Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bibingka, Kind Of

As a fluke the other day, I found on Epicurious two competing recipes for bibingka.

I was first introduced to bibingka in Maui, when my cousin showed up at the beach with a bag from Long's and handed my cousin's wife and I a small package. "Bibingka," she said. And took a piece.

And, oh heck yeah, that stuff was good! It is a Filipino rice cake, with butter and eggs and sugar, so that it is kind of cakey and buttery and very delicious. It isn't like Japanese mochi, which is stretchy and chewy and velvety. Over the course of our stay on Maui we discovered other bibingka flavors like chocolate and guava. The chocolate kind was the best!

Even though a quick google search for bibingka reaveals that it is a traditional Pinoy treat served on Christmas, somehow my family never seemed to make it. But then again, this website points out that traditional bibingka is cooked in a special clay pot, lined in a banana leaf, and cooked over and under charcoals. So maybe that's why we never had bibingka.

sorta bibingka kinda

February 12, 2007
Name of cake: Sorta Bibingka Kinda
Occasion: I Gotta Make The Bibingka!
Constituents: Rice flour and butter and eggs and sugar and coconut milk and stuff

This recipe seems westernized. Baking powder? Vanilla extract? Mkay, I'll do it.

This recipe is also crazy ridiculous easy. Crazy. Ridiculous. Seriously.
  • You take all your dry ingredients and whisk them together.
  • You take your wet ingredients and in a separate bowl, whisk them up.
  • Then you dump the wet into the dry and whisk it together.
  • Then you dump the batter into an ungreased pan and bake it for 90 minutes.
  • Then you let it cool for 2 hours.
  • Then, you're done!


The sorta bibingka kinda smelled alternately like pancakes and yellow cake as it baked up. We only waited 1 hour before digging in. It is a little sticky like you would expect a rice cake, but also kind of cakey like a yellow cake. The crust is a tasty caramelized cakey treat. We think these would be best as cupcakey things to increase the ratio of crust to inside.

And, this lady made a bibingka birthday cake, using white rice flour instead of glutinous white rice flour. Less sticky. That experiment is on the list.

I'm going to try the other recipe in a few days. Stay posted.

And, oh my! Is that the recipe?!

Kinda Biningka Sorta
as pilfered from the Epicurious website

Butter Mochi

This chewy snack cake gets its distinctive gelatinous texture from mochiko, a sweet rice flour that's commonly used in Hawaii. Coconut milk and butter add rich, creamy flavor.

3 cups mochiko* (sweet rice flour; 1 lb; one box)
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 (14-oz) cans unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat)
5 large eggs
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together mochiko, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together coconut milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla in another bowl. Add coconut mixture to flour mixture, whisking until batter is combined.

Pour batter into an ungreased 13- by 9-inch baking pan, smoothing top, and bake until top is golden and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool cake completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. Cut mochi into 24 squares before serving.

Cooks' note:
Mochi keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days.

*Available at Asian markets and Uwajimaya (800-889-1928; uwajimaya.com).

Makes 24 squares.
May 2005
Adapted from The Food of Paradise by Rachel Laudan


  1. that looks really good - funny is that I never heard of it either but I dont visit maui much so I guess I missed out on that - great post indeed! =)

  2. Bibingka, Hawaiian Mochi Cake and the like, whatever you want to call it, are so bad for you with all the sugar and stick to your ribs starch...but dang its SOOOOO good. My sister and I fight over the edges, for some reason the slightly hard edges are just so much tastier.