe with your friends and families and spread the delicious goodness of Jamaican Toto (coconut cake).

You might like these

Sharing IS Caring! Please help me get the message out by sharing this article with your friends on social media (links below). Thnx ;-)

If you found this page useful, please consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter, to get even more

It tells you each week about the new information that I have added, including new developments and great stories from lovers of Jamaica! 

Return to Jamaican Food from Jamaican Toto 
Return to My Island Jamaica Homepage from Jamaican Toto

References & Sources For Jamaican Toto

  1. Coconut Toto, Jamaicans,
Back To The Top Of This Page

New! Get My Latest Book👇🏿


You asked, I've answered! You no longer need to save for months or years, to enjoy paradise!

JAMAICA On A Budget is your passport to experiencing what I call 'The Real Jamaica' on a budget!

I spilled the beans! sharing my top tips on finding cozy accommodations and secret gems, only the way a native could! Click Here to pick it up on my e-store and start saving now!

See The Best Of Jamaica - In Videos!


My channel reaches over 140,000 subscribers worldwide and has leveraged over 11 million views, sharing, what I call 'The Real Jamaica'. Subscribe today and join our family of viewers.


Read More ...

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

New! Experience The REAL Jamaica!
Book Your Private Tour here and experience Jamaica the way we (locals) do!

P.S. Didn't find what you were looking for? 
Still need help?

Click Here to try our dependable and effective Site Search tool. It works!

Or, simply click here and here, to browse my library of over 500 questions and answers! Chances are someone already asked (and got an answer to) your question.

Back To The Top Of This Page

Like My Site? Please Click Here To Share It With Your Friends

Home   |   JOIN US   |   Site Search   |   Have Your Say   |   Archives   |   Old Archives   |   Contact   |   Disclaimer   |   TIP ME!   |   Link To Us

Do like I did! Share your passion
(about your city, hobby or experience) and make a living from it. Click Here to see how

By Wellesley Gayle   |   Copyright © 2007-2024   |   All rights Reserved.   |   Privacy Policy