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Malay-Style Baked Cassava Cake Recipe (Bingka Ubi)

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I grew up in Malaysia, where I enjoyed cooking and eating local dishes every day.

The is baked cassava cake. It is chewy and lightly sweet. The dark amber color of the cake makes it very tempting!

The is baked cassava cake. It is chewy and lightly sweet. The dark amber color of the cake makes it very tempting!

What Is Bingka Ubi?

Ever since I was a kid, I loved eating traditional Malay cakes—especially those made by my mother. One of my favorite cakes that she made was bingka ubi, or baked cassava cake. You'll be surprised to learn how easy it is to make this cake, as it requires only four ingredients. It's naturally gluten free; it contains only cassava root, dark palm sugar (gula jawa), granulated sugar, and coconut milk. Some people use egg in the recipe, as well, but I don't add it because that's not the way my mother made it.

What's the Difference Between Cassava and Tapioca?

Turns out cassava and tapioca are related, but they have important differeneces.

  • The cassava plant is a staple crop to millions of people in South America and parts of Asia and Africa. The plant produces the cassava root (also known as yuca or manioc), which is a starchy, high-carbohydrate tuber that is similar to yam, taro, plantains, and potato.
  • Tapioca is a gluten-free starch that is extracted from the cassava root. It contains no nutritional benefit but is extensively used as an element to thicken the sauce or gravy.

How to Enjoy Cassava Cake

I was thrilled with the outcome when I made this cake. The white sugar allowed the cake to caramelize into a beautiful golden color. The texture was tender and a little chewy, as it should be. My husband had never tried this cake before, so this was his first time—he said the flavor reminded him of something between almond and walnut. We enjoyed a few slices of cake with coffee. You're welcome to have it with tea, as well. The cake is perfect for an afternoon snack.

You can refrigerate the leftovers, but it will harden slightly in the refrigerator. To enjoy it, all you have to do is warm it in the microwave for about 10 to 15 seconds per slice to soften it up again.

Cassava roots

Cassava roots

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces grated cassava root (I bought this in a packet from the store)
  • 1 1/2 cups thick coconut milk or cream
  • 1 tube dark palm sugar, chopped into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar (or more, to taste)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, add the grated cassava and set aside. (If you are using fresh root, peel the skin and grate it with a grater or a blender.)
  3. Cut the palm sugar to small chunks and put them in a pan with 2 tablespoons of water.
  4. Melt the palm sugar over low heat. As soon as it has melted, turn the heat off. Set aside.
  5. Combine the coconut milk with the grated cassava. Use a spatula to mix the mixture evenly.
  6. Combine the granulated sugar into the mixture and stir to dissolve.
  7. Combine the melted palm sugar into the mixture. Use a spatula to mix the mixture evenly. (The batter should be very liquidy.)
  8. Transfer the batter to a greased pan and bake for 60 minutes.
  9. Let the cake cool completely before taking it out of the pan.
  10. Slice the cake and place it on a serving plate.
  11. Enjoy with your favorite drink!

© 2020 Liza

Comments

Liza (author) from USA on August 25, 2020:

You're welcome, Prithviraj. The cassava cake is one of the famous traditional Malay-style desserts that I have learned from my mother. The ingredient is simple, and the preparation is mild. Not too messy. Thank you for reading Prithviraj.

Prithviraj Shirole from India on August 25, 2020:

I enjoyed reading about the Malay-style Baked Cassava Cake. It was a mouth-watering read. Thanks for this amazing recipe, Liza.

Liza (author) from USA on August 23, 2020:

Hi Lora, the cassava cake is one of the easiest Malay cakes I've made. Most of the traditional Malay dishes I've made are quite complex and tedious to make. I hope you'll try to make it. I'm eager to know your thoughts.

Liza (author) from USA on August 23, 2020:

I bought the cassava root at the Asian store near my house :) Though I live so far away from Malaysia, I was lucky to get the ingredients at the store here. Thanks for stopping by, FlourishAnyway.

Lora Hollings on August 22, 2020:

This cake sounds delicious! I'm sure the cassava root gives it a very good flavor. It sounds easy to prepare as well. I'll have to make this soon. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 22, 2020:

I can’t get cassava root but this sounds good. Wish I could try it.

