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Sweet Jamaican Festival Dumpling

This sweet tasting Jamaican festival dumpling is made to eat whenever you like with whatever you like. Crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and this sweet side dish is a treat for the whole family. You will love the sweet taste festival dumpling once you try it.

Festival dumplings

What’s The Difference Between Fried Dumpling And Festival?

The main thing that distigush Jamaican festival dumpling from fried dumplings is cornmeal. Whilst fried dumpling is plain flour mixed with salt and water, festival dumpling mix flour and yellow cornmeal.

The cornmeal makes the festival dumplings crispy on the outside, unlike the softer outsider of fried dumplings. Cornmeal also gives the festival dumplings a denser texture than fried dumplings.

The brown sugar gives festival dumplings their sweet taste. Sometimes sugar is included in the fried dumpling list of the ingredients, but it is always added to festivals.

Jamaican festival food

Jamaican festival dumpling is made from plain flour, yellow cornmeal, brown sugar and salt. Fresh milk is use to give the festival dumplings its fluffy interior.

If you don’t have any diet requirments, you can use cow’s milk work for this recipe. I usually you plant-based milks such as cashew or almond milk. My favorite to use these days is oats milk.

Make sure to use fine yellow cornmeal and not coarse cornmeal.

What You’ll Need To MaKe Festival Dumpling

You don’t need much, just seven simply ingredients most you already have in your kitchen cupboard.

Festival dumpling ingredients
  • Plain flour: I’m sure you have plain flour in your cupboard right this moment. Don’t use self-raising flour.
  • Fine cornmeal: Refined and fine yellow cornmeal is the same, just make sure you are not using coarse cornmeal.
  • Brown sugar: The recipe calls for brown sugar. I’m sure you may get away with using granulated sugar, but I grew up using brown sugar to make festival dumplings, so it is what I use here.
  • Baking powder: We all know the importance of using baking powder, so don’t forget to use it.
  • Salt: For flavour.
  • Milk & Water: mix the water and milk together before pouring it into the dry mixture.

Make Jamaican Festival Dumpling From Scratch

The making part The making part is very straightforward – combine the dry ingredients and gradually mix in the milk and water to make a soft dough. Separate the dough into smaller pieces, rolling the pieces one at a time in the palm of your hands to form the festival dumplings.

Make Jamaican festival dumplings from scratch

Fry the festival dumplings in batches for about 5 minutes at a time until the festivals are golden brown on all sides.

Quick tip, constantly move the festival dumplings around in the oil so that they cook on all sides.

Jamaican festival recipe Grace kitchen
Jamaican festival recipe


Jamaican festival dumplings are best served warm, so have it stright after cooking or the same day you cooked it. After a day, the festival dumplings are a bit dry and chewy.

These sweet festival dumplings are usually serve as a side dish to escovitch fish, any saltfish dish or jerk chicken.

Festival dumpling is a type of street food that is served as a side at outdoor events.

Festival dumpling with escovitch fish

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jamaican festival dumpling

Sweet Jamaican Festival Dumpling

You will love the sweet taste of Jamaican festival dumpling.
4.32 from 50 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Jamaican
Keyword: Jamaican Festival Dumpling
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 24 dumplings
Calories: 215kcal
Author: Lesa


  • 2 Cups (250 g) Plain flour
  • ½ Cup (79.5 g) Fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp (0.5 tsp) Salt
  • 4 tbsp (3.5 tbsp) Brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder
  • ½ Cup (59.15 ml) Milk I use oats milk
  • ¼ Cup (118.29 ml) Water
  • 2 Cups (473.18 ml) Cooking oil


  • Add the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar to a mixing bowl and combine these dry ingredients well.
  • When the dry ingredients are all evenly combined, mix the water and the milk and start adding it little by little to the dry ingredients. Knead until if form a soft dough. (A soft dough but not paste like).
  • Add the oil to a deep frying pan and heat on medium to low fire.
  • When the oil is hot, divide the dough into smaller portions and roll it in the palm of your hands to form it into an oval like shape.
  • Place the dough one at a time into the heated oil. Constantly turn dumplings so that it cooks on all sides.
  • Once the dumplings get golden brown, remove from the oil.


  1. You can use whatever milk you like for the recipe. I used sweet plant-baed milk, but you can use unsweetened or fresh cow milk. If you use any of the latter, you may want to add another half to one tbsp of sugar to the recipe.  


Nutrition Facts
Sweet Jamaican Festival Dumpling
Serving Size
155 g
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. 5 stars
    I tried your version of the festival recipe yesterday. Came out great, thanks so much, my son loved it.

  2. I cannot find a corn meal that indicates fine? will quaker yellow corn meal work?

  3. Can you use cornflour instead of cornmeal

  4. Nathaniel Littlejohn

    How much milk or water should go in it

  5. Please what is the measurement in grams as I live in the UK. Cups are different when trying to convert. Thank you

  6. Tried this and put jerk chicken breast fillet inside. Absolutely delicious

  7. 3 stars
    not sure what i did wrong but they came put really hard i followed instructions but i used water didnt have any milk.

  8. Rhonda K Lynch

    How much milk should I use?

  9. I used about 3/4 – 1 cup of water to make the dough. Hope that helped

  10. 5 stars
    Delicious and so easy/quick to make!

  11. Crystal Douglas

    Thanks for sharing these ideas, Ms. Lesa. Your doing a great job. God bless you.

  12. Sapphire Ricketts

    3 stars
    Would mark it more but it’s so confusing as to why there is no measurement for the milk / water but measurement for the oil!!!

    • Hi Sapphire, thanks for sharing your thoughts. You’d be please to know the recipe is updated with better measurements

  13. Monica Hayes-Johnson

    5 stars
    Thanks for sharing the recipe! It was easy to follow and my festival dumplings were a great addition to the Jamaican curry ( I found the recipe on your site too) . Very delicious!

    • Hi Monica, thanks for stopping by the website, trying the recipes and sharing your outcome, very please to hear it turned out well.

  14. Thank you for your recipe

  15. 5 stars
    Always wanted to try making festival dumplings and finally did it following your recipe. Turn out great, just like the ones I add on my holiday in Jamaica. Thanks for sharing!

  16. 5 stars
    This is the best festival recipe I’ve tried yet. Thanks for sharing!

  17. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing. Come out perfect! Been wanting to make these for the longest time.

  18. 5 stars
    Ashley D is right, this is the best festival dumpling recipe I’ve tried!

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