Sweet Treats: 10 Irresistible Dessert Recipes from Barbados

Welcome to the sugar-coated, rum-infused, tropical paradise of Barbadian desserts! Whether you’re lounging on the beach or just dreaming about it from your kitchen, these ten Bajan sweets will transport your taste buds straight to the sunny shores of Barbados. So, grab your apron (and maybe a little rum), and let’s dive into the delightful world of Bajan desserts!

1. Bajan Black Cake

The crown jewel of Barbadian desserts, Bajan Black Cake is more than just a cake; it’s a celebration. This rich, dense cake is laced with rum and made with caramelized sugar, giving it a distinctive dark color. It’s not just a cake; it’s a festival of flavors! Typically served during Christmas, it’s a treat that’ll make any day feel like a holiday.

How to Make It:

Ingredients: Dried fruits (prunes, raisins, cherries), rum, brown sugar, butter, eggs, flour, almond essence, browning (caramel color).

Process: Soak the dried fruits in rum for at least 24 hours. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, then flour, and the rum-soaked fruits last. Pour into a greased pan and bake at a low temperature for a couple of hours. The longer it sits post-baking, the better it tastes!

2. Coconut Bread (Sweet Bread)

This isn’t your ordinary bread! Packed with grated coconut, dried fruits, and a hint of spice, this sweet, moist loaf is a Bajan staple. It’s like a hug in bread form, perfect for breakfast or as a comforting snack.

How to Make It:

Ingredients: Flour, baking powder, grated coconut, sugar, raisins, mixed peel, nutmeg, butter, milk, and an egg.
Process: Mix all dry ingredients, then blend in the butter, followed by the milk and egg. Fold in the fruits last. Pour into a loaf pan and bake until golden and gorgeous!

3. Guava Cheese

Not cheese at all, but a delightful, sticky confection made from guava fruit. It’s sweet, slightly tart, and utterly addictive. Guava cheese squares make a great gift, if you can resist eating them all yourself!

How to Make It:

Ingredients: Guava pulp, sugar, lime juice.

Process: Cook guava pulp with sugar and lime until it thickens. Pour onto a greased tray, cool, and cut into charming little cubes.

4. Cassava Pone

A rustic, hearty treat made from grated cassava (yuca), pumpkin, and sweet potato. This isn’t just a dessert; it’s a slice of Bajan culture, with a texture that’s somewhere between a cake and a pudding.

How to Make It:

Ingredients: Grated cassava, grated pumpkin, sweet potato, sugar, coconut milk, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg), and butter.
Process: Mix everything together, pour into a greased baking dish, and bake until firm and golden. It’s simplicity mixed with tradition!

5. Tamarind Balls

These are fun, sticky, sweet, and tangy balls rolled in sugar—perfect for popping in your mouth when you need a quick sweet fix. They’re a delightful mix of sour and sweet with a kick of spice.

How to Make It:

Ingredients: Tamarind pulp, sugar, and optional spices like cayenne or ginger.
– **Process**: Mix tamarind pulp with sugar (and spices if you’re adventurous), roll into small balls, and coat in more sugar. Let them set until firm.

6. Jug Jug

This one is more of a holiday dish, traditionally served at Christmas. It’s made from guinea corn flour, pigeon peas, herbs, and meat, but don’t be fooled—its savory start finishes with a sweet, comforting familiarity.

How to Make It:

Ingredients: Guinea corn flour, pigeon peas, salted beef, onions, herbs (thyme, marjoram).
Process: Cook all ingredients until thick and porridge-like, then serve warm with a smile.

7. Conkies

A delightful steamed dessert, especially popular during the Independence Day celebrations. They’re made with cornmeal, coconut, pumpkin, and sweet spices, all wrapped up in a banana leaf. It’s like unwrapping a present on your plate!

How to Make It:

Ingredients: Cornmeal, grated coconut, cooked pumpkin, sugar, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg), and raisins.
Process: Mix all ingredients, wrap in banana leaves, and steam until firm and cooked through.

8. Bajan Rum Punch Ice Cream

Imagine your favorite rum punch turned into an ice cream. It’s creamy, it’s boozy, and it’s absolutely divine, capturing the essence of a Bajan beach party in every scoop.

How to Make It:

Ingredients: Cream, milk, sugar, rum, lime juice, bitters.
Process: Mix all ingredients, churn in an ice cream maker, and freeze until happy hour—or any hour!

9. Pawpaw (Papaya) with Lime

Sometimes, simplicity wins. Fresh, ripe papaya with a squeeze of lime is a refreshing end to any meal, providing a sweet and tangy cleanse to your palate.

How to Make It:

Ingredients: Ripe papaya, fresh lime.
Process: Slice the papaya, drizzle with fresh lime juice, and enjoy!

10. Bajan Lemonade Pie

A refreshing twist on a classic dessert, this lemonade-inspired pie uses Barbados’s famous lemons and a touch of rum to create a cool, creamy confection that’s just the thing for hot days.

How to Make It:

Ingredients: Crushed biscuits, butter, condensed milk, lemon juice, rum, whipped cream.
Process: Mix crushed biscuits with butter to form a base. Blend condensed milk, lemon juice, and rum, pour over the base, refrigerate until set, then top with whipped cream.

Now that you have a list of some of Barbados’s finest desserts, why not try one (or all!) of these recipes? Each offers a unique taste of the island’s vibrant culture and culinary traditions. Whether it’s for a festive occasion or a sweet everyday treat, these Barbadian desserts are sure to delight! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get baking, and let the feast begin!

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