All the Tips You Need to Perfect a Homemade Yema Cake

We have a recipe for a no-bake yema cake, too!

IMAGE Riell Santos

A yema cake is a sweet treat that Filipinos can’t get enough of. Usually made with a light cake, thick and sticky yema frosting, and sprinkle of cheese, yema cakes are surprisingly fun and simple to make. Here are key tips to keep in mind once try your hand at making one of our yema cake recipes.


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Glaze a cake with an all-time Filipino favorite: yema.


1 Make a light, fluffy cake.

Because yema frosting is heavy, sweet, and indulgent, it’s important to make sure that your cake is as light and fluffy as possible. You can use either a chiffon cake or a sponge cake as a base for your yema cake. If you’re feeling adventurous, we have a light chocolate cake recipe that can be made in a steamer!


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Here's a soft, light, and delicious classic chiffon cake recipe to try at home!


2 The yema icing will take a long time to thicken.

Don’t rush through the process of making your yema cake icing—it will take longer than you expect it to. The usual mix is egg yolks and condensed milk. Keep stirring over low heat for about 15 minutes, and your yema icing will come together smoothly.


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You don't need an oven to make cake!


3 Add a fat pinch of salt into your yema icing mix.

Read: fat pinch of salt. Depending on the size of your cake, a ¼ to ½ teaspoon measure of salt is needed to cut through the sweetness of the yema. Don’t worry about the taste—the salt will actually let all those rich flavors come through!


Glaze a chiffon cake with an all-time fave: yema frosting!


4 Yema icing can be used either warm or cool.  

As your yema frosting cools, it’ll thicken even more. This makes for more stable cakes, especially if you’re using the yema as a filling in between cake layers. However, if you’re going for a glaze that you want to drip over the side of your cake, pour the yema frosting over your cooled cake while it is still warm.


Make a fluffy chocolate yema cake without an oven!


5 Say cheese!

A classic yema cake will have a sprinkle of salty cheddar cheese over the top. It adds another layer of flavor to an otherwise very sweet cake. While cheddar is the usual topping, you can also experiment with shaved queso de bola, too.


When you want to make a cake but don't have a recipe on hand, you won't go wrong by using a basic yellow or butter cake mix.



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Yema is a classic Filipino candy made with egg yolks, condensed milk, and butter.

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