October 25, 2014

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Hell a top, Hell a bottom, Hallelujah in the middle! This is a Jamaican riddle and most people know that the answer is a delicious sweet potato pudding. Similar to Cornmeal Pudding, it is best liked when the top, called a ‘sof pon top’, is softer than the rest of the pudding.

Many of you, including Wendy in the Bahamas and Robin recently, have been requesting this recipe. To be honest, I have had to make several puddings to create the perfect recipe for you. In trying to make the transition to modern timesby using a food processor, I had a few rough starts.

I love making Sweet Potato Pudding, but back when my kids were young I’d have to grate the potatoes by hand! So, needless to say, I didn’t make it often. Today grating the potatoes with a food processor has taken it from labour intensive to easy peasy! However, it’s important to get the right grated texture and not over-process the potatoes.

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Fay

I’ve been cooking Jamaican food for my family for more than 50 years! Now I'm teaching my daughter Angela and you how to cook my treasured family recipes! I'm happy to be of service and love hearing from you so don't forget to leave a comment below.

Fay

59 Comments

  • Reply
    trisa
    October 15, 2012

    This looks yummy!!! We are from Louisiana and make something called sweet potato bread. This looks similar. I can’t wait to call my mom and share this recipe with her.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2012

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I have been searching and searching and this one looks like the real thing. I would bake it right now if i had any vanilla left :( … first time in a while my house has no vanilla. lol

  • Reply
    Dee
    November 4, 2012

    My Goodness. Lady???! This is really good. I couldn’t even wait for it to cool, I had to taste some of it. My grandmothers version is darker and stiffer, I am not sure why… probably she uses more flour, darker sugar, but the flavors are there in this recipie. I am more than willing to look pass the meager differences in the looks and texture. And, it could be my “hand” that made it different. EITHER WAY, it is DELISH. I almost cried when I pulled it out of the oven, I felt so good inside. THANK YOU.

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      November 4, 2012

      Hi Dee,
      So glad you’re so enjoying the pudding. Let me tell you… it’s only going to taste better over the next few days. If it lasts that long. Blessings, Fay

  • Reply
    Merv
    November 25, 2012

    Thanks for the recipe. I look forward to trying this very soon. About how many cups of grated sweet potato equals 1 1/2 lbs? Thank you.

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      November 28, 2012

      Hi Merv,
      Thank you for getting in touch … and for your question! It’s a good one. I’m a traditional cook and always have a food scale around. I don’t have an answer for you right now, but will get back in touch when I do. Blessings, Fay

      • Reply
        Antoinette
        December 13, 2012

        i will definately try this

  • Reply
    Barbara
    December 17, 2012

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I have cooked this one, the red pea soup AND the callaloo and saltfish with fried dumplings this weekend….and it was all so delicious! Using a kitchen machine, I did not get the sweet potato grated the way it looks in your picture…and when I baked the cake it stayed grated (so did not dissolve), so I gave it another try and cheeted a bit by (after grating it) putting the potato in the blender with the coconut milk before adding it to the dry ingredients. It came out perfectly!
    Thanks again from a Jamaica loving Dutch woman!

    • Reply
      Ava R.
      December 22, 2012

      Aha! Thanks for the blender tip! I will definitely try this!

  • Reply
    Debbie
    December 18, 2012

    Hi Merv,
    Just thought I would let you know that my son and I made this recipe last night. I can tell you it probably won’t last till Christmas!!! It is so yummy . Next time I will cut back on the sugar a bit .

    Debbie M.

  • Reply
    Ava R.
    December 22, 2012

    I’m a newly wed Jamaican and while I have eaten potato pudding for years, I had never made it before. I was so happy when I found this recipe, my husband was a darling and grated the potatoes, combining everything was as you said easy peasy! The taste was amazing! My husband was delighted and said the flavor was the best he had ever had! I think the rum did it :) Thank you!

