Bajan Conkies Recipe: A Taste of Tradition

Have you ever wanted to take a culinary journey to the beautiful island of Barbados? Look no further than Bajan Conkies Recipe. These delightful treats are a beloved part of Barbadian cuisine, especially during the festive season. With their blend of cornmeal, coconut, pumpkin, and spices, Bajan Conkies are a true taste of tradition. Let’s explore the world of Bajan Conkies and learn how to make this authentic recipe right in your own kitchen.

Understanding Bajan Conkies

What are Bajan Conkies?

Bajan Conkies, also known simply as “Conkies,” are a traditional Barbadian delicacy often enjoyed during the celebration of Independence Day on November 30th and around the Christmas season. These sweet and savory treats are made from a mixture of cornmeal, grated coconut, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, raisins, and a blend of aromatic spices. The mixture is then wrapped in banana leaves and steamed until cooked through, resulting in a unique and flavorful dessert.

The Significance of Conkies

Conkies hold a special place in Barbadian culture, representing a blend of African, Caribbean, and British culinary influences. They are often made in large batches and shared among family and friends during festive occasions, symbolizing unity, community, and the spirit of togetherness.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To make Bajan Conkies, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 cup grated pumpkin
  • 1 cup grated sweet potato
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Banana leaves for wrapping

Preparing the Conkies

Mixing the Ingredients

  1. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, grated coconut, grated pumpkin, grated sweet potato, brown sugar, raisins, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt. Mix well to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  2. Add Wet Ingredients: Pour in the melted butter, coconut milk, and evaporated milk. Stir until the mixture comes together into a thick, sticky dough-like consistency.

Wrapping and Steaming

  1. Prepare Banana Leaves: Cut the banana leaves into square pieces, ensuring they are large enough to wrap around the conkies. Blanch the banana leaves briefly in hot water to soften them and make them more pliable.
  2. Assemble Conkies: Place a spoonful of the conkie mixture onto the center of each banana leaf square. Fold the banana leaf over the mixture to form a parcel, ensuring it is securely wrapped.
  3. Steam the Conkies: Arrange the wrapped conkies in a steamer basket or pot. Steam them over medium heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the conkies are firm and cooked through. The banana leaves will impart a subtle aroma and flavor to the conkies as they steam.

Serving and Enjoying

Once cooked, allow the conkies to cool slightly before unwrapping them from the banana leaves. Serve them warm or at room temperature as a delightful dessert or snack. Bajan Conkies are best enjoyed with a cup of hot tea or a glass of coconut water, allowing you to savor the rich flavors and textures.

Tips for Making Perfect Conkies

Adjusting Consistency

If the conkie mixture is too dry, add a little more coconut milk or evaporated milk until you achieve the desired consistency. Conversely, if it’s too wet, add a bit more cornmeal to absorb excess moisture.

Banana Leaf Alternatives

If banana leaves are not available, you can use parchment paper or aluminum foil as a substitute for wrapping the conkies. However, banana leaves add a distinct flavor and aroma that enhances the authenticity of the dish.


Bajan Conkies are more than just a dessert – they are a symbol of tradition, culture, and celebration in Barbados. By following this simple recipe, you can recreate the magic of Bajan Conkies in your own kitchen and experience the rich flavors of the Caribbean. So, gather your ingredients, wrap them in banana leaves, and embark on a culinary journey to the sunny shores of Barbados with every bite of these delicious treats.

For more ideas, recipes, and cooking tips and tricks, please visit us at Perre World.

FAQs About Bajan Conkies Recipe

Can I freeze Bajan Conkies?

Yes, you can freeze Bajan Conkies once they have been cooked and cooled. Place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before reheating and serving.

Can I use canned pumpkin instead of fresh?

While fresh pumpkin is preferred for its flavor and texture, canned pumpkin puree can be used as a convenient alternative. Just be sure to drain any excess liquid before adding it to the mixture.

Are there any gluten-free variations of this recipe?

Yes, you can make gluten-free Bajan Conkies by using gluten-free cornmeal and ensuring all other ingredients are certified gluten-free. This allows those with gluten sensitivities or allergies to enjoy this traditional treat without any worries.

Can I add additional ingredients to customize the flavor?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with additional ingredients such as grated carrots, chopped nuts, or even a splash of rum for a unique twist on this classic recipe. Let your creativity guide you!

How long do Bajan Conkies last?

When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, Bajan Conkies can last for up to 3-4 days. However, they are best enjoyed fresh on the day they are made for optimal flavor and texture.