Vegan Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

Vegan Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

Vegan Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding is the vegan version of this popular dessert enjoyed in Jamaica and the Caribbean throughout the year! It is very moist, rich, and indulgent!

Vegan Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

I enjoyed sweet potato pudding while growing up in Jamaica. It is easy to make, using a food processor or a blender. I must say it wasn't as easy to make when I was growing up, but it was such a delight to eat and an appreciation of my mother's labor of love that brings back warm memories!

My mom would grate the sweet potatoes by hand using a box grater, this was one of my least favorite tasks! She would mix the grated sweet potatoes with coconut milk (freshly grated), flour, spices, and raisins.  The mixture was then baked outdoors, using a traditional coal stove. She would make a fire with charcoal beneath the baking pan, then cover the baking pan and put more heated coals on top of the baking pan.

Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

In Jamaica, this style of baking is called, "hell a top, hell a bottom and hallelujah in the middle" The results would be a decadent pudding perfectly baked with a sweet custard top.

Nowadays I make my version of Jamaican Sweet Potato pudding vegan and gluten-free. In a jiffy,  I peel and chop the potatoes. Process in a food processor, add canned coconut milk, gluten-free flour, and spices and pop it in an oven. I do a special step to get the custard topping by adding extra sweetened coconut milk halfway during baking.

This recipe is a must try, there isn't much room to fail if you are trying it for the first time. You will be happy you tried it! Serve it with my Jamaican Stew Peas with Dumplings and my Jamaican Sorrel Drink for a truly authentic taste of the Island.

How To Make Vegan Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

To make Jamaican Sweet Potato pudding, you will need a special variety of sweet potato that has a white flesh with red skin. It is mainly sold in West Indian, Asian and African grocery stores. But fortunately it's getting more popular here in the USA and it can even be found in Walmart. Sometimes it is also sold as 'batata'.

Here are some of the differences between Jamaican white-flesh sweet potato and American orange-flesh sweet potato

  1. The Jamaican white flesh sweet potato is white flesh with red skin and the American sweet potato is orange flesh with brown skin.
  2. The Jamaican sweet potato is sturdier when cooked, the American sweet potato is softer.
  3. Jamaican sweet potato is starchier in texture than American sweet potato
  4. Although they are both sweet, there is a distinct difference in their sweetness.

Vegan Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

I am so excited to start a new facebook group, sharing lots of delicious vegan recipes, health tips etc. from our members, please join us at Vegan Recipes With Love! If you tried this recipe, please comment below and let us know how you like it. Also, please follow us on Instagram!

Update: I have known readers who have replaced the gluten-free flours with regular all-purpose flour with great success. Also, a reader noted that she has doubled the flour and was able to have success using American sweet potatoes. I will have to try it soon.

Categories

Course:
Cuisine:

Nutrition

Energy:
274 kcal / 1145 kJ
Fat:
10 g
Protein:
3 g
Carbs:
44 g
Per portion

Cooking Time

Preparation:
15 min
Cooking:
1 h 30 min
Ready in:
1 h 45 min
For:
12 Servings

Ingredients

Custard Topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Peel sweet potatoes and roughly chop. Grate using the grater or a food processor in batches. (If using a food processor or blender, add some coconut milk to help process)
  3. Transfer grated sweet potatoes to a large bowl, add coconut milk, coconut palm sugar, spices and salt.
  4. Stir in flour to form a mostly smooth batter.
  5. Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl and pour evenly on the top of the pudding.
  7. Return pudding to oven and bake for another 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.
  8. Delicious served alone or with coconut whipped cream.
  9. Note: Please double the flour if using regular American sweet potato variety.

Notes

Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Notes:

  1. Use the white flesh sweet potato also called Batata or Boniato, with dry white flesh and pink to purple skin. Boniato is not sweet as regular orange flesh sweet potatoes.
  2. I have used a combination of sweet potato and other Caribbean/African root vegetables, such as yellow yam, white African yam, taro, eddoes, etc.  with great success.
  3. You can omit the spices and just use vanilla or a combination of ground coriander and cardamon. Basically, you can tweak the flavors to suit your taste buds. Cinnamon and nutmeg can be irritating to the lining of the stomach in the long run.
  4. Make sure you add extra coconut milk or water if you are using a high-speed blender. Chop the sweet potato into smaller pieces, pause and periodically scrape down the sides of the blender.
  5. Sweet potato pudding gets firmer as it cools. My husband prefers it when it is softer so I sometimes add extra liquid. I don’t care whether it’s soft or firm. So you might want to adjust liquid depending on your preferences.
  6. If you decide to grate sweet potatoes by hand, make sure you use the smallest hole on the grater to ensure pudding is smooth when baked.
    Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding

Michelle Blackwood

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.

