If there’s one thing Filipinos love as much as food, it’s Christmas. In fact, Filipinos love Christmas so much, our holiday season begins as early as September 1! And bibingka is the perfect example of a classic Filipino Christmas food. Like the famous Ben & Ben song of the same name says, we can find bibingka sold by street vendors, especially near churches, during the holiday season.
Typically, one enjoys bibingka with another type of rice cake, puto bumbong, especially after Simbang Gabi. Hot drinks, like coffee or chocolate, also make the ideal companion for this treat. Treats like bibingka often brings back a lot of cherished moments –– of warmth, and spending time with loved ones. Food is memory, and by cooking it effectively, bibingka can bring back some of our best ones.
The traditional bibingka recipe may seem quite daunting at first; after all, who just has clay pots or Bibingka ovens just lying around at home? But this bibingka recipe is simple and can be made in any typical household kitchen. All you need are some ordinary cake pans and a kitchen oven. And with rice flour instead of regular galapong, you’ll have your own bibingka in no time!
Bibingka is a type of rice cake native to the Philippines. It goes without saying that we Filipinos love rice. We have it with almost every meal, and dessert is no exception. This is why kakanin has become such a popular Filipino merienda. A combination of the words kanin (rice) and kain (eat), kakanin refers to a group of glutinous rice cakes Filipinos know and love.
And there are so many ways you can enjoy bibingka! Here are just some of my other recipes that put a twist on the popular treat:
- If you’re more of a biko or suman fan, perhaps this bibingkang malagkit recipe will be more to your liking. Personally, I think this recipe is more of a modified biko. Its sticky texture may be difficult to work with at first, but you’ll end up with a delicious treat in the end.
- Royal bibingka is a type of bibingka from the Ilocos region. This one tastes a little bit more like a mix between cassava cake and espasol. Still, its chewy texture and sweet taste pairs great with a hot cup of coffee or cocoa.
- And if you want the original bibingka but in more bite-sized goodness? My bibingka muffin recipe gives you all the tastiness bibingka has to offer, but in cupcake sizes.
Whatever type of bibingka you prefer, any of the recipes mentioned can make it easy for you to enjoy them! What type of bibingka –– or even kakanin –– is your favorite?
How to cook bibingka
The first step to cooking bibingka is to preheat your oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine your dry ingredients together in one bowl: rice flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix them well, and set them aside.
Now it’s time to cream your butter. Creaming refers to the process of making a soft fat light and fluffy. To do this, beat your butter with a whisk while gradually adding in sugar. This gives your butter a creamier, almost whipped cream-like texture. The sweet smell of butter and sugar is impossible to resist!
Crack your 3 pieces of raw egg and whisk again, until you’ve incorporated all of the ingredients. Once done, it’s now time to combine them with your dry ingredients; add them to the same bowl, and keep mixing. Then, pour in your coconut milk and fresh milk. You need 1 cup of the former, while just ¼ cup of fresh milk will do. Whisk all of your ingredients together for a minute or two more.
It’s now time to prepare your bibingka for its first round in the oven. Arrange your pre-cut banana leaf on a cake or baking pan. The leaf should be wide enough to cover not only the bottom of the pan, but also the sides. Pour the mixture onto the leaf-coated pan and put it in the oven, letting it bake for 15 minutes.
Once your timer is up, remove your bibingka from the oven. Doesn’t that smell absolutely delicious? The use of a banana leaf also lends to the fragrant aroma. But at this point your bibingka isn’t quite ready to be eaten yet. Top your rice cake with sliced salted egg and grated cheese. At this point in time, your oven should still be kept on –– you’ll still need to use it!
With its new coat of toppings, put the bibingka back in the oven. Let it bake for another 15 to 20 minutes –– or, wait until the top of your rice cake turns a medium brown. Whichever comes first, remove it from the oven afterwards and let it cool.
Brush your bibingka with butter and sprinkle sugar on top. If you’re more of a coconut fan, you can opt to top it with that instead of sugar. And just like that, your bibingka is ready to be enjoyed!
Let us know what you think!
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup fresh milk
- 1 piece salted duck egg sliced
- 1/2 cup grated cheese
- 3 pieces raw eggs
- 1/4 cup grated coconut
- Pre-cut banana leaf
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine rice flour, baking powder, and salt then mix well. Set aside.
- Cream butter then gradually put-in sugar while whisking.
- Add the eggs then whisk until every ingredient is well incorporated.
- Gradually add the rice flour, salt, and baking powder mixture then continue mixing.
- Pour-in coconut milk and fresh milk then whisk some more for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Arrange the pre-cut banana leaf on a cake pan or baking pan.
- Pour the mixture on the pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven then top with sliced salted egg and grated cheese (do not turn the oven off).
- Put back in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the color of the top turn medium brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Brush with butter and top with grated coconut.
- Serve. Share and enjoy!