Banh Bo Nuong (Vietnamese Honeycomb Cake)
Banh bo nuong is a traditional Vietnamese dessert, perhaps the most popular! The cake is known for its “honeycomb” crumb, which makes it airy and light. This is not a typical cake–banh bo nuong is pleasantly chewy, with the perfect balance of coconut and pandan flavors. You can find ingredients like tapioca flour, rice flour, pandan flavoring paste, and single-acting baking powder at Asian markets or online.
for 6 servings
- 1 ⅓ cups tapioca flour (165 g)
- 1 tablespoon rice flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons single-acting baking powder, (not double-acting)
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk (240 mL), canned
- ¾ cup granulated cane sugar (150 g), or palm sugar
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, or canola oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon pandan flavoring paste, (not liquid extract)
- Calories 332
- Fat 14g
- Carbs 43g
- Fiber 5g
- Sugar 21g
- Protein 7g
Estimated values based on one serving size.
- Arrange an oven rack in the center position. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place a 7-inch angel food cake pan, 6-inch round cake pan with 3-inch-high walls, or 6-inch square cake pan with 3-inch-high walls on the center oven rack to preheat while you make the batter.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the tapioca flour, rice flour, and baking powder.
- In a large bowl, combine the coconut milk, sugar, coconut oil, and salt. Stir slowly with a spoon to dissolve most of the sugar, but avoid incorporating air.
- Place a sieve on top of the bowl with the coconut milk mixture. Add the eggs to the sieve and, with a fork, carefully poke to break the yolks. (Do not beat or whisk–incorporating air bubbles will prevent the cake from coming out right). Use a small rubber spatula to gently push the eggs through the sieve, discarding the membrane part of the egg whites. Clean and dry the sieve.
- Add the pandan extract to the coconut and egg mixture and stir gently with the spatula until homogenous in color, still avoiding incorporating any air. Gently stir in the dry ingredients; the batter will be lumpy.
- Set the sieve over a separate large bowl, then gently push the batter through the sieve to remove any lumps. Gently stir the batter just until homogenous.
- Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and pour in the batter. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out sticky with a few crumbs attached. Remove from the oven and flip the pan upside down onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool for 30–60 minutes (this will prevent the cake from collapsing on itself and losing its honeycomb structure).
- Carefully run a paring knife or small offset spatula around the edges and bottom of the pan and gently unmold the cake. Slice the cake and serve with tea or coffee.
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