Please Leave a Comment and a Rating

Rate this recipe

71 Comments
  1. Claudey
    June 4, 2019

    I am a prime example of why you should read all the info before making this recipe. I used the orange sweet potatoes and didn’t double the flour. I ended up with a runny pudding but I must say it was still delicious! I will definitely try this again. Thank you

    • Michelle Blackwood
      June 4, 2019

      Ahh Claudey, I’m so sorry this happened. I will update the recipe and add extra notes. I’m happy the taste was delicious in spite of.

  2. Helen
    May 16, 2019

    I am going to try out your vegan sweet potato pudding later grated the sweet potatoes already – I am going to eat more vegan dishes – I need to drop some pounds off.

  3. Lizzie
    March 25, 2019

    Hi Michelle!

    This looks so delicious, I really want to try it! Can I replace the coconut milk with another non-dairy milk? Cashew or almond for example?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 25, 2019

      Lizzie, thank you. Yes you can replace the milk. The recipe will turn out fine it will just be missing the authentic Jamaican flavor but it will taste great!

      • Lizzie
        April 5, 2019

        I made it with cashew milk, it was SO delicious! Thank you for the recipe :)

  4. Diana Jaramillo
    November 22, 2018

    This was outstanding! I used some of the substitutions that people mentioned in the comments and a couple of my own. I would make it that way again!

    Potatoes: half purple sweet potatoes (purple flesh, beige skin) and half Japanese sweet potato (ivory flesh, dark red skin) — these seemed like the best options at my local International grocery
    Flour: cornmeal
    Spices: ground cardamom, ground coriander, and a pinch of allspice

    I also used a little less sugar. It was plenty sweet. And since I had only one can of coconut milk, I stretched it by using half cup as written for the custard, and making up the missing liquid in the pudding itself with some unsweetened almond milk that I had in my fridge.

    To prepare the potatoes, I thought I could get away with using the grater disk of the food processor. That gave me shredded potato that I mixed with the other ingredients. It seemed like the texture would be wrong, so I put that all back in the food processor with the normal blade. The texture in the finished pudding was perfect, even though the batter didn’t look smooth to me.

    It was a big hit at the potluck, with multiple people asking for the recipe. Thank you so much for an amazing dessert!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 23, 2018

      Wow Diane thank you for your feedback, I love your adjustments and I love purple sweet potatoes, in fact, all sweet potatoes so I’m definitely going to make a purple sweet potato pie for Christmas holidays. I’m so happy you redid the potatoes with a normal food processor blade, I just use my blender and it works fine. I’m glad that your friends at potluck enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Mary
    November 15, 2018

    Also, I boiled the sweet potatoes first on accident but now I’m realizing are you supposed to bake them raw?? Just grated? I boiled and mashed them.

    • Joan Pike
      May 17, 2019

      that is how Haitians make their version of sweet potato pudding by boiling them first. Along with other adjustments.

      • Michelle Blackwood
        May 17, 2019

        Joan, that’s interesting. now I’m curious to taste it done that way. I wonder if the result is like ours.

  6. Mary
    November 15, 2018

    I tried using American sweet potatoes and while the flavor was GREAT, it was a little too liquidy. I probably should have added the extra cup of flour. Followed everything else pretty exact, besides the milk topping I had to use almond milk.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 15, 2018

      Mary, I’m happy you enjoyed the flavor. Hopefully, you will make it again with the correct adjustments, for American sweet potato you would need to double the amount of flour and yes it is grated raw sweet potatoes but you can chop and blend with the liquid in the recipe for convenience.

  7. Daryenne
    October 3, 2018

    Can I put this un the vitamix? Or will the texture be too smooth? Thanks so much for your help :)

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 3, 2018

      I put mine in my high-speed blender and it is great.

  8. Kat
    September 8, 2018

    This looks amazing can’t wait to try this recipe. I have a few questions if you don’t mind: Can you use coconut almond milk in the carton instead of the can coconut milk? Can I substitue coconut flour instead of Gluten Free flour, any idea how much I would need? Thank you, I look forward to your response.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      September 8, 2018

      Thank you Kat, it is delicious. It should be fine with coconut flour but unfortunately I cannot guarantee because I haven’t tried it but I would love to know if it works when you do.

  9. Sumana T. K. Cyrah
    June 24, 2018

    I enjoyed reading your posts. I enjoy cooking and making recipes of my own.

  10. Shirley
    May 20, 2018

    Hi Michelle. I’ll be using North American sweet potatoes can I bake it and mash instead of grating. It will only be a lot easier for me.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      May 20, 2018

      Shirley, how about chopping it and blending it. Definitely, the texture will be different but the taste will be great. Let me know how it turns out.

