Get into the festive spirits with some easy and delicious Caribbean desserts. Whether you are searching for a way to bring back summer or looking to celebrate winter, there’s always a dish to accompany you.
There’s not a lot that can beat these creamy and flavorful dishes when it comes to desserts. You will mostly find in these sweet treats tropical fruits such as coconuts, bananas, and guavas. This may or may not surprise you, but they taste incredible as desserts.
Table of Contents
26 Caribbean Desserts You Won’t Be Able To Resist
Desserts come in so many different shapes and forms that they can seem overwhelming sometimes. For your convenience, I have put these Caribbean desserts into four categories: cake, pastry, pudding/flan, and sweet snacks.
- Cassava Pone
- Bahamian Rum Cake
- Caribbean Black Cake
- Brazo Gitano (Guava Swiss Roll)
- Tres Leches Pastel (Three Milk Cake)
- Hummingbird Cake
- Coquito Cheesecake (Coconut Rum Cheesecake)
- Jamaican Toto – Caribbean Coconut Cake
- Pastelillos de Mangos (Mango Puff Pastry)
- Polvorones de Almendra (Spanish Almond Cookies)
- Ensaïmada Mallorquina (Mallorcan Spiral Pastry)
- Gizzada (Coconut Tart)
- Bulla Cake
Pudding & Flan
- Pudín de Pan (Caribbean Bread Pudding)
- Arroz Con Leche (Rice Pudding)
- Flan de Ciruela (Prune Flan)
- Jamaican Cornmeal Pudding
- Puerto Rican Flan de Queso (Cheese Flan)
- Flan de Calabaza (Cuban Pumpkin Flan)
- Jamaican Peanut Drops
- Jamaican Coconut Drops
- Tamarind Balls
- Caribbean Coconut Sugar Cakes
- Besitos de Coco (Coconut Macaroon)
- Besitos de Merengue (Meringue Candy Kisses)
- Coconut Sugar Caramelized Plantains
Top 8 Delicious Caribbean Cakes You Will Adore
No matter what the occasion is, there’s always a Caribbean cake for you to end your meals with. See these top choices for what you should try making for your next meal.
1. Cassava Pone (Yuca Cake)
Also known as Yuca Cake, this is a delightfully sweet and moist pastry made from the cassava root, pumpkin, coconut, cinnamon, and ginger. If you haven’t heard of cassava before, it’s a root vegetable similar to the potato, native to South America.
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This cake’s texture is very particular, as it is not only dense and rich but also very gummy. However, the center is gooey and sweet with a toasty hint from the caramelized edges. Give this popular Caribbean comfort food a try if you want something new but simple.
Seeing as the Caribbean is well-known for rum, it’s not a surprise that the Bahamian Rum Cake is so popular. This cake features the typical cake ingredients such as vanilla, nutmeg, eggs, and butter, but with a special rum twist that will surely impress you.
In case you are wondering, no, you cannot get drunk from eating this cake. The rum may be the star of the show with its sweet, grassy taste, but you can still feel all the other delicious flavors coming together. It’s the perfect choice for a holiday treat.
Native to the Caribbean, but this cake has certainly made its way across the globe. You can probably see it everywhere during Christmas when we all just want something sweet, dark, rich, and boozy to enjoy.
Made with rum-soaked fruits and crunchy nutmegs, this cake will invade all your senses the minute you taste it. Another cool thing about this cake is its longevity. You can make it weeks in advance and just save some for whenever you need a good indulgent treat.
Guava is a very trendy fruit in the Caribbean. It is so versatile that you can use it in almost any cooking recipe, including this delicious Swiss roll.
You may be familiar with Swiss roll already, a soft sponge cake with a cream center covered in powdered sugar or cream. With this version, the filling is a silky and addicting mixture of guava paste, orange zest, and orange juice. Try this if you still want something festive for the holidays.
True to its name, this cake is a mix of three different types of milk – condensed milk, evaporated milk, and regular milk. It is a very common choice for popular Mexican holidays, such as Cinco de Mayo or other family gatherings.
As you can probably guess, this cake is so sweet and full of flavors. In texture, it is dense and spongy, quite similar to bread pudding. Complimented by a layer of whipped cream frosting, this cake is a marvelous dessert that brings your entire meal together.
Find out how to make the perfect Tres Leches Pastel here:
Bring some tropical goodness to your meal with this banana, pineapple, and pecan cake. It is layered with delicious tangy fruits while covered in crispy bits of coconut flakes and creamy frosting.
Thanks to the ingredients, this cake is one flavor journey after the other for those who try it. It is nice and tender at first, then slightly crunchy from the pecans, and ends with the sweet cream cheese frosting and toasted nuts. Truly a classic and timeless dessert choice!
