“hell a top, hell a bottom, and hallelujah in the middle”

December 24, 2011

this Jamaican sweet potato pudding, popular on Sundays, is also called “hell a top, hell a bottom, and hallelujah in the middle” or “hell on top, hell on bottom, and heaven in the middle”

i was instructed to make a sweet potato dish for today, the day my mom celebrated Christmas with me when i was a child. (froeliche weinachten!)

however, my mom’s pre-diabetic and watching what she eats, and every recipe i found called for sugar, sugar, sugar. i read a bunch of recipes, tweaked myfavorite recipes, and came up with this compromise. it looks like it’ll still be super-sweet, even without the added brown sugar.

4 yams
1 1/2 cans coconut milk
1 1/2 c flour
1 T butter (or not; this would be easy to make vegan)
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 t pure almond extract
1 tsp. salt
~2 1/2 t spices (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and clove blended)
2 cups brown sugar (none!)

1 c raisins
a few T cointreau

soak raisins in cointreau for a few hours.

preheat oven to 350.

combine everything and throw into baking container until done.

it smells wonderful. i’ll let you know how it turns out!


definitely good, although a bit too sweet for a dinner dish, even without the sugar. still a great recipe for dessert. i’ve never soaked dried fruit in liquor before, but the cointreau was an awesome addition. my mom raved about it, and even her friend’s son ate it.



  1. i love your blog!!

  2. good idea im gonna try it

  3. Hi Sig! I am making it for xmas dinner!! But the sweet potatoes I got turned out to be white, which is super weird but I guess white sweet potatoes are a thing. Anyhow, I remember you using eggs when you made it for us, but I decided not to cause I made the whole thing and am leaving it in the fridge to be baked tomorrow. I only had cinnamon and I left out the almond extract and raisins/cointreau, but did include brown sugar although only a couple tbsp, plus a bit more sprinkled on top. Oh and I added fresh ginger! We’ll see how it turns out…

    • How did it turn out??

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