Made with unique and fragrant Caribbean spices and distinct flavors, Bulla cake is the best thing you can ever taste. Serve it with jams, marmalades, cream cheese, or butter.

They are among those snacks that instantly become everyone’s favorite. You can also eat these for breakfast as well. Try these cakes at home, and I bet you won’t keep yourself from eating these!

Also see Jamaican Spice Bun and Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding for more delicious Jamaican desserts.

bulla cake on a grey plate on a wooden backgrou

What Is Jamaican Bulla Cake?

Jamaican bulla cakes are a staple in Jamaica. They are a sweet bread-like dessert. Bulla is also a popular snack in Jamaica, very widely loved by children. Furthermore, you can find several stalls of these cakes early in the morning for breakfast. 

Jamaican people focus a lot on snacks. Their snacks are not just tasteful but are also super healthy. Above all, these cakes are gluten-free and vegan.

The main highlight of these cakes is the unique flavor of three main spices, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. It is because of these ingredients that these cakes are unique and have a delicious and addictive flavor.

Dry and wet ingredients for bulla

Ingredient Breakdown

Bulla cake uses simple ingredients that are easy to find. Most of these are already available in your kitchen pantry. Here is a detailed review of every ingredient:

  • Flour: Flour is the main ingredient for any cake. It is the body of a cake, and the same goes for the Jamaican bulla cake. Although I have used gluten-free all-purpose flour for this recipe, you can use flour with gluten if you are not on a gluten-free diet. 
  • Coconut sugar: Coconut sugar is a kind of sugar made from coconut. It has a sweet caramelly note to it. You can easily find it at any grocery store. It is an organic healthier option for using white sugar.
  • Baking powder: another important ingredient for making any cake is baking powder. Baking powder is responsible for adding texture and body to a baked item. Furthermore, it also helps in making the cake airy and fluffy.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a widely used spice in Jamaican cuisine. It is sweet and a hint of spice to it. The flavor is very refreshing.
  • Allspice: another important spice in Jamaican cuisine is the allspice. It brings in a depth of flavor to the bulla cake.
  • Nutmeg: is also popular in Jamaican desserts, and throughout the Caribbean.
  • Vegan butter: Because it is a vegan recipe, we are going to use vegan butter. You can use any vegan butter. you like. 
  • Molasses: Adds a lovely brown color to the bulla, and also a nice caramel flavor. 
  • Golden flaxseeds: Also known as linseeds, golden flaxseed is an amazing ingredient. Flaxseed is a rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It has several health benefits and is an essential ingredient for bulla cake. It makes these cakes a staple because of the health benefits that come from this ingredient. They have a nutty and earthy flavor.
  • Vanilla extracts: Vanilla extracts add flavor to these cakes.
  • Ginger: Anther essential ingredient that makes these cakes so uniquely special is ginger. You can use freshly grated ginger.

How To Make Jamaican Bulla Cake?

Making Jamaican bulla cakes is super easy. Here are a few simple steps you have to follow:

Step 1: the first step is to combine all the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, salt, and allspice in a large bowl. Mix well to combine everything together.

Step 2: In another bowl, add all the remaining ingredients like water, vegan butter, molasses, vanilla extracts, golden flaxseeds, and ginger. Mix well to incorporate everything.

Step 3: Next, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix well to form a dough. Use your hands to knead the dough. 

bulla dough in silver bowl

Step 4: Take the dough out of the bowl and place it in a floured workstation.

5: Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a sheet that is about ¼ inch thick.

 6: Cut into a circle or other shapes, using a cookie cutter or a jar lid. Place these cutouts on a parchment-lined baking tray.

cutting out bulla cakes with cookie cutter

Step 7: Collect the remaining dough, knead it again and roll it to cut more spheres. Repeat the process until all the dough is used up.

Step 8: Place the baking tray in a preheated oven at 350℉ for about 30 minutes, or until the cakes turn golden brown.

Step 9: Cool the cakes down, and enjoy!

bulla cakes on a baking sheet

Can You Make Bulla Cakes In An Air Fryer?

