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Vegan Jamaican Coconut Rock Cakes

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Vegan Jamaican coconut rock cakes or buns are an adaption from traditional British rock cakes, with the main difference being the addition of coconut.

This post is a follow on from my main British rock cake recipe and as such all the information within the British rock cake post is relevant for this recipe so please refer to that post for recipe notes and FAQs.

Oh and if your looking for a gluten-free rock cake please refer to the British rock cake recipe link above as an easy method for gluten-free rock cakes is also included.

featured image for vegan Jamaican rock cakes close up, 2 plates of buns with third plate to side.

Quick Origins Of Jamaican Rock Cakes Or Buns

Jamaican rock cakes evolved from the British rock cakes when the recipe for rock cakes travelled with the British to Jamaica sometime during the 1600s. Although coconuts are not originally from Jamaica as Spanish settlers introduced coconut trees to Jamaica during the 16th Century.

The addition of coconut to British rock cakes are an ingenious touch and these little delicious buns are one of my favourite ever bakes for enjoying with a cup of afternoon tea.

How To Prepare Vegan Jamaican Coconut Rock Cakes

vegan Jamaican rock buns on wire rack cooling.
After 5 minutes on the baking tray, either remove and cool on a wire rack or leave on the baking tray to cool. Or enjoy one hot from the oven!

More Tasty Vegan Bakes:

Jam and coconut sponge (old school style, serve with hot custard, yum.

Christmas pudding (adapted world war 2 era recipe)

Three ingredient Christmas cake (so delicious and ridiculously easy recipe)

Chocolate chip banana bread

Pumpkin spiced fruit loaf cake

Gluten-free chocolate cake

featured image for vegan Jamaican rock cakes close up, 2 plates of buns with third plate to side.

Vegan Jamaican Coconut Rock Cakes

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Sweet, coco-nutty and so moreish.
Perfect paired with a nice cup of tea, coffee, hot cocoa, or chilled glass of oat milk.
Course Afternoon tea, Party, picnic, Snack
Cuisine British, Jamaican
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 8 rocky cakes
Calories 212
Author Jacq


  • Baking tray, with parchment paper if necessary.
  • Mixing bowl


  • 180 grams plain flour sieved
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder sieved
  • 60 grams vegan butter or vegan margarine
  • 45 grams sugar granulated, caster, demerara, soft/light brown sugar, etc, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 40 grams desiccated coconut plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
  • 60 grams sultanas golden raisins or use raisins/currents/dried fruit mix
  • 8 tablespoons plant milk more or less as required


Preheat the oven to 180 Fan/ 200 Celsius/ 392 Fahrenheit/ Gas 6.

  • Prepare the baking tray with a layer of parchment paper if necessary.
  • Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
  • Rub the vegan margarine into the flour using your fingertips until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Stir through the vanilla extract, coconut, sugar and sultanas.
  • Add the plant milk a tablespoon at a time and mix, until a very thick, stiff, sticky dough is formed.
  • Divide the dough into 8 rocky blobs. A rustic looking appearance is perfect.
  • Sprinkle extra coconut and sugar over the top of each bun.
  • Bake on the middle shelf for 10-15 minutes until risen, tinged with golden hues and baked. My fan oven takes 10 minutes but other types of oven may need a few minutes extra.
  • Cool on a wire tray, chopping board or simply leave on the baking tray until room temperature,
  • Can be enjoyed warm from the oven or room temperature.


  • Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
  • Store Jamaican rock cakes within a covered container such as a cake tin, biscuit tin or plastic tub, an additional wrapping of kitchen foil helps preserve the rock cakes for longer. 
  • Rock cakes will keep fresh for up to 4 days if stored properly. After this staler rock cakes can be refreshed by baking in the oven for a few minutes.
  • Rock cakes can be frozen for up to 4 months, well wrapped. Remove the coverings before defrosting at room temperature.
  • Sultanas can be replaced with raisins, currants, chopped dates, chopped dried apricots, dried pineapple/papaya cubes, or a dried fruit mix.
  • A batch of coconut rock cakes are perfect for leaving out for Santa Claus/Saint Nicholas to enjoy on Christmas Eve, or whenever they traditionally visit your home to bring gifts.


Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 317IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 2mg

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