Coquito is considered the Puerto Rican version of eggnog. It is also a popular holiday drink and has the same sweet taste, only with the additional coconut. This cheesecake is the spin-off of this drink, and just like the drink, it is a delectable favorite during the holidays too.
Having shared the same ingredients with coquito, this recipe also contains cinnamon, rum, and coconut. This gives it a creamy texture and wonderfully warm taste, perfect to share amongst friends on New Year’s Day or Christmas Eve.
Yet another recipe for coconut-lovers. Toto is probably one of the best representatives for Caribbean desserts. You can find it in a lot of places when you come to the Caribbean. It is a cake made mainly of coconut, vanilla, and other spices.
This cake may sound plain at first, but don’t be fooled. Even though the ingredients are fairly simple, they all come together very nicely. For an extra authentic kick, you can add some rum to your cake and make it even more flavorful.
5 Irresistible Caribbean Pastries You Need To Try
The recipes on this list are all very popular on the streets of the Caribbean. They are amazing, addictive, and so easy to put together. Don’t miss out on these fantastic tropical treats.
A Pastelito is a traditional Cuban puff pastry. Its fillings can be sweet or savory, with guava being the most common choice. However, if you don’t have guavas or simply don’t like them, you can substitute them with mango.
This pastry is unbelievably sweet, in a good way. The buttery and flaky exterior compliments the sticky and sweet mango fillings in a way I didn’t think was possible. Top this off with some cream cheese or powdered sugar, and you are good to go.
Here is another recipe for you to make this Christmas. Polvorones are thick and sweet cookies infused with cinnamon, almonds, and anise, topped with some powdered sugar.
These holiday cookies are very distinctive in texture. They are heavy and thick but also very tender. Crumbling into your mouth right away after each bite, they allow all the flavors to fully sink in and give you a delightful experience.
Ensaïmada is a traditional pastry from Mallorca, Spain. It comes in the shape of a coil and is usually covered in a lot of powdered sugar. In the center are different kinds of fillings like cream, fruit jam, or almond nougat.
This sweet pastry is a very popular breakfast or afternoon snack in Spain. It is an ideal choice for when you are busy and need a quick energizing meal. Add a nice cup of coffee or hot chocolate to the combo, and you are ready to go.
Gizzada, also known as pinch-me-round, is a Jamaican pastry made from a mixture of coconut, ginger, and brown sugar. It is basically a tart enveloped by a crispy pastry shell and stuffed with a deliciously spiced coconut filling.
If you think it looks interesting, wait until you taste it. The rough texture of the coconut works wonders in bringing out the sweetness of the sugar and vanilla. It takes a little bit of effort and patience to make this pastry, but I can assure you that every minute is worth it.
13. Bulla Cake
Bulla cake is a traditional Jamaican pastry made with molasses, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. It can be found almost everywhere on the streets of Jamaica as it is a very popular treat for children.
The warm, smoky molasses paired with all the other heart-warming spices really bring a distinctive and unique taste to this dessert. It can also be gluten-free and vegan, so check this out if you are looking for a healthy snack.
6 Caribbean Puddings & Flans You Shouldn’t Miss Out On
If you frequently look for desserts that are creamy in both taste and texture, the following puddings and flans might interest you. Keep reading to see all the different variations and which one you might like best.
This bread pudding is such a well-loved dessert, especially for large meals and celebrations. There’s nothing quite like a warm, fresh-from-the-oven dessert to enjoy with your loved ones during joyful times.
Other than the basic baking ingredients, this bread pudding also includes warm spices like allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg, which makes it extraordinarily cozy. You can also add some rum sauce or various dried fruits to make it even more appetizing.
Revisit your childhood with this delicious rice pudding. This familiar comfort food is made by cooking rice with condensed milk and various spices until it becomes a creamy mixture.
This sweet rice pudding is simple yet so incredibly diverse at the same time. You can eat it with just about anything, from classic toppings like raisins, cinnamon, coconut flakes to more original things like caramelized apple slices or lemon zest.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make this delightful dessert if you are interested:
This type of dessert is served all over the Caribbean, from fancy restaurants to cozy home kitchens. Caribbean flans are often made with condensed milk, which makes it a lot denser and creamier. Try this recipe out if you are looking for a new way to eat flan.
Prunes are always fun to eat because of how sticky and chewy they are. They also have an incredibly complex dark taste that compliments the flan perfectly. Combine the silky flan with this delectable fruit, and you can get the best dessert to wrap up your meal.
