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Friday, July 10, 2009

Bingka Ubi (Baked Cassava Cake) 木薯糕

I first made baked tapioca/cassava cake way back during uni days, and I’ve forgotten that I did, until recently Kin Thong’s mom reminded me of how good my tapioca cake was. I was surprised, did I make that before???

I tried to think back, yeah, I did make tapioca cake before. A few times in fact! Many, many years back.
My mom loved it so much and she asked me to make her one to bring to a church outing, and she got her friends to like it as well, and that included Kin Thong’s mom. It just feels funny when things that I made, I’ve forgotten about it, while others were still reminiscing about it.

Where did I learn to make this? My uni friend, Saik Yann’s dad, Mr Cheng. Actually I never tasted her dad’s tapioca cake, but another uni friend of mine did, Yen Cher. She told me how good Mr Cheng’s tapioca cake was. So, I called Saik Yann up and asked her how to do it. There were no exact measurements (her dad made it by feel), but she could only tell me the type of ingredients in it, So, I had to experiment. And it came out well.

My MIL bought 1.2kg of yellow cassava, and asked me what can I do with this. I suddenly thought of the tapioca cake I used to make. I checked out Rohani Jelani’s kuih recipe book, and checked the amount of liquid, and adapted it to Mr Cheng’s tapioca cake composition. Actually his had cheddar cheese topping, I omitted it this time. Feel free to add it if u want.

1.2kg Cassava /Tapioca/ Ubi kayu (When peeled and grated, 900gm)
200gm sugar
200ml thick coconut milk
250ml water
2 eggs
40gm butter

1.Peel and grate cassava. Leave at room temperature. I used yellow cassava. If u’re using yellow ones, ignore the further instructions in (1). If using white cassava, which could be slightly bitter, press out juices into a container and let the juice sit until the starch settles on the bottom. Pour the juice into a measuring cup to separate the water from the starch. Measure the cassava water and discard. Substitute the discarded amount with clean water. Combine the clean water, starch and grated cassava. Add some yellow colouring if desired.
2.Combine coconut milk with eggs.
3.Boil water and sugar. Melt in butter. Pour this hot solution over (1) and stir to combine. It should thicken slightly.
4.Pour (2) into (3). Stir.
5.Pour batter into a lined 7 inch square baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 170/180C for 1 hour or until golden brown.

How to peel the skin of cassava...

The grater I used.... It's lots of bicep work!


  1. oh yea! now that u mentioned it...definitely many years back, an overnite stay at KT (at SY's home) before going to redang. This is one of my fav kuih! *drooling... need to try this out soon!

  2. Ha!!! U still remember it.
    BTW readers, this Cheryl is the Yen Cher in the post.
    Hey, register as my follower la!!

  3. need to announce la *paiseh *paiseh ;P
    okok, registered dy, followed dy...! ;D

  4. Hi Wendy,

    I tried your recipe over the weekend and found my kuih a little wet, i.e. not as bouncy like the ones looking in your picture.

    Everything was measured according to your guide but I can only find white ubi kayu and I did not press out the juices (or wait to separate the starches as per your guide).

    What could possibly be the problem? Do you think it's the white ubi kayu have too much juices??? LOL... I was so tired after the hand-grating that I can't wait to get the cake into the oven.

    my muscles ache badly this morning! :)

    Thanks for your help.


  5. Kathleen,
    Oh, you were lucky your kuih didn't turn bitter.
    I've heard many telling me the white ones need to be squeezed because the juice is bitter.

    Did you wait for the cake to cool down totally before cutting? Wet in the middle or wet all over. If wet in the middle means uncooked, then you must bake longer. If you cut it when it was hot, it could be wet all over.

    I made this cake 3 times and everytime they come out fine.

    Haha, good exercise, right?

  6. Hi Wendy,

    Thanks for your very quick feedback. When I bought the ubi kayu from the dayak lady, she assured me that the white ones are as good as the yellow ones (despite me repeatedly told her that "yellow ones seems better and not bitter"). But anyhow, she only got white ones, and I was very eager to give it a go...

