Cassava cake

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Cassava cake
Cassava cake (Philippines) 2.jpg
Alternative namescassava pudding, cassava pie, cassava bibingka, bibingkang kamoteng kahoy, bibingkang balanghoy, budin
Place of originPhilippines
Serving temperatureroom temperature

Cassava cake is a traditional Filipino moist cake made from grated cassava, coconut milk, and condensed milk with a custard layer on top. It is a very popular dish in the Philippines, where it is commonly eaten for merienda. It is also served during gatherings and special occasions.[1]


Cassava was one of the crops imported from Latin America through the Manila galleons from at least the 16th century.[2][3] Cassava cake is a type of bibingka (traditional baked cakes), having its origins from adopting native recipes but using cassava instead of the traditional galapong (ground glutinous rice) batter. It is also known more rarely as cassava bibingka or bibingkang kamoteng kahoy, although the English name is more commonly used.[4][5]


Cassava cake from Bulacan baked on banana leaves and topped with milk-based custard

Cassava cake is made from grated cassava mixed with gata (coconut milk), condensed milk, and egg whites. Some recipes also add butter (or margarine), vanilla, evaporated milk, and additional sugar.[6] These are poured into a flat-bottomed pan lined with banana leaves or greased. It is baked until it has an even firm consistency and is a light brown color.[7][8][9][10]

The texture of the cake can be adjusted by varying the amount of grated cassava used. Cakes with less cassava content tend to be softer and moister, while cakes with more cassava content is firmer and chewy.[11]

Cassava cake with a thick milk-based custard topping

The topping is cooked separately. It is traditionally coconut-based custard,[1] made with the egg yolks mixed with condensed milk, sugar, and kakang gata (coconut cream). It is poured on top of the cake.[11] The amount varies, with some versions having a very thin custard layer, while in other versions, the custard layer is as thick as the cake.[4] Some modern versions also use milk-based custard toppings when coconut cream isn't available, or don't bake in a top layer at all.[12]

Additional toppings may be added before the second baking, like cheddar cheese, macapuno strings, or grated coconut, among others. It is baked for an additional few minutes until the top layer solidifies. It is further garnished with additional toppings like more grated cheese or latik.[7][13][14] They are allowed to cool and served sliced into squares.[15]

Cassava (known as kamoteng kahoy in Tagalog and balanghoy in Visayan) is poisonous when eaten raw due to its cyanogenic glucoside content. Most cassava variants in the Philippines are of the sweet variety, which has lower cyanogenic glucoside content. But care should still be taken that the cassava is properly prepared before cooking.[1][16]


Cassava cake can be modified to add additional ingredients. The most common variants are "cassava buko bibingka" which adds young coconut (buko),[17] and "pineapple cassava bibingka" which adds crushed pineapple chunks.[18]

In Vigan, Ilocos Sur, a local variant of cassava cake is known as "royal bibingka". It is shaped like cupcakes with a cheese and margarine topping.[19]

Similar dishes[edit]

Cassava cake is very similar to the Vietnamese bánh khoai mì, which is sometimes also anglicized as "cassava cake", but the latter does not use milk and does not have a custard topping.[16] Cassava cake also resembles the Caribbean and African cassava pone (also called yuca cake), but the latter is denser and dryer in texture.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Easy Cassava Cake Recipe". Foxy Folksy. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  2. ^ Mercene, Floro (20 April 2015). "Manila Galleon's Glory Days". Manilla Bulletin. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Champorado and the Manila Galleon Trade". Ariana Eats Lumpia. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b Veneracion, Connie. "Cassava Bibingka (Cake) With Coconut Custard Topping". Casa Veneracion. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  5. ^ Polistico, Edgie (2017). Philippine Food, Cooking, & Dining Dictionary. Anvil Publishing, Incorporated. ISBN 9786214200870.
  6. ^ "Cassava Cake Recipe". Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b Merano, Vanjo. "Cassava Cake Recipe". Panlasang Pinoy. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  8. ^ Olizon-Chikiamco Norma (2014). Filipino Snacks and Sweets. Periplus Mini Cookbooks. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 9781462913930.
  9. ^ Bonman, Lucy (1991). Virmani, Inderjeet K. (ed.). Home Chefs of the World: Rice and Rice-based Recipes. International Rice Research Institute. p. 199. ISBN 9789712200236.
  10. ^ Joven, Eduardo. "Classic & Pinoy: Your Cassava Cake Recipe". ChoosePhilippines. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Cassava Recipe Filipino Style: Cassava Cake Made with Coconut Milk, Eggs and Butter". Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  12. ^ "Cassava Cake with Custard Topping". Kawaling Pinoy. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Cassava Cake Recipe". Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  14. ^ Agbanog, Liza. "Cassava Cake". Salu Salo Recipes. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Cassava Cake". Genius Kitchen. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Cassava Cake Recipe". Panlasang Pinoy Recipes™. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  17. ^ "How to Make Cassava Buko Bibingka". Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  18. ^ "Pineapple Cassava Bibingka". Kawaling Pinoy Tasty Recipes. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Royal Bibingka". Panlasang Pinoy. Retrieved 20 July 2019.