  11. Tomomi
    January 23, 2018

    All of your recipes that I have tried have been fantastic, but I must say this one is my favorite right now because it got my toddler son to finally eat sweet potatoes! He begs for this pudding. I decreased the amount of sugar a little and my son eats it for breakfast almost everyday. Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to trying all your other recipes!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 23, 2018

      Tomomi, thank you for your feedback. I’m so happy you are enjoying my recipes, I could totally eat it for breakfast too!

  12. Isabella f Bettencourt
    January 2, 2018

    Bon Jour, Comp ta le vu? For the Batata pudding, OMG I lived in the islands for a couple of years, and the used to make a see potato pudding, but it had a lot of Coconut, essence flavor, and cardamon. So, I am back in the States, and craving island food. I followed the recipe for Batata pudding, unfortunately, didn’t make it to the market place. So, I used baked sweet potatoes, grated carrots, non- gluton flour, honey, CoConut milk, stevia, cranberrys, etc. Since I was a young girl, I learned to perfect my battery. The taste and smell, is simply amazing.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 2, 2018

      Isabella, so lovely to hear from you. I love to use cardamom as well so delicious. Love your variation of the recipe, I hope you enjoy. Which French island are you from?

  13. Olga King
    December 24, 2017

    Your recipe was excellent but I added 4 spoonful of cornmeal

  14. Olga King
    December 23, 2017

    I love it and it is so easy I followed step by step the instructions were perfect every one cannot just have a slice they going back for more my friend told me to add a little cornmeal and it came out perfect you all should try the cornmeal to the recipe thanks and have a Merry Christmas

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 23, 2017

      Thank you for your feedback, 3 nights ago my hubby and I made 6 pans and while I was making it I ran out of gluten-free flour and my hubby suggested I add cornmeal and it is the most delicious version ever, my husband served some for his staff and they loved it and we shared the final pan today and it was a hit.

      • Olga King
        December 27, 2017

        I’m happy you liked the suggestion to had some corn meal to the recipe enjoy

  15. Joan
    December 16, 2017

    The texture is not the same with the food processor. It is better to lightly steam and then puree it will give the same texture as if grated on the finest die of the grater. You are welcome.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 16, 2017

      Joan, you have to add the coconut milk with the uncooked sweet potato and that is the same process in the blender. I never steam and as you can see the texture is perfect! I haven’t used a grater to do my sweet potatoes in over 20 years because that’s one thing I disliked, brings back too many painful memories of my hand slipping.

  16. Erin
    November 20, 2017

    I made this recipe with American sweet potatoes from our garden. I doubled the flour and it has turned out great each of the three times I’ve made it! I will be making it for Thanksgiving this year. Thank you!!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 20, 2017

      Erin, thank you very much for your feedback! You don’t know how happy I am. I have been wanting to experiment with American sweet potatoes from last year but honestly, I’m the only one in my family who cares for American sweet potato so I would have had to eat it by myself but I noticed that with more experimenting my husband is beginning to come around. Several readers have asked me how could they use American sweet potato instead and the Caribbean one and I will be happy to make a note to double the flour.Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
      c

  17. Chantal
    October 30, 2017

    My grandfather still gladly does the grating, not on the box grater but you know the old time bumpy grater, ouh girl! not me, I bless the day when like you I realized the food processor could shred and chop ;-)
    Looks delicious!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 30, 2017

      Thank you Chantal, glad you understand but I’m also happy that there are people that are still adhering to the traditional methods and keeping them alive for the younger generation to see and appreciate the labor of love that goes into preparing our traditional meals.

  18. Iman
    January 2, 2017

    Just a side note…
    Batata is the arabic word for sweet potatoes ??

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 2, 2017

      Cool, I learn something new! Thank you :)

      • Lew
        March 19, 2017

        Batata? Wow.
        Never mind. I am going to the store.
        But banana dumplings? Jeeze ,that’s new. And how do you make that?

        • Michelle Blackwood
          March 19, 2017

          Hello Lew, It’s delicious make sure it is the Latino or West Indian sweet potato and not the American type. Soo delicious. To make banana dumplings you add grated green bananas to your dough.

  19. Sofia
    December 28, 2016

    I made this recipe and it totally flopped! The taste was heavenly, but the texture was not at all what I was expecting. I used regular American sweet potatoes, could that have caused it to be like mush?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 28, 2016

      Sophia unfortunately, the American sweet potato has too high a water content for it to remain firm in this recipe. You would have had to increase the flour for it to be more solid.This recipe is such a great one when you use batata or the Jamaican or Korean sweet potato. You can find this sweet potato in the Oriental, Latino, Indian, West Indian Grocer or in the International section of most popular supermarkets like Kroger, Walmart, Whole Foods, Pathmark, Safeway, Food Lion, Shoprite etc.

      • Sofia
        January 8, 2017

        Ok thank you! To how much should I increase the flour content?

      • Sofia
        January 8, 2017

        To how much should I increase the flour content?