    The kuih is kind of moist-wet overall (not uncooked wet) but just generally damp but edible. My aunt asked if I squeeze dry the ubi kayu before I mix all ingredients together... and I went (ughhh.. I think so). But last night after half an hour of cooling, I can't wait and went to slice a pc to try. It was sticky loh.. then I went to bed. This morning baru I slice up the whole thing and found it a little bit damp.

    Taste wise, not bitter for me. Perhaps you're rite, lucky me, no bitterness. LOL

    I told my husband (who's a big fan of this kuih) that if you want me to bake you another one of this, better get me an automated grater!!!

  7. Kathleen,
    This kuih is pliable but sturdy. You can flip it left and right. it won't break, but it'll bend the way you want it to. It is damp like all kuihs made in big pans, and it's not dry like a cake.
    It still has a slight stick to it, as cassava is made up mostly as starch.

    I'm not sure whether is it due to the current heavy rains that the ubi absorbed a lot of water. Here in the West, they are usually planted in sandy grounds and could be drier.
    If it's too wet for you maybe try to reduce the water, or squeeze some juices out, but don't forget to collect the starch from the juice.

    I've heard some people bring the cassava to the place where u can buy kelapa parut, and ask the fella to parut the cassava using the machine, if they are willing. Just pay for the work lor.

  8. Hi Wendy.I tried ur recipe to day.Its so yummmyyyy.Thx for sharing this recipe...Here my bingka ubi photos

  9. JennyKoh,
    Thanks for trying this out. Unfortunately I am not authorized to view the picture.

  10. Hi Wendy, thanks for your comments on my blog on this recipe. I have made this twice but each time I still feel it is wet in texture. Maybe you are right, I should bake it more higher in temperature or should I reduce the water level to 150ml-100ml?

  11. Mel,
    If you reduce the water w/o increasing the temperature, the crust will still be as pale.
    I believe if you increase the temperature, the texture will be just right. As our Kampar's way is to have a fragrant brown crust, if you intend it to be that way.
    When I saw Amelia reducing so much liquid, the texture is no longer like Kampar's style. If you are really looking for the same texture, i sincerely suggest you retain the liquid, but.. increase the temperature. Maybe add 1 Tbsp of tapioca starch in, if you are using the white type. You didn't discard the starch that sunk, right?

  12. Hi Wendy
    Thank you so much for your comments. I shall stick to the same ingredients and increase the temperature. It is not easy to look for the yellow tapioca here. I did follow exactly the steps you mentioned and no, I didn't discard the starch that sunk. Hopefully the third time to make this will be a success to me as I still loves the Kampar bingka ubi style! Thank you lots and lots to you!

  13. Hi Wendy, thank you for your reply, preparing the casing is too challenging for me.
    I am trying to bake Bingka Ubi, can this kuih bake 1 day before?
    1) My mum don't like butter smell, anything to subsitue butter?
    2) Re-comfirm is it keeping the bottom starch and discard the above cassava water? correct me if I am wrong.
    Thank you for all your time.

  14. Soh,
    1. The butter in here won't smell like butter because it is only 50gm, but it greatly enhances the whole kuih. My brothers said, my version smells a lot better than store bought. Don't worry, you don't tell ur mom, she won't know at all.
    2. Yes, measure the water you discarded, and replace with clean water.
    3. You can even bake this one week before. Keep it in the fridge (covered) and lightly rebake(not microwave, bake it again!) it the day you serve it. Taste just as good, even better!
    You might need to bake this longer than the time stated. Bake until the top looks beautifully golden, ok!
    Hope you like this :)

  15. Hi Wendy, really appreciated all your pointer and advice, I will bake this kuih in advance, and update you later. With all your encouragment make me move further.
    Thank you so much.

