This Vietnamese coconut cassava cake has a subtle sweetness with crispy exterior and chewy, mochi-like interior.
Happy June! Spring is just flying by. I’ve been cooking and baking through Ever-Green Vietnamese by Andrea Nguyen and am excited to share her recipe for a Vietnamese coconut cassava cake. My mom used to make this cake as a treat but she steamed it while Andrea’s recipe calls for baking. Back in Vietnam, we didn’t have an oven. What I love about the coconut cassava cake is the crispy exterior, chewy, mochi-like interior, and subtle sweetness. Slightly different from my mom’s version, she added shredded coconut on top which brings a wonderful textural difference to the cake.
- Cassava: also known as yuca, is a long tuberous starchy root essential to Southeast Asian, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisines. In Vietnam, it is steamed, added to sweet dessert soup, grated and incorporated in baked goods. Cassava must be cooked before it's eaten. For this recipe, you can use frozen grated cassava or cassava flour.
- Yellow split mung beans: yellow split mung beans are a common ingredient in Vietnamese dessert. Whole mung beans have green skin. During processing, the green skin is removed and split in half hence the name.
- Coconut cream: for this recipe use coconut cream, not coconut milk. The flavor you get from coconut cream is much richer. My favorite brands are Savoy and Aroy-d. You will also need unsweetened shredded coconut for the topping.
How to Make the Cake
What I love about this coconut cassava cake is its simplicity. Making the cake batter takes two steps. First cook the mung bean until softened. Then blend everything together in a high speed blender or food processor until smooth.
How Long to Bake the Cake
Bake the coconut cassava cake at 350 degrees F for 70 minutes until the top is dried and golden. About 40-50 minutes into baking, if the shredded coconuts start to brown too much, cover the pan with foil to prevent them from burning.
How to Know if Your Cake is Done
Insert a skewer in the center of the cake to the bottom of the pan. It should come out clean.
Make Ahead and Storage
You can make the coconut cassava cake 2 days ahead. Leave it at room temperature in a lidded container for 24 hours or refrigerated for 72 hours. Warm the cake in the microwave for 10-15 seconds before serving.
For more easy cake inspiration:
Vietnamese Coconut Cassava Cake (Bánh Khoai Mì Nướng)
- High speed blender
- ½ cup hulled split (yellow) mung beans
- 1 package (1 pound) frozen grated cassava, thawed (or 1 ¼ cups cassava flour)
- 1 can (13.5-14 oz) coconut cream (Savoy brand)
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup water if using grated cassava ( ½ cup water if using cassava flour)
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut
- Rinse the mung beans and put in a 1 ½ quart saucepan. Add 1 ¼ cups water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let the water bubble for 2 minutes while you stir the beans. Low the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes until the beans become plumb.
- Turn off heat and let the residual heat cook the beans for another 5 minutes. Rinse and drain with cold water and set aside.
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a 17x13- inch rectangular baking pan with parchment paper with the sides slightly overhanging and grease the pan.
- In a blender or food processor, combine cooked beans, cassava, coconut cream, and egg. Pour in ⅓ cup of water if using grated cassava or ½ cup water if using cassava flour. Blend for 10 seconds. Add sugar, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla, and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Pour batter in prepared pan and scatter coconut on top.
- Bake for 70 minutes until the top is dried and golden. About 40-50 minutes into baking, if the shredded coconuts start to brown too much, cover the pan with foil to prevent them from burning.
- Insert a skewer in the center of the cake to the bottom of the pan. It should come out clean. Let it cool on a wire rack for 1 ½ hours before unmolding.
- When ready to serve, lift the parchment with the cake from the pan. Use a very sharp knife to cut the cake into 16 pieces. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.