        • Michelle Blackwood
          January 8, 2017

          Hello Sophia, It has been many years since I actually made the recipe with American sweet potato. It was when I lived in central Virginia and I couldn’t always get Caribbean sweet potato. I never use recipes when I cook for my family, the only time I write recipes is for my readers. I don’t want to promise you that I will experiment with the recipe anytime, but I’ll visit it in the future. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t give you a better answer.

  20. Jana Wetzel
    November 24, 2016

    Japanese sweet potatoes are white flesh with red skins, will they work?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 24, 2016

      Jana, I believe they will definitely work. I have bought that type at the Asian market and they worked fine! I would love to know if they work for you.

  21. shonnie
    November 3, 2016

    I would love to make this recipe but I would like to know what kind of coconut milk you used. Is it the Grace brand coconut milk used for peas and rice recipes or the carton of coconut milk that is drinkable for smoothies,cereals and such?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 3, 2016

      Shonnie, that’s a good question! It is actually the brand in the tin like the Grace brand not the drinkable one. I find the one in the tin has more flavor but it will still turn out good with the one from the carton.

      • shonnie
        November 3, 2016

        Thanks! I appreciate the response, in my area the Grace brand is most popular at the store. I will get that then and try it out! Can’t wait!! ?

        • Michelle Blackwood
          November 4, 2016

          Awesome Shonnie, enjoy!

  22. Petal
    October 25, 2016

    It was always plant based never has it any animal product says me the JAMAICAN

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 25, 2016

      Hello Petal, I’m Jamaican as well and yes in Jamaica butter and cow’s milk combined with coconut milk are sometimes used which are both animal products. It all depends on where on the Island you are from.My husband is from St. Catherine and I am from Hanover and our style of cooking is slightly different. For instance, he grew up cooking with pimento berries and my mother cooked with the leaves because we had a tree at home. I grew up with green banana dumplings, he ate more cassava dumplings.

  23. Bridget Matthews
    October 23, 2016

    I tried this recipe within minutes of finding it. I used a blender. Your tips were useful. I used a white california sweet potato, almond and coconut milk; delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 24, 2016

      Awesome Bridget, I’m so happy you love it and can find the sweet potato in California, love your almond/coconut blend too :)

  24. maralondon
    October 23, 2016

    This is made across the Caribbean. I remember having to grate the potatoes as a child.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 24, 2016

      You are so right Maralondon, I believe the Philipines have a version also. I remember my fingers accidentally grating my fingers too, ouch!!!

  25. RBGVegan
    October 23, 2016

    So now I am wondering if the US sweet potato is a hybrid. If it is we should not be eating it, as it is labatory based and not in nature. Will look into this.
    Have you tried this with a graham cracker crust?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 24, 2016

      RBBVegan, I’m not so sure if it is or not, but that is a thought. Now I’m curious. The reason why we don’t traditional put it in a crust is because the texture is pretty firm unlike the traditional American style sweet potato. It’s such a remarkable tasting dessert on its own that it doesn’t really need a crust. It would just be added work seriously. The both don’t compare, they taste so different.

      • Lynda. Carter
        November 23, 2016

        This is the same recipe blacks used in the south with the American sweet potato. There has never been a crust. This is a pudding

        • Michelle Blackwood
          November 23, 2016

          Wow Lynda, I didn’t know this! Thank you for the information. I will definitely try it using regular sweet potato. I guess they use eggs in the recipe to hold it.

  26. JoyceJordan
    October 21, 2016

    So I take it there is no need to make a crust for this pie?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 21, 2016

      Hello Joyce, yes no need to make a crust, as long as you use the white flesh sweet potato with red skin sold in the West Indian, Asain, or African market or ask for it in Kroger, Pathmark, Walmart, Shoprite. You can ask for batata it will work. This type of sweet potato has less water content, that results in a firmer dessert. Tastes amazing!

  27. Jo
    October 21, 2016

    If I can’t find the white flesh sweet potatoes, will it work with the orange ones?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 21, 2016

      Jo, I’m so sorry. The taste will be great but the texture will be softer. Add an extra 1/2 cup of gluten free flour. I haven’t made it with the orange flesh alone, but I have done it half and half.

  28. Karen Buoncristiano
    October 19, 2016

    This looks incredibly delicious! I can’t wait to try it! Thank you! – Karen

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 19, 2016

      Thanks Karen, please enjoy!

  29. Mirkhare
    October 19, 2016

    It looks heavenly. I can not wait to try it. Just bought a new food processor yesterday. This recipe will be in heavy rotation. Thank you for sharing the vegan version!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 19, 2016

      Thanks a lot, sounds like a winner please enjoy!

  30. RBGVegan
    October 18, 2016

    Thank you for posting, I am dreaming sweet potato. This right on time.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 18, 2016

      You are welcome, sweet dreams :)