Jamaican Cassava Pone was one of my mother’s favorite desserts to prepare when I was growing up in Jamaica. My mom grew her own cassava, made starch to iron my uniform from it and she would also use it to make this yummy dessert. From my recollection, she used the bitter cassava for making the starch but sadly she is no longer here for me to verify.
What Is Cassava Pone?
Cassava pone or Yucca Cake is a dessert made from grated cassava or Yuca, coconut milk, flour, and spices. It is popular throughout the Caribbean region, Central America, and South America, areas like Barbados, Trinidad, Guyana, have versions of this delicious treat. I have also seen Filipino versions called Yuca Cake/Cassava Cake or Panlasang Pinoy.
Jamaican Cassava Pone
For this version, there are a few adjustments that I made:
- I used the blender to process my cassava instead of a box grater. You can definitely do it the traditional way using a box grater.
- For the flour, I used all-purpose gluten-free flour instead of wheat-based flour.
- I left out butter to make it vegan, even though I could have used a vegan butter alternative.
- Instead of using fresh coconut milk and grated coconut flesh. I substituted with can coconut milk and coconut flakes.
What Ingredients Are In Your Yuca Pone?
Cassava – you can usually find it in fresh or frozen in the Caribbean, Latino, or some Asian markets. Some popular supermarket chains carry it in the section that has yams, batata, and other exotic fruits and vegetables.
Coconut Milk – I used the cans of coconut milk, you can use cartons or fresh if you can find in your area.
Vanilla, Almond Extract – this flavor combo is great.
All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour – any brand on the market will work. Helps to add structure to your cassava pone so it isn’t gummy.
Coconut Flakes – adds structure as well, if you have grated coconut fresh or frozen will work.
Cane Sugar – I used Florida Crystals brand but turbinado will work, or coconut sugar.
Baking powder – I use aluminum-free baking powder.
Spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. Great flavor! If you are allergic to cinnamon and nutmeg. Use a combination of cardamom and coriander.
Raisins – this is optional.
Salt – I use Himalayan pink salt.
How Do You Know If Cassava Is Bad?
The flesh should be white or yellow depending on the variety. It should not have any black spots, or lines, or marbled look. This usually means the cassava is too old.
Is Frozen Cassava Flesh Safe?
Yes, it is very safe, it is sometimes better to purchase frozen cassava because depending on where you are living, it might be difficult to even find fresh cassava in the stores. With the frozen ones, you are getting cassava that is harvested and processed when they are mature. Who knows how long they have been harvested and sitting on the shelves.
How To Peel Yuca?
- Using a sharp knife, cut the ends off the yuca/cassava root.
- Score lengthwise through the brown skin touching the flesh.
- Using the tip of the knife to loosen the skin. Pull off the skin and discard it.
- Cut the root in half, in the center, there is a tough string. Remove and discard. You can leave it if you are boiling your cassava if is much easier to remove after boiling.
- Chop up cassava into desired sizes.
How To Make Cassava Pone?
- Add cassava into a blender along with coconut milk, vanilla, and almond extract. You want to use a function on your blender that will leave the cassava somewhat gritty like grated cassava. On my Blendtec, I use the Ice Crush or Pulse function. I set this aside when I get the right texture.
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Add the blended mixture. and combine.
- Scoop batter in a prepared pan and bake for an hour in a preheated oven. Enjoy!
How Should I Store My Cassava Pone?
It is fine to keep it on the counter for 24 hours, after that you want to store it in a closed container in the refrigerator for about 3 days or freeze for longer.
How To Make Cassava Pone Ahead Of Time?
You can actually prepare the batter a day ahead. Transfer batter to a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. The next day just transfer batter to a prepared pan and bake as usual.
Other Cassava Recipes To Prepare
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- Energy: 287 kcal / 1200 kJ
- Fat: 13 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Carbs: 40 g
- Preparation: 20 min
- Cooking: 1 h
- Ready in: 1 h 20 min
- For: 12 Servings
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray or light brush a baking pan with oil. Set aside.
- Peel cassava and cut into small chunks. Add cassava chunks to a high-speed blender, add coconut milk, vanilla, and almond extract. Process until cassava looks crumbly but not smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, coconut flakes, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.
- Add the cassava mixture and stir to combine. Dust raisins with flour and fold into batter.
- Transfer the batter to a prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour. Cool completely and serve.