Our Best Baking Secrets for Fluffy Homemade Bibingka
You can make fluffy bibingka in a regular oven.
Bibingka is a traditional rice cake often served with shaved coconut, brown sugar, and salted duck egg as toppings. While the rice cake is often associated with the holiday season, we don’t think anyone would mind having it all year round, right?
Because bibingka is traditionally made in a clay oven that is heated by coals, it can be difficult to mimic the exact texture and flavor of the rice cake using a regular oven. Here is an easy recipe to try at home, plus a few baking tips to make sure you nail it!
1 Use banana leaves.
When making bibingka, banana leaves are a must! It acts as a layer to protect the cake from browning too much from high heat (similar to what parchment paper does to baked treats) and at the same time, gives the cake a touch of earthy aroma. Here’s a quick tip for prepping the leaves: run them over your stove’s open flame a few times to soften them up. This way, the banana leaves won’t tear when you bend and adjust them to line your pans.
2 Turn up the heat!
Bibingka is often cooked over hot coals and a clay oven that retains heat well. Because bibingka is made with rice flour, it can be difficult to get a good rise on it if your oven isn’t hot enough. Do not skip the preheat step in any recipe you use—your oven needs to be piping hot once your bibingka goes in! Our recommended temperature is 400°F.
3 Find the right pans.
The size you will often come across when buying bibingka from a local vendor is 6 inches, so find shallow 6-inch baking tins if you want to match the look of traditional bibingka. A fluted pie pan or mini mamon molds also make good substitutions, but remember to line them with banana leaves or grease them with unsalted butter to make sure the batter doesn’t stick.
Some tips originally published in Ube Bibingka recipe by Chino Cruz in the October 2016 issue of Yummy magazine. Minor edits have been made by Yummy.ph editors.