You can find this lovely dessert in a lot of places in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. Many consider it to be a significant part of their childhood as well. For those looking for a simple and homey dessert, try this out.
This pudding is made from cornmeal, coconut milk, raisins, and a few other spices. The sweet and buttery taste of cornmeal is the reason why this pudding is so well-loved. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some honey syrup to make the dish more interesting if you’d like.
Learn how to make this delightful dessert right here:
This flan is what you get when you combine all the best things about a cheesecake and a classic caramel flan. It has that velvety rich consistency that we all love in flans and the creamy goodness from well-made cheese.
As we all know, flan is one of those desserts that are just really easy to make. This recipe only requires that you have a little bit of patience in the process. In just less than an hour, you can have a perfectly delicious dish to end your meal with.
Get into the fall spirit with this Cuban pumpkin flan recipe. This dessert is for those who adore pumpkin pie and all its starchy sweetness. However, since it is a flan, you also get the wonderfully sweet touch of caramel as well as the silky smooth custard texture.
This flan is the perfect addition to your meal at all times, but especially during Thanksgiving. Bring some toastiness to the dining table with this creamy and addicting dessert. You can add some sugary caramel sauce on top to make it look even more appetizing.
Top 7 Most Popular Caribbean Sweet Snacks
Desserts don’t always need to be complicated to be good. These sweet snacks are dishes that you can make and eat in one go. Have a look to see what they are and why they are so well-loved.
These peanut drops are very popular amongst Jamaican because of how convenient they are. They are easy to make and also very easy to eat. All you need is a slow cooker, some raw peanuts, and some flavoring spices to have a delicious batch full of sweets.
If you have a sweet tooth, you will surely love these. They are crunchy and sticky with a syrupy taste from the caramelized brown sugar. Have them as little snacks throughout the day to keep yourself energized and healthy.
Here is another sugar-coated snack from Jamaica for those who love to munch on sweet things. These coconut drops are a traditional dessert that you can find on almost any social occasion. They are also gluten-free and vegan, which is rare to say about snacks in general.
Unlike the peanut drops I mentioned earlier, these are very chewy and unique in texture, almost similar to toffee. However, they are still undeniably sweet and tasteful, simply perfect to satisfy your sugar cravings.
22. Tamarind Balls
Tamarinds can be found in India, Pakistan, and other tropical regions. Their flavor is often described as a unique mixture between sweet and sour. In the Caribbean, they are made into delicious little sugar-coated snacks that are widely loved.
Using only 3 or 4 ingredients, these tamarind balls are unbelievably easy to make. If you are looking for something healthy and flavorful to eat between meals, give this Jamaican delicacy a try.
If you are searching for a fun dessert to bring to the table this holiday, take a look at these sweet snacks. They are quite simple, with the main ingredients being coconut, sugar, and cinnamon.
These adorable little cakes can come in as many colors as you like, making them incredibly eye-catching to look at. They also take very little time and effort. It only takes less than 30 minutes for you to whip up delightful treats that both adults and kids will thoroughly enjoy.
Besitos de Coco’s literal translation is “coconut kisses’ ‘, which these sweets may as well be with how lovely and sweet they are. These delicate macaroons are great for when you want a light snack between meals or perhaps desserts for a large meal.
Much like regular macaroons, this tropical version is something you can whip up in no time and with little effort. Drizzle some melted chocolate over these babies, and get ready to impress your house guests with how delicious they are.
Meringues are light and airy cookies that are made from whipped egg whites, sugar, and additional flavorings. They are as sweet as you’d expect them to be with a little bit of crispiness in texture.
Whimsical and pretty as these look, they are actually not that hard to make. These cute little colorful treats only need some time to slowly cook and dry out. You can sprinkle some edible glitter or cocoa powder over them to make them look even more beautiful on the plate.
Learn some more about how to make the best meringues with this step-by-step guide:
Plantains are very similar to bananas, but they are lower in sugar and a bit starchier. You may see them pretty often if you are in the Caribbean and Latin America. They are used as the main ingredients in a lot of different dishes, including this one.
These caramelized plantains can be eaten as snacks, desserts, or even a side dish to your summer meal. They are crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. In flavoring, they have the perfect balance between sweet and savory. Add some whipped cream on top, and you are good to go.
Let’s Try Something New!
The Caribbean dessert is a wonderful mixture of juicy tropical fruits, toasty spices, and occasionally, a hint of rum. It offers a great range of flavors, from over-the-top sweetness to savory warming treats. No matter what you like, there’s always something for you to enjoy.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make new delectable dishes. Try making some of these dishes and see what great foods you might discover. Let me know how everything turned out and what else you learned. I can’t wait to see what you made.