Although bulla cakes are traditional Jamaican cakes that have been going on for centuries now, thanks to modern technologies, you can make with most unconventionally as well. Baking these in the oven seems like the best option, but it is not! Especially when you have an air fryer in your kitchen.

You can definitely bake these amazing cakes in an air fryer. All you have to do is set the temperature and timer, place these in a parchment-lined air fryer basket, and that’s it! Oh, and don’t forget to keep an eye on these. They should be airy and golden brown. Don’t feel shy to give them additional time if they are not as they should be!

Making these cakes in the air fryer is super easy, convenient, and quick!

Tips And Tricks For Perfect Bulla Cake

Although making bulla cakes is quite an easy task, here are a few things that can help make it easier.

  • If you don’t have coconut sugar available, you can use organic cane sugar as well. Furthermore, you can also use brown sugar for the purpose.
  • If you don’t have a cookie-cutter, you can use a jar lid or a pancake mold to cut the spherical bulla shape.
  • Don’t confuse baking powder with baking soda. Both are different things.
  • If you can’t find golden flax seeds, you can use brown flax seeds as well.

How To Store Jamaican Bulla Cake?

Storing bulla cakes is pretty easy. You can place these in an air-tight container and place them on your kitchen counter you don’t need to put in the refrigerator. However, if it is too hot, you can place it in the refrigerator then. Otherwise, these stay good for up to 5 days at room temperature.

How To Serve Bulla Cakes?

Traditionally, bulla cakes are snacks for school-goers that they enjoy during their lunchtime. These are so tasteful to enjoy on their own. You can serve these cakes at tea time as well. However, if you want to enhance the flavor and experience, here are a few ways to serve it with:

  • Nut Butter: you can cut it in the middle, fill it with Pecan Butter, Walnut Butter, or Almond Butter and enjoy.
  • I also like mine served with Vegan Cheese, or you can use store-bought Follow Your Heart vegan block cheese. 
  • Cream cheese: cream cheese is a delicious filling. The savory flavor from the cheese and the sweet bulla cakes makes a heavenly combination.
  • Jams and marmalades: you can also serve these with jams and marmalades. Spread them on the top pr center of the bulla cake.
  • Chocolate coating: give the traditional bulla cakes a modern twist by glazing them with chocolate! Yum yum!
  • Fruits: traditionally, bulla cakes are served alongside avocado.
  • Candied ginger: you can serve it with candied ginger on top as well. It will taste amazing.
  • Sugar: Dust organic powdered sugar when the cakes are hot so that it melts. Simple and tasteful!

Other Vegan Jamaican Desserts To Prepare

  1. Cornmeal Pudding
  2. Jamaican Blue Draws
  3. Peanut Drops
  4. Fruit Cake
  5. Jamaican Cassava Pone
  6. Tamarind Balls
  7. Banana Fritters
  8. Jamaican Coconut  Drops
  9. Gizzada

Eating bulla and cheese, a Jamaican dessert

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Categories

Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 345 kcal / 1442 kJ
  • Fat: 8.4 g
  • Protein: 4.2 g
  • Carbs: 64.4 g

Cooking Time

  • Preparation: 15 min
  • Cooking: 30 min
  • Ready in: 45 min
  • For:
  • 6 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, add dry ingredients like all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, salt, allspice, and nutmeg. Mix well and set aside.
  2. In another bowl, add water, vegan butter, vanilla extracts, golden flaxseeds, and ginger. Mix well until the ingredients are combined.
  3. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix well until it becomes a dough.
  4. Knead the dough for about 2 to 3 minutes. If it is too sticky, add extra flour or if the dough is too dry, add extra liquid.
  5. Place the dough on a prepared, flour-dusted workstation and roll it out using a rolling pin. The rolled sheet should be about ¼ inches thick. 
  6. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes, preferably spherical, and transfer it to a parchment-lined baking tray.
  7. Repeat the same process with the leftover dough until the dough is finished.
  8. Place the baking tray in a preheated oven at 350-degree F for about 30 minutes or until the cakes turn golden brown. 
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.