Liza (author) from USA on August 22, 2020:

Hi Rajan, you're welcome. This is one of the easiest Malay cake recipes I've learned from my mother. Thank you for commenting!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 21, 2020:

The cassava cake looks very tempting and is very simple to make. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Liza (author) from USA on August 21, 2020:

Hi Lakshmi, you're welcome. The baked cassava cake was delicious. We enjoyed it so much. Thank you for commenting!

Liza (author) from USA on August 21, 2020:

Kyriaki, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the cassava cake. I know a lot of people have told me they never had cassava root in their life. Take the example of my husband. However, after he had it for the first time, he loves it!

Yes, you were correct. It has a nutty flavor. I have seen the cassava flour at the store but, I never bought or tried to use it for baking. Thank you for letting me know about the cassava flour and how you have used it.

A secret recipe? Haha, we'll see. Hey, have a great weekend, Kyriaki.

Lakshmi from Chennai on August 21, 2020:

Hi Liza, the recipe looks so delicious and mouth-watering.Thank you so much for sharing.

Kyriaki Chatzi on August 21, 2020:

I'll be honest: I've never had cassava root in my life.

But, I recently started baking with cassava flour as an alternative to coconut and almond flours.

Truth be told, it tastes great. It has that slightly nutty flavor that I enjoy, so it doesn't taste strange to me.

However, I think Greek markets are still a long way from importing cassava roots.

So, until then, I'll stick to the cakes. Perhaps you have a secret recipe that you'd like to share with us in the future?

Hope you're having a great day, Liza!

Liza (author) from USA on August 20, 2020:

Hi Melanie, I'm sure a lot of readers have never heard of the cassava cake. It's a popular cake in Malaysia. I grew up eating the cake made by my mother. I was surprised how easy to find the cassava root at the grocery store. However, this time, I bought cassava root and dark palm sugar at the Asian store. Best of luck!

Liza (author) from USA on August 20, 2020:

You're welcome, Rachel :)

Melanie from Wisconsin on August 20, 2020:

I have never worked with this ingredient but I gotta tell ya this looks absolutely scrumptious!! I am super pumped to give this a try. Thanks so much for the recipe!

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on August 20, 2020:

Thanks Liza, I'll try.

Liza (author) from USA on August 20, 2020:

Hi Rachel, cassava has the same texture and taste as yucca root. I have seen many grocery stores like Sprouts and Walmart selling yucca root. Oh, and if you can't find dark palm sugar, you can substitute with coconut palm sugar. It has almost identical taste. I hope you can find these at the store near your house, Rachel.

Liza (author) from USA on August 20, 2020:

Peggy, I was so excited about making the cake after found the cassava roots at the store. I have been looking for the best cassava root to make the cake. Finally, a few weeks ago, I found grated cassava at the Asian store near my house. Quickly, I thought of making the cake. They also sold dark palm sugar from Indonesia, which I believe the best palm sugar exporter in the world. Thank you for your admiration for the photos.

Liza (author) from USA on August 20, 2020:

Hi Ankita, you should. There are various recipes using cassava roots and palm sugar. You can make chips from the cassava roots. It's healthier too.

Liza (author) from USA on August 20, 2020:

I never thought how easy to get access to cassava roots and palm sugar here where I live. I am grateful for finding these ingredients at the store because I love making traditional Malay dishes. Thanks for commenting, Linda.

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on August 20, 2020:

Hi Liza. I love the look of this cake. But what if I can't find the two ingredients that make this cake unique? I have never seen dark plum sugar or cassava root. What could I substitute for it?

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 20, 2020:

Like Linda, I have never eaten cassava root or used dark palm sugar in baking. I have eaten tapioca. My mother used to make great tapioca pudding. Your photos make me wish I could reach into the screen and take a piece of that cake. It looks delicious!

Ankita B on August 20, 2020:

The cassava cake looks really delicious and I would definitely love to try it someday.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 19, 2020:

This sounds like another great recipe. I've never used cassava root or dark palm sugar in baking. I'm looking forward to exploring them.

Liza (author) from USA on August 19, 2020:

Hi Liz. You must try this cake if you have a chance to travel to Asian countries. I have never been to the UK, so I have no idea about how easy to get these ingredients at the Asian store there. However, most of the Asian stores I've been here selling dark palm sugar and cassava roots.

Liz Westwood from UK on August 19, 2020:

This looks very tempting. I especially appreciate the easy to follow instructions and the photos. I am not sure if it will be easy to access all the ingredients in the UK, but I will have to look out for it when I travel.