Bojo – Suriname Style Gluten Free Cassava Cake

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Last Updated on May 19, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Bojo – Suriname Style Gluten Free Cassava Cake is a common root vegetable cake made throughout the Caribbean and parts of South America, where it is more commonly known as pone. This grain free cake is perfect for dessert or even for a sweet breakfast.

bojo - suriname style gluten free cassava cake

Have you ever heard of the country of Suriname? Don’t feel bad if you haven’t. You join a large majority.

All About Suriname

Suriname, the smallest and least populated independent country in South America is where my grandfather and much of my extended family is from.

This small South American nation of 550K people is located in South America, but culturally and economically linked to the Caribbean. For that reason, many of our recipes are similar to ones found in the Caribbean.

In fact, I have had conversations with many South Americans who don’t realize there are non Spanish/Portuguese speaking countries in South America. They think South America just consists of Portuguese speaking Brazil and the other Spanish speaking countries of South America.

Before independence, Suriname was known as Dutch Guyana. Along with Guyana and French Guyana, these three countries located on the northeastern coast of South America are part of Caricom, an organization that helps develop economic integration and trade amongst its member countries. French Guyana is still a property of France and does more business with its French counterparts in the Caribbean – Martinique and Guadeloupe and the French side of St. Martin.

I’m not a historian, however, I think the language may be the reason these three countries have ties to the Caribbean. Without a common language with the rest of South America, trade and economic negotiations would be difficult. So I am presenting today’s Suriname recipe as part of my Caribbean Cuisine theme.

I have strong ties to the only Dutch speaking country in South America

My family has a mango plantation with over 30 varieties of mango that was stipulated by my great grandmother that it could never be sold outside of the family and anyone who wants to build a house on the land, can. When I can’t take anymore of the right wing politics and biased nationalism that has overtaken America right now, maybe I’ll go 🙂

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Gluten Free Cassava Cake

Many parts of the world has a version of this cake. Cassava is a naturally glutinous vegetable, which makes it a great option for cake and other desserts. Most of the world where cassava is common has a version of Gluten Free Cassava Cake. You can also check out the other version I’ve made like this Honduran Cassava Cake.

Traditionally flourless gluten free cake is made throughout the Caribbean with different root vegetables. Although cassava/yuca is the most common, it can also be made with pumpkin, yam or the purple skinned sweet potato popular in the Caribbean, also called batata. Most of the English speaking Caribbean calls it pone. In Suriname it’s called Bojo.

Bojo LR 10

In the English speaking Caribbean versions, pone usually is heavily spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger and a pinch of black pepper.

This Suriname version’s more closely related to the Indonesian version of Bojo, since we have a large Indonesian population in Suriname. This recipe I got from my cousin Sharline who is closer linked to the Suriname side of the family, only 1 generation removed and it worked perfectly.

If you’d like to see me live in action preparing this recipe, you can check me out on Food Stories, a Google+ HOA I used to appear on.

Web Story

Check it out!

This recipe is also available as a web story – Bojo – Gluten Free Cassava Cake

What is Bojo Cassava Cake?

Because of its combination of South American and Caribbean influences, Suriname-style Cassava Cake, known as Bojo, is made with lots of bright flavors and rich spices. It’s a pleasantly sweet gluten free cake thanks to shaved coconut and tutti frutti candies, but the sweetness is balanced by including a bit of rum and nutmeg.

Different Methods for Making Bojo – Suriname Cassava Cake

Despite the fact that it’s flourless, it’s quite a dense cake and makes a filling snack with a cup of tea. It has the consistency similar to a steamed pudding.

I have made it by just combining the cassava and coconut with the rest of the ingredients. As you can see from the photo below, this version while still delicious is less moist.

Bojo Cake -edit

However, I wanted to increase the moistness so this time I decided to use a slightly different methodology than I have used in the past.

Bojo Collage -edit

So let’s see how I put together this extra moist version of Gluten Free Cassava Cake.

But before I show you, let’s first go over the ingredients you will need.

Ingredients

Collage Template

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Recipe FAQ & Notes

What if I don’t want to use alcohol?

Soak the fruit in orange juice or mango juice instead.

Can I use fresh cassava and coconut?

Yes. If using fresh cassava/yuca/manioc, grate the cassava using the finest side of a box grater. Make sure to carefully remove the center core or the cake will have a bitter taste.

Do I have to use the dried fruit?

No. You can also make it plain and omit the dried fruit. It is just as delicious1

How do I store leftover Bojo?

Bojo must be stored in the refrigerator. Wrap any leftovers in aluminum foil or put in a tupperware container and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
If you do not anticipate eating it within 7 days, keep leftovers in the freezer.

How do I serve Bojo?

Bojo is best when warm or at room temperature. It can be reheated in the microwave for about 30 seconds if it is taken straight from the refrigerator.
It is often served with good Dutch cheese like Edam or Aged Gouda for breakfast.

