Vegan & Gluten Free Caribbean Coconut Sugar Cake Candy – How to make Sugar Cake

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Last Updated on May 19, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Caribbean Coconut Sugar Cakes

Caribbean Coconut Sugar Cakes – This delicious coconut candy popular in different versions throughout the Caribbean is both Vegan & Gluten Free.

Caribbean Coconut Sugar Cakes - This delicious coconut candy popular in different versions throughout the Caribbean is both #vegan and #glutenfree. #caribbeanfood #trinifood #candy

After a few month’s hiatus, I am back with participating in the Blogging Marathon. So of course you are waiting to know what this week’s theme is?

With holidays just around the corner, how about some delicious desserts from the Caribbean to add a little global flavor to your holiday table!

This vegan and gluten free dessert is one both kids and adults will go crazy over!

There are versions of these sugar cakes, with the base ingredients of coconut and sugar, on all Caribbean islands. There are variations in texture, color (some use brown sugar), and names. In Haiti it is called Tablet and in Grenada it is called Coconut Ice.

This colorful version is most popular in Trinidad and Guyana. The Trini version is usually a pale pink, while the Guyana version is usually red.

However, if you prefer not to use artificial coloring, they are just as delicious without it!

Coconut is the most popular flavor of desserts in the Caribbean with things like Coconut Drops, Coconut Sweet Bread and Coconut Rolls. This coconut treat is right in line with any Caribbean palate, however, just to give you a heads up – it is VERY SWEET!

If you can’t indulge in something sweet and delicious during the holidays, then when else can you!

Sugar Cakes LR 1

Many people of Indian heritage celebrated Diwali this past week. Trinidad has the largest Indian descended population in the Caribbean and along with Gulab Jamun, Kurma (crunchy sweet dough sticks) and Prasad (wheat or semolina halva), Sugar Cakes are often enjoyed during Diwali in Trinidad.

So next year when Diwali comes around, why not celebrate it Trini style with these Sugar Cakes?

Sugar Cakes LR 3

Interested in visiting Trinidad? Check out my travel post here all about multi cultural Trinidad!

Since we are in the Caribbean, how about trying some other delicious foods from the region to build a meal to go along with these Caribbean Coconut Sugar Cakes!

Caribbean Recipes

These Caribbean Coconut Sugar Cakes have a crusty outside but are moist and chewy on the inside!

Sugar Cakes LR 3-2
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4.25 from 4 votes

Caribbean Coconut Sugar Cakes

Caribbean Coconut Sugar Cakes are both vegan and gluten free. They make a delciious treat for both kids and adults, whether it is for the holiday season or a birthday celebration!
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: desserts
Cuisine: Caribbean
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 178kcal


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups frozen grated coconut defrosted
  • 2 ½ teaspoons grated ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon almond essence
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg essence optional
  • A few drops of red food coloring optional


  • In a saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water and boil until you have a light syrup (one thread consistency), about 5 minutes.
  • Add coconut, ginger, cream of tartar, almond essence and nutmeg essence.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes until thickened and mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan.
  • Add food coloring, if using. Stir to combine.
  • Leave to rest for about 10 minutes until most of the residual liquid has been absorbed by the coconut.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Using a tablespoon, place a heaping tablespoon for each cake, flattening it a little with wet hands to form each cake.
  • Leave to let is set and firm up for about ½ hour.



Use as little or as much red food coloring as you prefer to make it more or less pink to red or omit completely to leave them as white sugar cakes.
You can also use mixed essence for flavor, which you can find in many Caribbean markets.


Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | 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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Now I know you want to try some more Caribbean food! Check out my collection with over 100 Caribbean Recipes from the Caribbean diaspora!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Welcome back Mir ! Loved reading about these sugar cakes . While everyone in our house prefers sweets with minimum sugar , i enjoy if they are high in sugar … so this one definitely is my kinds ! And I love coconut !
    So do we use fresh coconut or the dry desiccated one too works ?

  2. I can understand how addictive this can be. I would have just sat with a plate and finished it off in a jiffy… because coconut is something I truly adore…

  3. Good to have you back Mir. I am glad reading about the Diwali in Trinidad..and those cakes look super cool! I am surely very keen to read about this dish you mentioned will check it out (Kurma -crunchy sweet dough sticks)

  4. Sounds like a treat to me who happens to be a coconut + dessert lover. 🙂 Recipes seem to evolve over time and region and this one reminds me of the Indian coconut burfi which is made with coconut and sugar.

  5. 5 stars
    carribbean coconut sugar cakes looks so delicious and anything with coconut is always hit in my place. I am sure it would have tasted so good.

  6. Water???? No quantity is included in the ingredients. Could I please have a hint how much water to add to the sugar please?

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