Coconut Sugar Cake

sugar cakesCoconut sugar cakes are known to every school child in Trinidad and Tobago. These confections are one of several ‘tuck shop’ (cafeteria) staples and are also commonly available from corner stores and street vendors. Made from grated coconut they are traditionally cut into squares comprised of 2 layers and/or colors (one pink, the other white). As the only binder used is crystallized sugar syrup these desserts, literally melt in your mouth. I used to make them quite regularly in my little kitchen in Connecticut. It was a way of bringing fond memories and a little piece of home to life 🙂

The following recipe for Coconut Sugar Cakes comes from Rita Springer’s Caribbean Cookbook. This book is also featured in Shop @ Veni Mang???!


Coconut Sugar Cake

2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon Angostura bitters
1/2 cup water
1 cup grated coconut

1. Boil sugar and water together until syrupy
2. Test a few drops in a saucer with cold water
3. When it forms a soft ball remove from the heat
4. Cool a little then beat mixture until very thick and it begins to crystallize
5. Stir in bitters and coconut
6. Blend well and pour into a greased shallow pan (8x8x1).
7. Cut into 2 inch squares.
8. Work quickly and do not overbeat mixture

My note: Remember, it is traditional to dye half the mixture pink 🙂

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