Jamaican Bulla Cake

Jamaican Bulla Cake

  • 60


  • Bring Joy
  • Time Together

What you need

  1. 185ml water 
  2. 100g unsalted butter
  3. 1tbsp vanilla extract 
  4. 385g brown sugar
  5. 5cm piece ginger, peeled and grated finely 
  6. 700g plain flour
  7. 1tbsp baking powder
  8. 2 tsp baking soda
  9. 1tsp ground cinnamon
  10. 2tsp salt
  11. Avocado, cheese, butter to serve (optional)
  12. Utensils – 2 mixing bowls, measuring spoons, baking tray, baking parchment, saucepan, wooden spoon/spatula, 11cm cookie cutter, sieve, rolling pin 


Who could resist the freshly baked aroma of cinnamon and ginger spiced bulla cake? This sweet round loaf cake – affectionately known as bulla – has always been a favourite of school children. It’s been around since the 19th century and is often enjoyed with butter, avocado or cheese. Interestingly, it’s seen as an emblem of development for this island nation.

Once the cake is ready, it goes wonderfully with a hot drink and some jolly chats about all the delicious cakes you’ve enjoyed over the years.

You can either bake this cake in a one-to-one session or with a small group of around 4 people. If you’re working in a small group, decide who will assist with each stage, so everyone gets the chance to have a go.

Those at a mid-late level, may not be help make the cake but can still enjoy being in the kitchen – watching, smelling, and tasting the cake straight from the oven. It will be especially meaningful if someone has enjoyed baking all their life, hopefully making them feel relaxed and arousing memories. 

Top tip

You could melt the butter and sugar before you start the session, as this needs time to cool. It might be helpful if you have a small kitchen.

Measure the ingredients out into smaller bowls before the session starts. Helpful if someone will find this part of the activity tricky.

The Activity

  1. Gather around a table (in the kitchen if possible)
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C 
  3. Add the water, vanilla, butter, ginger, and sugar into a saucepan
  4. Put it on a low heat and stir until the butter and sugar has melted, then set aside to cool
  5.  Pass the mixing bowl/s out to the person or 2 people in the group 
  6.  In the bowl/s sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and the cinnamon and mix well 
  7. Next, slowly stir in the sugar mixture and mix well into a dough
  8. Lightly flour the work surface and turn out the dough
  9. Ask the person, or other people in the group to knead this for 5 minutes
  10. Take turns with the kneading, if required, as can be quite hard work!
  11. When the texture is smooth and elastic, roll it out to 2cm thick
  12. Take the cookie cutter and cut into 6 rounds (3 each if the mix was split)
  13. Place the rounds onto the baking parchment on the tray 
  14. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown
  15. Once baked and cooled, these can be cut and shared. Delish!