Puna Yam Cake

By Duval Timothy, Folayemi Brown and Jacob Fodio Todd From the book The Groundnut Cookbook
African Puna Yam Cake recipe from The Groundnut

Growing up all I knew were boiled yam discs, but this recipe transforms the tuber into an exceptional cake. Considering there’s no flour it has a beautiful crumb texture. And it’s subtly sweet from the little sugar combined with condensed milk, which in turn helps keep the cake surprisingly moist.

For this recipe to work well you’ll need a mature puna yam tuber. They wither with age as the skin and flesh inside dehydrate in tandem.

For how many? Makes 1 cake


  • 450g fresh puna yam (peeled weight)
  • 2 small eggs
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 100ml condensed milk
  • 150ml coconut milk
  • 50g coconut oil (plus extra for oiling)
  • 50g unsweetened desiccated coconut (to garnish)


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.

Peel the fresh yam, then finely grate it. Whisk the eggs, then set aside. Melt the coconut oil (if solid). Add the sugar and whisk well together. Combine all the ingredients (except for the desiccated coconut) and mix well.

Thoroughly oil a 1lb loaf tin, or a circular tin with 9-inch diameter. Add the mixture and then bake on the central shelf for 1 hour.

Leave the cake to cool, then garnish it with the desiccated coconut.


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