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      December 22, 2012

      Hi Ava,
      Thank you for getting in touch. So glad you enjoyed my recipe. If you have a kind husband who will grate the potatoes that’s much better that grating them with a blender!
      Happy holidays, Fay

  • Reply
    nikki
    January 5, 2013

    Hello Mrs. Fay I made this pudding for christmas, however it came out dry even though I followed your recipe exactly , except for the fact I used 2lbs of batata not 1.5lbs because I couldn’t get the exact lb correct unless I strt hacking away at batas in the store with my car key and I don’t have a food scale, I also added a little more coconut milk to it maybe bout lil less than a cup more. Taste wise it was delicous but as the pudding cooled it dried out and I had to pour little wine on it and it still was dry. Help me Mrs. Fay to perfect this recipe because I would like to try it in the near future because like I said it was very good just a little dry.

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      January 15, 2013

      Hi Nikki,
      Thank you for getting in touch. Too much potato or cornmeal will make the pudding dry. Batatas are a good substitute if you cannot find Caribbean/Tropical Sweet Potatoes, but they are actually a little different. I suggest you try the recipe again, but if you don’t have a food scale ask them to weigh the potatoes for you at the store. Blessings, Fay

  • Reply
    Shelly
    January 27, 2013

    Hi Fay,
    I am from the Bahamas and my grandmother used to make a MEAN Potato Bread. She passed away a long time ago and I thought my dad had the recipe but he didn’t. I have been trying to get the recipe from other family members but they had no clue either. I have even searched feverishly on the internet for a recipe that may have been similar to hers, but never could find an authentic one. This certainly looks like the one that I’m used to, only we put finely grated coconut in ours and some people also add a pinch of black pepper (I know that sounds odd, but trust me it works, lol) Thank you soooooo much for sharing your recipe, I cannot wait to try this! Now FINALLY my arsenal of baked goods is complete. You ROCK!!

  • Reply
    netty
    February 25, 2013

    Hi Fay. I’ve never had sweet potato pudding in my life, but your recipe sounds delicious! This is one I will definitely try out. I’ve got one question, could I substitute the rum for rum extract? Thanks so much for your help!

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      March 6, 2013

      Hi Netty,
      I supposed you can make a substitution, but you’ll need to adjust the measure to 1/2 to 1 tsp or so. However, if you’re concerned about the alcohol in rum, the cooking process will pretty much eliminate the alcohol but keep the rum flavour. Blessings, Fay

  • Reply
    Rayniece
    March 3, 2013

    Hi Fay,

    I tried this recipe and it taste really good although my mum did say it was missing something, my nan used to cook it all the time but never left a recipe. What that is I do no know lol because to me it taste really nice but that was only the inside because it formed a crust around the whole thing and I had to cut it off. What do you think I did wrong? I followed step by step.

  • Reply
    Javon Fowler
    March 29, 2013

    I ended up with a crust around mine and I have no idea why. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      April 3, 2013

      Hi Javon,
      It’s difficult for me to know what happened to your pudding without seeing it. There should be a “crust” around the edge of the pudding. Is that what your talking about? How was the taste and texture? Fay

      • Reply
        Jackie
        June 20, 2013

        Great recipe. I add a little lemon juice and lemon peel to mine. The crust for me is the absolutely best part of the pudding.

  • Reply
    rose
    April 27, 2013

    i am so grateful that i can be able to bake now and this will be my first time
    doing this, especially sweet potato pudding!! it’s my favorite my mom always make it and i always
    wanted to know how to do it, so thanks so much for this recipe .

  • Reply
    kesha
    May 11, 2013

    Whats the best way to store it?

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      May 12, 2013

      You can wrap it in foil and store in the fridge or a cool place.

      • Reply
        Keshya
        May 26, 2013

        This comes out lovely, however I cant help but notice it says the top is supposed to be soft? My top was crisp….have I gone wrong somewhere?

        • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
          Cook Like A Jamaican
          June 20, 2013

          No, it’s not supposed to be crisp on top. It should be sof pon top. I’m not sure, but perhaps you’re baking in an oven that is too hot? An oven thermometer is always good to use to make sure your oven is the right temperature. Blessings

  • Reply
    sanita
    August 25, 2013

    Try the pudding n love it thank you very much

  • Reply
    September 9, 2013

    The picture looks just like the one my dad use to make. I will definately be trying this recipe. Wish me luck!

