Puna Yam Cake

Try making this deliciously moist West African Puna Yam Cake from The Groundnut Cookbook, using yams, coconut milk and condensed milk.

The Groundnut Cookbook
From the book The Groundnut Cookbook


Folayemi: 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.

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)

Essential kit

You will need a 1lb loaf tin, or a circular tin with 9-inch diameter.


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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