Cassava Cake is a Filipino cake dessert usually served during fiesta or family gathering. This is a common local dessert sold in public markets, school and at home. It is made from Cassava ( a nutty-flavored, starchy root vegetable or tuber).
There are different variations of cassava recipe that you will find online. There is the plain cassava that is the one normally sold in public markets. This variation is plain and simple but still delicious. There is also a variation with shredded young coconut mix in the batter. The young coconut gives additional texture. Then there is one with custard topping on top, almost like Portuguese Tart, this for me is the best variation of all. Today, this is what I am sharing with you.
About Cassava Cake
Cassava cake is a traditional Filipino moist cake made from grated cassava, coconut milk and condensed milk with a custard layer on top to make it even more creamy and delicious. Cassava cake is made in households but is also a common sight to see in public markets sold in kiosk or small vendors.
The main ingredient being the Cassava, a nutty flavored and starchy root vegetable or tuber. Cassava is also called as “Yuca” in United States or “Manioc” in Brazil. It is a calorie rich vegetable and contains plenty of carbohydrates, also a good source of vitamin C and other key vitamins and minerals.
Comparing it with potatoes, cassava is higher in calories, protein and carbs which makes it a good option for people who are on the more physically active side, the likes of athletes.
What are the Ingredients for Making Cassava Cake?
There are 2 sets of ingredients that you will need. I set is for making the cassava cake mixture itself and the other part is for the custard toppings
- cassava – Depending on where you are, you can buy cassava in different form. You can buy it fresh (like potatoes), you can buy it frozen whole piece or you can buy it frozen and already grated. Although I have access to all 3, I always opted for the frozen and grated to make the process easier. I pack is about 454g which is perfect for 1 batch of this recipe
- sweetened condensed Milk – this provides the sweetness and creaminess to the cassava
- Can coconut milk – use the cooking coconut milk in a can, not the drinking coconut in a box. The canned coconut milk is thicker and has more flavor than the drinking coconut.
- Egg – this gives structure to the cake
- Pure vanilla extract – optional for flavoring
- ground cardamom, optional but highly recommended. This is not common to traditional Filipino Cassava Cake but I find that addition of cardamom gave a nice different taste
- condensed milk – this makes for a nice custard topping as it is thick and creamy
- half-n-half, (or single full fat cream) – do not use skimmed or non fat milk as custard requires fat for a creamy delicious texture, think of it like making flan
- eggs – what is custard without the egg
- pure vanilla extract – for flavoring
- brown sugar – for extra caramelization on top. I mixed this with the custard mixture then broil the cake for few minutes. You can also sprinkle it on top like when making Creme brûlée and then use the broil setting or a Creme brûlée
How to Make Cassava Cake
This is such a simple recipe to make, no electric mixer required. Start by making the Cassava Make mixture. This is as easy as mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl, literally that’s it! Once that is done just transfer it into a greased baking pan. Make sure to grease the pan for easy removal. You will need about 50 minutes to bake it, just enough to have it almost set around the edge while the center is still soft.
While that is baking, start by making the custard topping. Same process, just mix all the ingredients in a bowl, and that’s it! Wait for the Cassava Cake to bake and then pour it on top. Return to the oven for another 30 minutes. The top will have some dark spots which is a good sign of the sugar caramelization, that’s to the beauty of the finished product.
The last stage is the broiling which will create a nice browning of the top plus more of those dark spots. Be careful when using the broil function as it could easily burn the top. Be sure to be on stand by and watch it closely. The top will not appear to shiny and glossy immediately, this happens during the rest period. I left mine overnight, you don’t have to but I really love how that long rest period made the top glossy and shiny. At the most, wait it to cool before serving to have the custard set. Give it at least 1 hr rest. I highly recommend to make it ahead of time so you are not rushing the cooling tine.
You can keep this at room temperature for 2 days. After that, I recommend keeping it in the refrigerator. You can reheat it in the oven at 300F for 20 minutes or until warm enough. You can also microwave it for 30’seconds if you are just eating a small piece, no need to reheat the entire cake.
- Butter for greasing the pan
- 1 lb grated Cassava, if frozen, thaw first
- 14 oz can sweetened Condensed Milk
- 14 oz can Coconut Milk
- 2 large Eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cardamom, optional but highly recommended
For Custard Topping:
- 2/3 cup Condensed Milk
- 1/4 cup Half-n-Half, (or single full fat cream)
- 2 large Eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a baking dish (9×9 or an 8×11).
- Make the Cassava Mixture: In a large bowl, whisk together the grated cassava, condensed milk, coconut milk, eggs, and ground cardamom (if using) until well-mixed. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until almost fully set. The sides are starting to brown while the center is almost set but still yellow in color.
- Make the Custard Topping: In a bowl, mix condensed milk. half and half milk/cream, eggs, pure vanilla extract and brown sugar. Pour or strain through with a fine sieve in another bowl.
- Pour the Topping: Remove the baked cassava from the oven when nearly set, you will start to see some dark spots. Those are the sugar starting to caramelize. Pour the custard mixture on top tilting the pan gently to ensure that the sauce has spread evenly. Bake for another 30 minutes or until the custard has set.
- Broil: Turn off the oven and turn the broil setting on. Broil until the top starts to form dark spots from the sugar. Watch closely as broil setting is hot and can easily burn the custard.
- If you have a oven toaster with broil setting. you can use that as well. That is what I used for mine as I can easily control the heat and monitor the caramelization
- If you have creme brulee torch, you can use that as well. Instead of mixing the brown sugar with the custard mixture, reserve it and sprinkle it on top then use the creme brulee torch.
- Cool – Let the cake cool at least 1 hour before serving. This will help achieve better texture. I highly recommend making this ahead of time, a day in advance is good. The longer it rest the more it will make the top shiny and glossy which makes it more appealing. I noticed that after broiling it, the top was not as shiny as I hope it will be. After leaving it overnight, the following day, it looks beautiful! You don’t have to wait overnight to eat it, only if you make it ahead of time.
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Click the item to get the full recipe
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This one is different!
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indeed it is! 🙂
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