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If Bulla Cake and Easter bun were living species, they would be considered first cousins

Updated: Oct 23, 2021


Jamaica has a rich history. And so does its food too. The two most famous brunch specialties, the Bulla Cake and the Jamaica Easter Spice Bun are desserts and after-meal favorites.

They are eaten everywhere and every time in Jamaica and elsewhere in the world where people of Jamaica's heritage live.

Jamaicans who migrate to other parts of the world say that eating these two Jamaican sweetbreads reconnects them with their motherland.


True. True. They are mainstay consumables for the Jamaican lunch, brunch, and dinner.

Brunch in particular. You often see them together on Jamaican family dining tables and you see people put together spice bun and cheese, bulla and cheese, or bulla and avocado. They go well together, amidst boisterous laughter and rounds of Sorrel Tea.

As the brunch and the lunch extend into dinner, with what's left of the Bulla and the spiced bun, rounds of their favorite rum, ginger beer, supligen, sea moss, or Irish moss drink are served.

Jamaicans like to extend their lunch way into the late afternoon, and when the conversation gets hotter, way down into the evening. Bulla cake and spice bun, and at times Jamaican hard dough bread, are there to keep the folks eating and the drinks coming.

Perhaps this is rooted in the colonization of both Spain and England of Jamaica wherein the colonizers, and eventually, the Jamaicans themselves, came to enjoy and indulge in the after-hours of lunch. They like to extend the camaraderie and warmth started from lunch way down into the evening. Family and guests are enticed to stay and enjoy the company with a festive table that's continually refilled with Jamaican chow. And bulla cake and spice bun are never far behind!


Bulla cake and spice bun are even more delicious when eaten with cheese, butter, or avocado slices. Many Jamaicans abroad, when they miss Tastee Cheese for their Bulla cake and spice bun, simply look them up online and buy at Lately, avocado has been favored internationally as a dip, spread, or salad or as is, when taken in the context of Jamaican sweet bread such as the Bulla cake and spice bun.

Jamaican kids, when playing hopscotch or other yard games that make them super hungry afterward, are traditionally made to eat their savory Jamaican sweet slices of bread and cakes with their favorite guanabana juice.

In festivities in and around Jamaica and elsewhere where there are large communities of Jamaican immigrants, Bulla cake and spice bun are almost always staples.

Bulla cake is an enriching Jamaican cake with molasses as the base, with flour and baking soda, and spiced up with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. It has a dark-colored version and a light-colored version too.

Bulla cake is relatively inexpensive. It usually comes as small loaves and has rounded and flat shapes.

Bulla cake was first identified in the 19th century. It is even used as an emblem and as a symbol that connects to progress that has been made in Jamaica. Starting in the 1980s, it is being baked daily by large bakeries in Jamaica and sold in Caribbean groceries worldwide. When yearning for dessert, try bulla and cheese, or bulla and avocado - it's a refreshing blend.

Spice bun and cheese, spice bun, and avocado - what an exotic mix of flavors - reminiscent of the island nation vibe of Jamaica and its popular Easter bun or spice bun.

The Jamaican Easter spice bun is traditionally eaten on Good Friday, a result of the Christian influence of Great Britain. It is a descendant of the hot cross bun from the colonizers, with the cross representing Jesus Christ's crucifixion. The mid-1600s was the time when the interesting history of the spiced bun started as the hot cross bun when Great Britain planted their roots in Jamaica.

The Easter spice bun is a highly spiced Jamaican bread that is soft and tender. It is studded and stuffed with raisins and fruits. It is loaf-shaped and is usually dark brown, but it has also light-colored versions. Some versions add or replace traditional ingredients with honey or agave, cherries, and orange for that added citrus flavor.

In Jamaican communities worldwide with no available molasses or coconut milk, folks use extra sugar, honey, and browning. When there is no stout, it is replaced with beer and a bit of red wine and it tastes just fine.

They say the Bulla cake and the Easter bun are cousins because they are always together on festive Jamaican brunch tables and are both eaten with Tastee cheese, butter, or avocado.

Jamaican hard dough bread is also an island favorite. It is a bread quite similar to the Pullman or the pain de mie, It is a Jamaican household staple food. It is also frequently seen in festivities.


If you have vacationed or honeymooned in the Caribbean, particularly Jamaica and you have wonderful memories about this period, you might have tasted these exotic sweet delicacies while on the island. When back at your home base, why not make a twist out of your snack time, by making a detour to the nearest Caribbean grocery store in your neighborhood.

Buy those lovely bulla cakes and irresistible Easter spice buns. Load up with Tastee cheese, butter, and avocado. We know you love avocado so much lately as much as your butter and cheese. They make a lovely blend of food on your dining table, whether as breakfast, lunch, brunch, or after dinner finishers.

The Caribbean and Jamaican island vibe is alive and well while you're back at home and keeping 8 to 10 hours of work a day. You're saving up for your next Caribbean vacation. In the meantime, enjoy your favorite Jamaican sweet loaves of bread in the comfort of your home or office. Until your next island vacation, my friend!

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