Sweet Desserts to Try When Traveling the Caribbean

These tropical treats are sure to satisfy!

So, you’ve found yourself in paradise, got a bit of a sweet tooth, and are craving something decadently different. The good news: Caribbean desserts will treat you right. And, they’re a great way to take a vacation from the usual sweets back home.

From famous Caribbean desserts like rich, rum-soaked cakes to lesser known coconutty delights, there are plenty of ways to satisfy your sweet tooth with a tropical twist.

Picture of a tray gizzadas, freshly baked Jamaican pastries.
Gizzadas are also known as pinch-me-rounds because of their hand-pinched crusts.

Gizzada: Jamaica

Though famous for savory dishes like oxtail stew and jerk chicken, Jamaica’s flavor-packed cuisine extends to its desserts, too!

Gizzadas are a much-loved Jamaican treat. This open-faced tart has a filling of grated coconut, brown sugar, and spices like ginger and nutmeg. You might associate the warm spices with Christmas time–but in Jamaica, you can enjoy them all year ‘round while enjoying the warm weather. They make a perfect treat after exploring the jungle or swimming in the blue hole at Ocho Rios.

Slice of tres leches cake with a strawberry on top.
Tres leches is thought to be a spin on Italian tiramisu or English trifle!

Tres leches cake: Mexico

Pastel de tres leches might just be the king of airy, moist cakes. The classic dessert is popular all throughout the world, but the best can be enjoyed where it came from: Mexico!

Tres leches (“three milks” in Spanish) is a fluffy sponge cake soaked in mixed with evaporated milk, whole milk (or cream), and condensed milk that make up its rich, but not overly sweet flavor.

The cake is usually topped off with fruits. And if you’re sailing through the coastlines of Ensenada (a much-loved spot for foodies), you’re guaranteed some of the best tres leches and fruits around.

Traditional baked sweet cassava pone.
The starch from cassava root gives cassava pone it’s jelly-like texture.

Cassava pone: Barbados

From Jamaica’s coconut rice and beans to the famous besitos de coco (coconut macaroons) of Puerto Rico, coconuts are at the heart of Caribbean cuisine. The island of Barbados offers another coconutty treat with cassava pone.

Not quite a pudding or a cake, but a deliciously dense mixture of both, the treat is made with cassava root, sweet potatoes, raisins, and plenty of coconut for an authentic favorite of the locals. So next time you’re in Bermuda, be sure to sit under the shade of a coconut tree, enjoy a drink or two, and eat like a real Bajan with cassava pone!

Picture of rum cake drizzled with sauce.
Caribbean rum cake is enjoyed year-round, but especially around Christmas time!

Rum cake: Bermuda

Although Jamaica’s famous for rum cake, Bermudans also pride themselves on their own version! It’s often made using Gosling’s Black Seal rum, a vital ingredient in local cuisine from everything to Bermudan fish chowder to the famous cocktails found in Swizzle Inn–Bermuda’s oldest pub and a tourist hotspot!

The rum carries unique flavors of butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel into the cake, so be sure to grab a slice and taste the difference! You can even drop by the Gosling’s shop in the city of Hamilton to grab your own Black Seal bottle, right from the source!

Picture of a holding a cone of exotic purple ice cream on a beach.
What better way is there to cool off on the beach than eating ice cream?

Tropical ice cream: Bahamas

Sunny days on the beach and refreshing treats go hand in hand. And if you’re looking to explore uniquely tropical flavors, the Bahamas is a great place for it!

While you’re on a historical walking tour through Nassau or adventuring in one of its many water parks, you can cool off with ice cream, gelato, and sorbet you won’t find anywhere else. They’re inspired by local flavors, like soursop (a sweet, tangy fruit) coconut candy, pineapple and thyme, mango, and even allspice potato bread!

Be sure to try something beyond your usual vanilla or strawberry! Vacations are all about indulgences, after all.