How to Make Bojo – Suriname Cassava Cake from Scratch

Prep

  • First you have to soak the dried fruit in rum (or orange juice). Soak it for at least 2 hours until the fruit is juicy and drunk. You can also do this overnight if you prefer.
  • Also, defrost the cassava and the coconut.
collage 3 photos

Make the Cake

  • In a food processor, grind the cassava, coconut and coconut milk until you have a thick finely ground cassava paste.
collage 3 photos
  • Now we beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the melted butter, vanilla extract and almond essence.
  • Mix until thoroughly combined.
collage 3 photos
  • Now we add the cassava and the fruit.
  • Fold in with a rubber spatula and mix until thoroughly combined.
collage 3 photos

Bake the Bojo Cassava Cake

  • Grate a little nutmeg on top if you like, but this is optional.
  • Top with a few pats of butter.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown.
collage 3 photos

Leave to cool and serve at room temperature.

Bojo LR 2

Serve and Enjoy

This delicious cake is not too sweet and just perfect for tea time.

Bojo LR 3

I think you will prefer this moister version of Bojo.

Enjoy right away for a breakfast, dessert, or a sweet snack. Store leftovers in a container with a lid and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Bojo LR 11
slices of gluten free cassava cake
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Bojo – Suriname Style Gluten Free Cassava Cake

Bojo – Suriname Style Gluten Free Cassava Cake is a common root vegetable cake throughout the Caribbean, where it is more commonly known as pone. This grain free dessert is perfect for dessert or even for a sweet breakfast.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: South American, Surinamese
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 340kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup tutti frutti optional
  • 1 cup rum optional
  • 2 ½ cups frozen cassava defrosted
  • 1 cup frozen grated coconut defrosted
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar I use Demarara raw brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg optional
  • 1 tablespoon butter for placing on top

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Soak raisins and turri frutti in rum for at least 2 hours. Drain.
  • Using a food processor, grind the cassava and coconut with the coconut milk until you have a thick cassava paste. This will take a good 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add melted butter, vanilla and almond extract. Mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Add cassava and dried fruit. Mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Spray a cake pan with non stick spray.
  • Transfer to the cake pan.
  • Add the nutmeg on top, if using.
  • Add the remaining butter, in small pats on top.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a tester inserted comes out clean.

Notes

  • If you prefer not to use rum, you can soak the fruit in orange juice or mango juice.
  • You can also make with fresh cassava/yuca. Grate the yuca at the finest side of a box grater and be careful to remove the core well. Otherwise, the cake will end up having a bitter taste.
  • Store leftovers in a container with a lid and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 82mg | Potassium: 212mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 264IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!

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bojo - suriname style gluten free cassava cake
bojo - suriname style gluten free cassava cake

Need more culinary inspiration? Check out the Recipe Index with over 1500 Recipes from Around the World with lots of Vegetarian 🥕🍆🍅and Gluten Free Recipes!

See also  Classic Shrimp Scampi

Thank you for sharing!

About Chef Mireille

CHEF MIREILLE - AUTHOR, RECIPE DEVELOPER AND PHOTOGRAPHER FOR Global Kitchen Travels
***
Chef Mireille is a NYC based freelance chef instructor and food photographer. Due to her very diverse family background, she was able to travel and learn about global cultures and flavors from a young age. Her passion for culture, cooking, history and education had made her an expert on developing traditional globally inspired recipes & delicious fusion cuisine.
Her extensive travel history provides a plethora of background information and Travel Tips!

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Shobha Keshwani

    Interesting recipe. In Brazil they call BOLO
    If I get some cassava I will definitely try it.

  2. Priya Srinivasan

    5 stars
    Love to read your intro about every recipe Mireille, cassava cake looks delicious! the coconut and coconut milk must give it a fantastic flavor!!

  3. Mina Joshi

    5 stars
    The cassava cake looks delicious. I love cassava boiled or curried and have seen some Indian sweets made with cassava flour but not had cake before. I am sure I would love the one one with the rum soaked fruit.

  4. Kalyani

    5 stars
    You bring the world to us with every dish, Mir ! and this is no exception… Loved reading the intro and can imagine the delicious GF cake this must be !!

  5. Renu

    5 stars
    I am relatively new to cassava and I have made a few savory things with it. Never tried a cassava cake. Love reading about the history behind it. Yes the cake looks like a perfect filling treat for your snacks with evening tea.

    • Chef Mireille

      cassava is often used in sweet cakes in both the Caribbean and I have also seen versions from Africa as well. It is such a versatile ingredients for both sweet and savory dishes. You should definitely give it a try!

  6. Mayuri Patel

    5 stars
    Always love reading about a bit of history in your posts Mireille. Bojo is a totally different sort of dessert for me but one that I can try as we get loads of cassava. Just wanted to know, do we use grated raw cassava for this recipe?

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