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.
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 – Coconut Cake Recipe
- 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.