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Pumpkin Pone (recipe)

Pumpkin Pone

First of all, thanks so much for all the kind comments and messages from those of you who took a moment to send my mom your support as she adjusts to her new gluten-free life. We were all quite surprised and happy 🙂 Thanks also to Johanna who let me know that many brands of cornflakes contain malt extract [1], a no-no for those with celiac disease. I had no idea about this, and as always knowledge is power when it comes to matters such as these!

As I had mentioned in my first post about my mom’s first gluten-free birthday surprise, I had made not one but two desserts for her. The first of course was my Glittery Gelatin Torte [2], and now here’s the second one! This recipe for Pumpkin Pone came from the Naparima Girls High School Cookbook [3]and is cited as being Guyanese in origin. Now if this attribution is incorrect feel free to ‘school me’, but do know I’m just relaying what was printed 😆

One of the things that I love about this pone recipe is that it is low in sugar. It also provides a satisfying chewy texture, ideal for mom who was grateful to feel as though she was eating ‘cake’ without compromising her health. With only 1/4 cup of sugar, this recipe made the ideal submission for Low Sugar Sweet Treats [4]. Now, as I had mentioned in my post for Cassava Pone [5], one of the best parts of pone is the crust that forms as it bakes. This is where the sweetness of the natural flavours really shine. That’s why I was so happy to receive the following tip from a reader named Michelle…

here’s a secret:
most people like the burnt edge and would fight for the corners.
I use foil tart tins and make mini ponelets, that way everyone gets some edge.

What a brilliant idea! I couldn’t wait to try it. Not only did this method make cleanup a breeze, it was so much more attractive to portion and serve that I don’t think I’ll ever make pone in a bread pan again!

To make the dish even more luxurious I served it in crystal goblets with a dollop of sugar-free coconut icecream. This boosted the complexity of flavours and provided a lovely contrast in texture. Being guilt-free rarely feels or tastes this good! 🙂

Pumpkin Pone
Source: Naparima Girls High School Cookbook [3]

Makes 12 servings


1 lb. pumpkin
1 dry coconut (I used 1 250g packet of dessicated coconut)
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. margarine
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar (or honey)
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg

1. Peel, wash and grate pumpkin and the coconut.
2. Add the cornmeal, sugar (or honey) and margarine.
3. Add the water to give it a dropping consistency.
4. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Mix well.
5. Pour into a greased pan (or cupcake sheet/tart tins)

6. Bake at 350 degrees until browned (45 minutes – 1 hour)

Note: I like to sprinkle the top of the pone with brown sugar just before placing into the oven 🙂

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About Sarina [7]

Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes" [8]