Everything You Need To Know About Making Bibingka At Home

We know two ways to easily make it at home.

IMAGE Riell Santos

It's the holiday season once again and our craving for bibingka is back. 

Have you thought of making bibingka yourself? We have this handy guide to help you make the best bibingka you can at home.

How To Make Good Bibingka At Home 

The traditional way of cooking bibingka can be recreated. However, one that you might have trouble doing at home is cooking your bibingka in a clay oven over live coals as it's supposed to be cooked. As you would see from the street vendors who use this traditional method, it also produces a lot of smoke. 

Does this setup make a difference? Yes. A clay oven imparts an earthy, almost smokey flavor that you jus can't mimic without using coals, banana leaves, and a clay oven. If you can't sacrifice these limitations, it's best to buy an authentic bibingka this Christmas season while you can, or go full-throttle and source these cooking tools which you'll have to use outdoors.

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Don't fret though. You can still cook bibingka at home with a few tweaks. 

The Two Main Styles of Making Bibingka at Home

Bibingka is a very old, traditional recipe. The first versions of bibingka used local common ingredients such as wet-milled glutinous ground rice (or kaning malagkit), coconut vinegar (tuba) as a leavener, then flavorsome ingredients (depending on the locale) such as coconut milk and salted egg. Some ingredients were added later on with the advent of modernization and globalization such as American-processed filled cheese, Spanish queso de bola, or the use of baking powder as a leavener. Therefore, with the numerous ways you can make bibingka, you can primarily divide it into two ways.

Photo by Majoy Siason

The "Traditional" Bibingka Method 

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This method uses ground glutinous rice, or galapong. Soaked rice is ground to a thick paste, then coconut milk is incorporated. Traditionally, you can do these things by hand with a food mill, but it's easier to do in a blender or food processor. It's then incorporated with other ingredients and poured into your baking dish lined with banana leaves.

Do not forget the banana leaves as their distinct flavor is not to be missed. Make sure your oven is preheated to also help in making your bibingka rise.

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Photo by Riell Santos

The Super Easy Way To Make Bibingka

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This method is more fool-proof. It uses modern ingredients that speed up the making of bibingka. Instead of milling your own soaked rice, you can use rice flour and all-purpose flour. (There's no need to wait overnight as well!) It's then mixed with baking powder to get that sponginess followed by the rest of the traditional ingredients: eggs, sugar, coconut cream, butter, cheese, and salted eggs. It's then baked in a preheated oven.

By the way, you can also make this recipe in a cupcake tin lined with banana leaves!

Bibingka Toppings to Try

Once you have your cooked bibingka, you have to top it before serving. Bibingka isn't bibingka without the butter, cheese, and salted egg. However, you can change this up as desired. For cheeses, queso de bola adds flair and umami, creamy process-filled cheese is salty, and kesong puti will take the creaminess up a notch. You can also try muscovado sugar and dessicated coconut for sweetness and flavor.

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Salted egg is often added for that salty, complex flavor. Most importantly, amp up your bibingka by brushing them while warm with melted butter or coconut cream.

Photo by David Hanson

There Are Different Kinds of Bibingka

You can think of bibingka as a kind of rice cake, but it can also refer to different kinds of cake and at times, different kinds of kakanin altogether in different regions of the Philippines. In essence, bibingka, depending on where you are, can mean a cassava cake or a biko. Take a look at all the different kinds of bibingka you may encounter around the Philippines if you're curious about it.

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For more tips on making bibingka at home, check the article below:

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