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    miriam
    September 12, 2013

    Hi, am A Nigerian. Had this a long time ago wen I was a teen from a friend’s mum who was A Jamaican. Been searching all over for this recipe. Glad to have finally gotten it. Looks yummy though. Can’t get the red skin potatoes easily but can I use the white skinned one? Also is corn meal. The same as corn flour?

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      September 23, 2013

      Hi Miriam,
      I know there are many varieties of potatoes but I’m not familiar with white skinned sweet potatoes. Cornmeal is not the same as cornmeal flour. You can’t use it as a substitute in this recipe. Fay

  • Reply
    shay
    September 23, 2013

    Hi Fay,

    I’m 22 and as a child used to eat all of these recipes regularly at my grannys house. As i got older so did she and i’d like to continue eating the puddings and cakes she used to make, this pudding looks just like the one i used to eat years ago. Shall i use coarse or fine cornmeal? Also shall i use plain or self raising flour? I wanted to check your rum cake recipe but it said that it was password protected.

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      May 26, 2014

      Hi Shay,
      Make sure to use fine cornmeal… not cornmeal flour. Use plain flour, but self-raising flour will be fine if that’s what you have on hand. Fay

  • Reply
    Melody
    September 23, 2013

    I’ve been looking for a good sweet potato pudding recipe for a long time now and yours look very good, especially the rum part, lol. My mom use to make it like that. Thank for sharing your wonderful recipes with us.

  • Reply
    parady
    September 30, 2013

    Hi fay, is it dark or light brown sugar in this recipe? Also, shall i use self raising or plain flour for this? And lastly shall i use coarse or fine cornmeal? Sorry for all the questions but over here in england everything is so specific on the packaging. Also want to cook this perfectly so it tastes as good as the one i used to eat as a child. Thank you :-)

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      November 12, 2013

      Hi Parady,
      Thank you for your patience. Either brown sugar works no problem. I believe self-raising flour is the same as the all-purpose flour I use, but where you purchase it would be the best place to ask. Use the same cornmeal you use make cornmeal porridge… It’s fine. Don’t confuse it with cornmeal flour though. Blessings, Fay

  • Reply
    Mike
    October 8, 2013

    I didn’t get the sof pon top either like some other reader, but the flavor was delicious. I’m guessing that either the time is too long or maybe the rack in the oven is too high????

    Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    October 22, 2013

    I have to say this was a killer, loved it, loved it, loved it. The proportion of ingredients was perfect definitely a keeper…thanks so much

  • Reply
    Pat Campbell
    October 28, 2013

    Good morning, i want to make 2 puddings. Do i make them separately otrdo i double the ingresients?

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      November 13, 2013

      Hi Pat,
      This dessert is very forgiving and simple to double the ingredients. But you can’t really go wrong either way. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    MARK
    November 15, 2013

    Thank you for posting this recipe. Cooking perfectionist here. I had sweet potato pudding at my local Caribbean restaurant which led me here. Seems like there are different styles to this dish. The restaurant said they omit cornmeal, use regular sweet potato and yam(dunno what kind). The first time I made this dish, I used regular sweet potato but didn’t have enough brown sugar. The second time I made this dish, I used nami, a costa rican sweet potato. With this being said, my third attempt is using a bonita sweet potato( which I hope this is the potato pictured above). If you have any suggestions COOK LIKE A JAMAICAN please let me know, I live almost 3000 miles away from my home town now and would love to bring that taste here. Thank you. :)

  • Reply
    angiejj11
    November 17, 2013

    Here is the scoop.. I am on a gluten free diet, so I made this with gluten free flour. It turned out fantastic i was so happy
    and the tast …. to die for.

    thank you so much

  • Reply
    November 22, 2013

    Recipe is delicious! I was forced to cut back on boniato potatoes due to the brown parts but it came out perfect :) .This is the closest recipe to the restaurant that i’ve tasted so far. Added whip cream to the top & mmmm mmmm good. Thank you so much CLAJ

  • Reply
    Ishanna
    November 24, 2013

    Hi Fay, I see that this recipe calls for allspice, what is that exactly? I assumed nutmeg but that’s already on the list. Thanks.

