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Jamaica’s Favourite Pudding- The Sweet Potato Pudding

by Deon Clarke | Associate Writer

Jamaican Potato Pudding
Photo: A slice of Delicious Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

Who doesn’t love a good slice of sweet potato pudding? Jamaica does it best! And yes, this is a traditional dessert which is a very important part of our heritage. This awesome tasting, sumptuous pudding is an all-time favourite of Jamaicans who have mastered the art of making it delectable. But just how do they do it? Today we will answer some questions about this mouth-watering pudding and its main ingredient as well as give you some insight on things you never even thought of about it.

What is The Sweet Potato Pudding Made Of?

This delicious dessert is made using the main ingredients of grated sweet potato, grated yam, coco, or flour (for binding), sugar, coconut milk, your favourite spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Of course, you can add your personal touch such as raisins (which by the way, I love in mine). You will find that there are numerous recipes but they all simmer down to the same great taste.

How Is The Sweet Potato Pudding Made?

If you are making the pudding the traditional way, then you will be grating the main ingredients and when combined, it would be baked on a coal stove with fire at the top, the container with the mix in the middle, and fire at the bottom. This is commonly referred to as “Hell a top, Hell a bottom, and Hallelujah in the middle”. Whenever you hear this term, it is referring to the “sweet potato pudding”. Some modern recipes, on the other hand, scrap the grating of the main ingredients and do blending instead, after which it is placed in the oven and baked. If done right, the results are just as amazing as the traditional way.

How Many Calories Are In A Slice Of Potato Pudding?

The sweet potato pudding is filled with nutritious goodness. In a slice of potato, you will generally find the following per serving:
  1. 122 calories
  2. Protein - 3.9 g
  3. Carbohydrates - 23.4 g
  4. Dietary fiber - 1.3 g
  5. Sugars - 18.5 g
  6. Fat - 1.5 g
  7. Saturated fat - 0.3 g
  8. Cholesterol - 24.2 mg
  9. Vitamin A iu 1636.6IU;
  10. Vitamin C - 4.9 mg
  11. Folate - 6.2 mcg
  12. Calcium - 82.6 mg
  13. Iron - 0.5 mg
  14. Magnesium - 10.1 mg
  15. Potassium - 228.5 mg
  16. Sodium - 206.9 mg

What Is The Custard Topping The Sweet Potato Pudding?

For sweet potato pudding lovers, there is a special part of the pudding that just hits the spot called the “custard”. This is a cream or glaze usually made with coconut and cow's milk, sugar, cinnamon powder, and stirring it properly. It is then poured on top of the sweet potato dough, before baking. There can be variations using rum, coffee, condensed milk, or just whatever cream topping you like.

How Long Does The Sweet Potato Pudding Last In The Fridge?

So, just how long does this pudding store in the fridge? If you happen to have any leftovers (the only reason I can think of is that you want to watch your calories or you just want to prolong the sumptuous goodness a little longer, lol) you can store it in the fridge for 3-5 days in an airtight container. I personally wouldn’t recommend storing it for more than 3 days.

When Do Jamaicans Eat Sweet Potato Pudding?

The sweet potato pudding is a popular dessert item, so Jamaicans will eat potato pudding usually, after “Sunday Dinner”, at special functions as it is usually on the menu for dessert, at Christmas time, and just about any time they feel like having it.

Can You Freeze Sweet Potato Pudding?

Personally, I’ve never considered freezing it, it just doesn’t last that long for me as mine is usually done within three days, lol. However, persons have suggested that it freezes well for about two weeks to a month. A good tip is to freeze it in slices and reheat it in the microwave. You can try this and see how it works for you.

What Does Jamaican Sweet Potatoes Look Like?

The sweet potatoes that are grown in Jamaica are not the orange ones, but rather the purple-skinned ones with the white or yellowish inside. Their texture is far more starchy and drier than orange sweet potatoes. This also makes them great for sweet potato pudding.

What Are Jamaican Sweet Potatoes Called?

In Jamaica, sweet potatoes are just called as they are - sweet potatoes. The Eustace and the Boniato are two of the many varieties of sweet potatoes grown in Jamaica. The sweet potato is probably the most widely used ground provision because of its taste, versatility and nutritional value. Sweet potatoes are of the Morning Glory Convolvulaceae family.

Is Jamaican Sweet Potato Healthy?

Absolutely! The Jamaican sweet potatoes contain several nutrients including, Carbohydrates, fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium.

Is The Purple Sweet Potato Good For Weight Loss?

The purple sweet potatoes are high in fibre, which means that when consumed will keep you feeling full for much longer ultimately resulting in weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight.

How Do You Know If A Sweet Potato is bad?

Sweet potatoes can go bad unfortunately so you want to make sure you select the best quality ones for your pudding. Once sweet potatoes turn mushy, you can be sure that they have gone bad. Usually, their ends will become soft before they turn to a brown or black colour. You will notice that as soon as these parts spoil, the flavour of the entire tuber will be affected. In some instances, the surfaces will wrinkle. They will also have a pungent smell.

What Colour Is Jamaican Sweet Potato?

There are many varieties of sweet potatoes grown in Jamaica. However, Jamaicans seem to prefer the ones with reddish or purple skin that is cream or white on the inside. The sweet potato is probably the most widely used ground provision due to its taste, versatility and more importantly, its nutritional value.

As you can see, you can’t have a great potato pudding without great potatoes! So, now that you know so much about sweet potatoes and sweet potato pudding, why not try to make one this weekend from the many available recipes. You’ll be glad you did. Remember, Hell a top, Hell a bottom and Hallelujah in the middle!

I also recommend you read Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding Recipe.


  • Jamaican Potato Pudding - Sweet Memories, My-Island-Jamaica,
  • 2 Heavenly Jamaican Puddings | Sweet Potato & Cornmeal Pudding Recipes, My-Island-Jamaica,
  • Do Sweet Potatoes Help or Hinder Weight Loss?, My-Island-Jamaica,
  • Sweet sweet potato, Gleaner Jamaica,
  • Vegan Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding, Healthier Steps,

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