Who said you could not make Bibingka without banana leaves? You sure can, and the result is just as delicious! Go ahead, try this Filipino Coconut Rice Cake at home!
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I grew up in Manila, so I already know what the reaction will be for this post — ‘no, it is not called bibingka if there are no banana leaves under the cake.‘
The charred edges of banana leaves have always been part of the Christmas celebration in the Philippines, so I understand the response.
Well, I cannot find any in Stockholm; but I will not let that stop me from enjoying this delicacy from my childhood.
WHAT DOES BIBINGKA TASTE LIKE?
The cake is soft (almost spongy), not so sweet, and with a hint of coconut flavor. But combined with the salted egg and cheese on top, expect a contrast of flavor and texture: salt and salty, soft and slightly crunchy.
Ingredients to prepare
- Rice flour – this is not the same as glutinous rice flour. If you use that, the cake will be sticky and chewy; totally different texture than bibingka.
No need to go to the Asian store to purchase this though, you can also find it in stores for gluten-free products.
- Cheese – cheddar is normally used for this.
But if you cannot find it, Emmental cheese is an excellent substitute; it melts nicely and not too salty.
- Salted Egg – I strongly suggest you do not skip this ingredient. This gives bibingka that contrast of salt against the sweetness of the cake.
- Banana Leaves – it’s not shown above because I cannot find them anywhere I live.
But if you have it in yours, please go ahead and use it under the cake to replace the baking sheet you place on top of the cake pan.
Start by preheating the oven for 180°C (350°F) and greasing the cast iron pan (or cake pan) with butter.
Use a strainer to sift all the dry ingredients: rice flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar (photo 1).
Using a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, coconut milk, and melted butter (photo 2).
Mix all the wet ingredients (photo 3).
Add the sifted dry ingredients slowly (in batches) and mix to combine (photo 4).
Pour the cake batter into the greased pan (photo 5).
Place pan in the middle of the preheated oven for fifteen minutes.
Take the pan out of the oven and arrange the sliced salted eggs on top.
Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the cake (photo 6).
Place pan back in the oven for fifteen to twenty minutes.
Set aside for at least ten minutes to cool.
Serve, sprinkle more grated cheese, if desired.
- Do not skip the sifting of the dry ingredients. It helps in eliminating lumps when you combine both dry and wet ingredients.
- If you are using salted butter, skip the pinch of salt.
- Feel free to use any 8-inch cake pan, then line it with a baking sheet when you don’t have a cast iron.
- You can use a metal whisk if you don’t have a hand mixer on hand. Just make sure you combine the ingredients evenly before pouring the batter into the pan.
- CAN YOU FREEZE THIS?
Yes, but you have to wrap it properly.
Start by using a cling wrap, make sure it’s properly sealed in there, place it inside a Ziploc bag — then store it in a freezer.
- HOW DO YOU REHEAT BIBINGKA?
If it came out of the freezer, you need to thaw it at room temperature first. Then you can place it in an oven that’s been preheated at 180°C (350°F) for about 7 to 8 minutes.
If you are simply reheating it, a few seconds in the microwave will do the trick.
So, give this easy bibingka recipe a try and let me know what you think in the comments section below! 🙂
Filipino Coconut Rice Cake (Bibingka)
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1/2 cup sugar, heaping
- 2 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 tbsp butter, unsalted, melted
- 3 large eggs
- 1 pc salted egg, chopped into 8 portions
- 1/2 cup cheese, grated
- pinch salt
- butter, for greasing
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Grease your cast iron (or cake pan) with butter. If using a cake pan, line it with a baking sheet as well.
Preparing cake batter:
- Using a medium bowl, sift all your dry ingredients: rice flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Then mix to combine.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, coconut milk, and melted butter — mix, either by using a hand mixer or a metal whisk.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients while mixing evenly.
- Pour the batter into the greased pan.
Baking bibingka in the oven:
- Place the pan in the middle of the preheated oven for about 15 minutes.
- Take the pan out of the oven and carefully place the salted eggs on top.
- Sprinkle grated cheese on top of the eggs and cake.
- Place the pan back in the oven for 15 to 20 more minutes.
- Take the pan out and set it aside for at least 10 minutes to cool.
- Serve, sprinkle with more grated cheese, if desired.
- Do not use glutinous rice flour, that will give you a completely different texture (and taste) for the rice cake.
- Feel free to use an 8-inch cake pan lined with a baking sheet instead of a cast-iron.
- Make sure you sift all the dry ingredients to prevent lumps once you’re combing it with the rest of the ingredients.
- Do not skip the salted egg. You need it to get the complete contrast of flavor for the bibingka: sweet and salty.