Trinidad Sugar Cake Recipe

Published on October 16th 2022 by Jennifer Dodd.
Last updated on April 1st 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Front View of Trinidad Sugar Cake

Sugar cake is a simple treat known throughout Trinidad and the Caribbean. All that is needed to make Trinidad Sugar Cake is sugar that is boiled with water and grated ginger until it forms a thick syrup. Finely shredded coconut, cream of tartar, and typically red food coloring are then stirred until the coconut has absorbed all the syrup. The cakes are then free-formed by spooning the coconut batter onto palm leaves or pressed into a baking dish to set before cutting. As per its name, these cakes do contain a lot of sugar. However, to make them guilt-free and healthier, the granulated sugar substitute replaces regular granulated sugar, making this version of the recipe low-carb and keto. 

What is the meaning of sugar cake?

Sugar cakes are made from boiling sugar with water to form a thick syrup, stirring in shredded coconut and typically a touch of food coloring. The sugar binds the cake together, giving it the name sugar cake. 

What sugar is best for cakes?

Granulated or castor sugar works great for cakes and pastries. For a low-carb version, acceptable sugar substitutes can be added. 

What is Baker's sugar?

Bakers sugar, otherwise known as caster sugar, is a form of granulated sugar that has been ground super fine to help the sugar dissolve faster.

Can I use normal sugar instead of caster?

Granulated sugar can be substituted if the caster or super-refined sugar is unavailable. 

Author: Jennifer Dodd
Average: 5 (5 votes)
Total rating includes sum of all comments and anonymous votes.

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Time & Serves

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
12 Squares


  • 4 cups Granulated Sugar Substitute 

  • 1 cup Water

  • 1 tablespoon grated Ginger

  • 4 cups finely shredded Unsweetened Coconut

  • 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar  

  • 2 drops Red Food Coloring *optional 


Using a wooden spoon, stir the sugar substitute, water and ginger together in a medium pot. Set the pot to medium-high heat on the stovetop. 

Mixing first 3 ingredients

Allow the sugar syrup to come to a simmer, reducing the heat and reducing the syrup until thickened for 6-8 minutes. 

Thickening  the sugar

Once the sugar has thickened, stir in the shredded coconut and cream of tartar along with the optional red food coloring. 

Adding Coconut , cream of tartar and food coloring

Continue stirring the coconut mixture until the coconut has fully absorbed the sugar syrup. 

Mixing the coconut in the syrup

Add the coconut mixture to a baking dish, leveling it off with a spatula. 

Putting sugar cake in baking dish

Let the sugar cake set for an hour before cutting and portioning the cake into squares and serving. 

Cutting the sugar cake
Jennifer Dodd

Savor the taste of culinary excellence with Jennifer, where each dish tells a story of tradition and adventure.

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trinidad, sugar cake, recipe, coconut, how to make, best, homemade, easy

Clair James (not verified)

Love trying new recipe

Permalink 02 Sep 2023

Jennifer Dodd

Hello Clair, thank you for stopping by. Let us know how you liked it once you've made it, happy cooking from your friends at Classic Bakes.

Permalink 10 Sep 2023

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