Toto – Coconut Spice Cake Recipe

toto - Jamaican coconut cake

Toto is a coconut spice cake that is popular throughout the Caribbean. On some islands it is simply called Coconut Cake. Toto is a dense cake that is rather plain and not much to look at but the combination of coconut and spices makes for a delicious confection that is sure to delight any coconut lover. Add a little (¼ C. or so) dark rum for added flavor.

toto - Jamaican coconut cake

This recipe happened quite unintentionally a few years ago. I had some grated coconut lingering in the fridge and a new brand of vanilla to try. Add to that the fact that my now former boss had just gifted me with some antique Pyrex baking dishes. I needed an excuse to use the Pyrex so the coconut and the new vanilla were just the thing.  The vanilla wasn’t really my choice, I’m a brand snob when it comes to some things, but it was all I had.  So after whipping up my coconut cake or Toto as we Jamaicans call it and waiting for it to bake, I could hardly contain myself. I vaguely recall something about putting it outside in the middle of a Pennsylvania winter to speed up the cooling process.

As soon as I could I bit into the first slice I was immediately transported back to memories of my younger days in Jamaica. The vanilla, a concentrate made by Island Spice had such a rich aroma and gave the cake such authentic flavor my cousin and I ate the whole thing in 1 sitting

Well. that toto turned out so good I had to write the recipe ( the same one you see below) down before I forgot. As I do with almost all my recipes I gave it a couple more tries to make sure it worked before sharing it with you. And. I am confident that once you give it a try you will agree that this cake is pure coconut heaven.

toto - Jamaican coconut cake

Toto – Coconut Cake Recipe

Course: Cakes & pastries
Cuisine: Jamaican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 584kcal
Author: ChefSian
Print Recipe


  • 1 C sugar
  • 3 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon* substitute 1 tsp SweetSpice for cinnamon and nutmeg
  • ½ tsp nutmeg*
  • C grated coconut or dry coconut flakes
  • ¼ lb butter softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • C milk or coconut milk


  • Preheat oven to 375°
    Place dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. mix until butter until it is fully absorbed and the mixture is sandy. Slowly stir in the vanilla and milk. Continue mixing for 2 to 3 minutes until batter is evenly mixed. Pour mixture into a glass rectangular 8” x 12” or round 9” baking pan. Bake in center of oven at 375° for about 35 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center to check for doneness. If toothpick is not clean return cake to the oven. Check every 5 minutes for doneness. Once the cake is fully baked, remove from the oven and place it on a cooling rack to cool. Store in a cool dark area at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to 7 days.


* substitute 1 tsp Sweet Spice Dessert Accent in place of Cinnamon and nutmeg


Serving: 0g | Calories: 584kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Sodium: 560mg | Potassium: 261mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 507IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 4mg
enjoy toto as a breakfast cake with your favorite hot beverage or a sweet snack any time of day.

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