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      November 26, 2013

      Ishanna,
      People often think allspice is a combination of spices but it’s not. Allspice and ground pimento are one and the same. The spice is made of ground pimento berries and is commonly used in Jamaican recipes.

  • Reply
    Fallon
    December 20, 2013

    Hi Fay, how are you? I live in Ireland and cannot get hold of these potatoes, I was wondering if it is ok to use normal orange sweet potatoes? Thank you

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      May 26, 2014

      Hi Fallon,
      I’m sorry. Orange sweet potatoes will not work in this recipe. Fay

  • Reply
    Audreyrose
    January 23, 2014

    Thanks for sharing this recipe with us. I will definately try it this weekend and it will be my first time making potato pudding.

  • Reply
    Judy
    January 26, 2014

    I made this yesterday and it came out just the way I remembered it. Thank you for providing the recipe, it is a lot less complicated than the way my mom makes it and it tastes the same.

  • Reply
    paulet
    February 26, 2014

    Hi Faye, thank u for this recipe. I have a question. Do you have to put cornmeal in the potato pudding? My reason for asking is because I can’t eat anything with cornmeal as it burn my stomach really bad. Is there a substitute that I can use. Please let me know.
    Thank you
    Paulet

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      March 2, 2014

      Hi Paulet,
      Thank you for your question. My recipe includes cornmeal so that it’s more forgiving in case you’re not using Jamaican sweet potatoes. You don’t need to include it but I cannot say for sure what the result will be. I would suggest using extra potato if you omit the cornmeal or your pudding may be much too soft. I hope that helps! Fay

  • Reply
    Angie
    March 2, 2014

    This is the first recipe of yours that I have made that I have been disappointed with. I followed the recipe to the letter but have to say I didn’t like it at all. It smelt lovely coming out of the oven but not sure what it was, it didn’t taste as nice as I’d anticipated it would be.

    Not to be defeated, I’m going to try it again.

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      March 2, 2014

      Hi Angie,
      Thank you for getting in touch. I’m sorry to hear that things did work out as you expected. I find that getting the right potato is so important for this recipe. The sweet potatoes in Jamaica are special. So it can be tricky when you use similar potatoes. They may look the same but they not. I will be doing a video soon that I think will help everyone to create a perfect pudding! Stay tuned. Blessings, Fay

  • Reply
    Marie
    March 23, 2014

    My new Jamaican friends brought this to my dinner party last night. I’d never heard of it but it was a wonderful dessert! It looked exactly like your picture. I can’t wait to try it myself!

  • Reply
    victor
    July 20, 2014

    Hey FayI have never made sweet potato pudding before but a friend asked me to bake one for her so i am hoping your recipe will do the trick.

  • Reply
    Ann
    July 31, 2014

    Dear Fay and Angie. Thanks for taking on the task of providing video of our treasured Jamaican recipes… Although I am a pescetarian, I’ve come to rely on the tutorials to achieve our traditional flavors. Thanks for taking on this work for the younger generation. God Bless….Anni in Cali

  • Reply
    Gail Wood
    October 14, 2014

    What type of rum do you use in this recipe? White Overproof or Appleton?

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      October 23, 2014

      Hi Gail,
      Any good Jamaican rum will do, and I usually have Overproof and Appleton on hand. the Overproof does give it an extra kick though. Fay

  • Reply
    Gwendolyn
    October 24, 2014

    Hi Fay. My mom has been making sweet potato pudding for years. I am excited to tell her she can use a food processor instead of grating. She will definitely be getting one for Christmas. Thank you.
    Gwendolyn

  • Reply
    Michelle
    March 30, 2014

    1 lb is the same as 16 oz so 8 oz is 1/2 lb same as 1 cup. Hope that helps.

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