As we continue our adventure through the world’s cuisine, it’s time to stop and take a gander at a dish called Bibingka. This dessert hails from the Philippines and is a Christmastime tradition. This is a dish made my street vendors, traditionally served in a banana leaf and garnished with shredded coconut. It is a unique blend of savory and sweet, crispy and creamy. It works best served in a cast-iron pan like this or this. Alternatively, you can also bake it in a 9×13 pan if you’re making a large batch.
I’m including two recipes for Bibingka. The first is pretty straightforward and definitely a little softer on the palate. It’s subtly sweet, like rice pudding put into a cake. The second recipe is both savory and sweet if you add the additions of egg and cheese. Both are a great way to celebrate this national dish.
Recipe 01: Sweet Bibingka
- ½ c. butter softened
- 1 lb. sweet rice flour
- 2 ½ c. sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 3 c. milk fresh or evaporated
- 5 large eggs beaten
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. coconut flakes
- Start by creaming the butter and eggs together in a mixing bowl. Next, add in the remaining ingredients one at a time and continue to mix until combined. Then pour the batter into a greased 9x13 pan and bake for 1 hour at 350°F. The dish is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting into squares. Garnish with additional coconut if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe 02: Sweet and Savory Bibingka
Sweet and Savory Bibingka
- 2 c. rice flour
- ½ c. glutinous rice flour
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¾ c. sugar
- ⅓ c. butter, melted plus more for topping and greasing pan
- 1 ½ c. coconut milk
- 3 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 banana leaf
- 1 salted duck egg sliced
- 1 c. queso de bola or cheddar cheese shredded
- ½ c. grated coconut for topping
- Begin by heating your oven to 350°F and greasing a washed banana leaf before using it to line a 9-inch cast-iron pan. If needed, trim the edges so there is about an inch overhang. If you opt not to use a banana leaf, then heavily grease the cast iron pan and set aside.
- Next, in a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar together until combined evenly. Then, make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the melted butter, coconut milk, and eggs. Using a whisk, mix together the wet and dry ingredients until smooth. Pour this mixture into the banana leaf-lined skillet and bake for 16 minutes. Then remove from the oven and top with the salted egg and cheese before returning to the oven and baking until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 20-25 more minutes. When the dish is done, remove from the oven and brush with more melted butter before sprinkling with coconut. Serve and enjoy!
So, the next time you’re in the mood for something a little adventurous, don’t be afraid to try Bibingka! It’s a dish that is sure to soothe any sweet tooth or hungry belly. Do you have a go-to dish that’s a little non-traditional? Share in the comments below. Happy Baking!