  16. Hi Wendy, sorry may I know how many portion should I prepare to fix in 26cm x 26cm pan?

  17. Soh,
    Double the amount. How many people are you feeding? It's quite a big amount.

  18. Hi Wendy,
    I wanted to try bake this bingka ubi but
    I've 250gm tapioca (after peel) can u guide me the right
    portion for sugar, coconut milk, water, egg and butter.
    Thx a lot

  19. Anonymous,
    Use 1/4 of the recipe then.
    250gm is almost 1/4 of 900gm, almost.
    but it's ok to round it up a bit.

  20. Hi WEndy,

    This is really a must keep recipe!! I've baked this kuih and it turns out good.

    Thanks for sharing this delicious and simple kuih...

  21. Michelle,
    Good to hear that and thanks for the feedback

  22. Hi Wendy, finally I baked this cassava cake last weekend, it turned out nice everything within control, is yummy!
    Thank you for your encouragment.
    Nice Days!

  23. Hey Wendy! I've tried the recipe and the reviews were great! I added pandan leaves into the sugar syrup though! Just to check, my top wasn't brown, what could be the reason?

  24. kaddy,
    Put it higher in your oven then :)

  25. Hi Wendy. Can I use brown sugar or hula Melaka instead? Many thanks.

  26. Xtina,
    should be fine, take note that the colour will turn brown :)

  27. Hi Wendy,
    I tried your recipe and the cake turn out nice not too wet n not too dry. I substitute molasses with sugar n I bake longer to get the texture. I like it so much.

    Michelle eng from kajang

  28. hello,
    can i substitute the coconut milk for full cream milk?

  29. Jasmine,
    You may if you want, but I think the fragrance will be inferior.

  30. Hi Wendy, can I use frozen grated cassava in replace of the fresh ones? Thank you.

  31. Thanks for another great recipe. Made this today with slight modifications. Hope you don't mind but I post a link to your recipe in my blog post. Let me know if it's an issue and I will remove it. Cheers!

  32. Charmaine,
    It's greatly appreciated that you provide a link to my blog, if you used any of the recipes.
    That is the common practice of recipe blogging, giving credit to recipe sources :)
    Do post your link here too, when it's done, so that others may have a look at it too.

  33. Hi Wendy, I am very eager to try this out as this is my utmost favourite kueh. Regarding the grater, should I use the coarse grater or the finer one? Yours looks fine. Thanks :-)

    ~Jayne (

  34. Jayne,
    This isn't the regular fine grater, it feels prickly.

  35. Hey Wendy,

    Can the peeled tapioca be kept in the fridge, or do I have to peel it on the day I make it? Thanks!

  36. Aaron,
    You can keep it chilled after peeling or even after grating, no problem, it won't darken.

  37. Wendy can I blend instead of grate the cassava, Linda

  38. Hi Wendy,I blended the cassava and it was quite easy.The blended cassava weighed about 693g and so I halved the recipe.The kuih is soft and not too sweet..much to my liking.Will keep your recipe and will use it in future.Thanks for the recipe,Wendy

  39. bea,
    Yeah, I blend it nowadays too, thanks for the feedback

  40. Hi, wendy, i would like yo ask if it's okay to keep it for a week and consume it chill instead of rebaking it?

  41. kelly xo,
    If you want to keep it chilled for a week, Do not touch the surface at all after baking. When totally cooled down, keep it airtight/put into a air tight container/keep in ziplock and chill in fridge. I do not know if it will taste good chilled after a week, but a day chilled should still be chewy. When chilled for too long, the starch in the cake will no longer be stretchy, but will taste floury, and the stretchy effect will only be reactivated when heated up.
    Personally I do not like that floury feel, but if you're ok with it, you may consume after chilling for a week without reheating.

  42. HI Wendy ,I try your recipes and my cake is not so soft or look like your. I'm not sure where went wrong. I didn't discard the water. I used frozen grated cassava.

  43. Mery,
    You used 900gm grated cassava right? Not 1.2kg.
    As the cassava is grown is different countries, there might be some slight differences in texture.
    If your room temperature is cool, unlike here which is around 30C most of the time, it could turn out harder at a cooler room temperature.


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