Cassava Coconut Vietnamese Cake (Banh Khoai Mi)

Cassava Coconut Vietnamese Cake (Banh Khoai Mi) Recipe

Bánh khoai mì nướng, literally baked cassava (or manioc) cake in Vietnamese, is a sticky, sweet cake. The cassava provides the starch, the coconut milk provides the fat, and condensed milk is used as a sweetener.  It's unlike any Western dessert you've ever tried.

Cassava is a starchy tuberous root that is widely used in South America, Africa and Asia.  The flour made from the roots is called tapioca.

 

Ingredients

Yields: 6

6 cups Cassava (Manioc), shredded, tightly packed (650g)
3/4 cup split mung beans, dried
1 1/3 cup coconut milk
1 Tbs canola oil
1 14-oz can condensed milk
2 egg yolks (optional)
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs butter, at room temperature


Directions

In a bowl wash the mung beans thoroughly. Pick out and discard any bad-shaped beans and little stones, then soak them for at least 3 hours before cooking. It's best to let the beans soak overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the mung beans in a sauce pan, barely cover with water and bring to a boil, then lower to medium-low heat and cook for 30 minutes. The beans should be soft and tender. Make a paste using either a mortar and pestle or a mixer. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until you get a pale yellow foam. If you're not using the egg yolks, just mix the sugar, vanilla extract, shredded cassava, the condensed and coconut milks, the pureed mung beans and oil. The mixture should be homogenous like a thick cake batter.

Coat the sides of 2 non-stick round cake pans with a thin layer of butter. Place a disk of wax paper in the bottom of the pan. Pour the cake mixture into the greased pans. Even the batter with a spatula and by gently lifting and dropping the baking pan several times.

Bake for about 10 minutes at 350°F, then lower the heat to 300°F and cook for another 15-20 minutes.

The edges of the cake should be slightly golden and dry. To test the doneness of the cake, poke with a toothpick. The toothpick should come out grainy, but not "liquid-y" at all.

Remove the cake from the pan, place it on the serving dish and let it cool for at least 10 minutes.

Voilà !


Tips

You can find shredded cassava in the frozen section of any Asian store, well at least in California. Buy cassava that is originated from Thailand and not Vietnam. It's sweeter and starchier. Do not forget to thaw the root before using it in the batter. I usually drain the extra liquid using a cheesecloth.

If you cannot find the frozen product then peel 2 lbs of fresh cassava and soak the root in salted water for at least 30 minutes. Rinse thouroughly under tap water, then shred using a mandoline. Fill a bucket of water and place the shredded product in it. Fish out the shredded root. Do not discard the water. Let the water sit for 15-30 minutes so that the starch can settle at the bottom. Then discard the liquid. Gather the starch with the shredded cassava. Continue the instructions as stated.

I use the Longevity Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk, the one with the picture of a white long-bearded old man. You can easily find it in Asian store, well at least it's very easy to find it in California. I find the sweetness of the condensed milk gives a good balance to the cake to my taste. If you like it sweeter, add more sugar to the cassava mixture.

The addition of the egg yolks gives a firmer texture to the cake. If you have egg-allergy like my little 9-year-old sister-in-law, the result will be a little mushier.

I use the AROY-D coconut milk brand. It has no preservatives and it is very convenient, they sell it in 8.5 oz little package (which is about 1 cup).

You can find split mung beans in any Asian store. You can also find this product in Indian stores, it's called mung dahl.

The end product should have a slightly firmer consistency if you use egg yolks. If you have egg allergy, it's not all that necessary.

UPDATE: To get a more coconut-y flavor, you can add one cup of unsweetened grated coconut and 3/4 cup of evaporated milk to balance the batter.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on March 10, 2009.


Comments

Discussion:
I've always wanted to learn how to make this. There's a Southeast Asian grocery 5 minutes away from where I live, and I think I can pick everything up from there. Can't wait!
[ Posted at 4:53 PM on 3/16/09 | Reply ]
Helen,
i hope you enjoyed the cassava cake. Oh and don't forget to coat a thin layer of butter or Pam to the pan to prevent the cake from sticking...
[ Posted at 4:26 PM on 3/24/09 | Reply ]
Hi Jackie,

What size of round cake pan did you use to bake the Cassava cake in?

All of your food pictures look gorgeous and delicious!
[ Posted at 10:38 PM on 3/31/09 | Reply ]
I bake them in 9-inch diameter non stick cake pans. Hope this helps!
[ Posted at 8:45 PM on 4/2/09 | Reply ]
[-] My husband's favorite! - Guest-TangledNoodle
Whenever we visit our favorite pho restaurant here in Minneapolis, we can never leave without buying this cake! Being from the Philippines, I love sticky cakes like these or ones made with rice but my husband loves them even more. I'm so thrilled that you've shared the recipe here so that I can make it at home. 8-) And I had no idea that it also has mung beans!

Tangled Noodle Website Link
[ Posted at 9:46 PM on 4/9/09 | Reply ]

It's a fairly easy and quick dessert to make, especially if you buy the frozen pre-shredded cassava root. The kids usually help me mixing all the ingredients together, it's a lot of fun to get kids involved in the kitchen.

The mung beans helps for the consistency of the cake.

[ Posted at 9:53 PM on 4/9/09 | Reply ]
6 cups Cassava (Manioc), shredded, tightly packed (650g)

where can I get the cassave?
Help...
[ Posted at 1:40 PM on 5/6/09 | Reply ]
I find cassava in Asian stores, in California. Check the tip section: "You can find shredded cassava in the frozen section of any Asian store, well at least in California. Buy cassava that is originated from Thailand and not Vietnam. It's sweeter and starchier. Do not forget to thaw the root before using it in the batter. I usually drain the extra liquid using a cheesecloth."
[ Posted at 2:58 PM on 5/6/09 | Reply ]
I really must try this to see how it differs in taste to cassava pone which is similar.

Wizzythestick Website Link
[ Posted at 10:42 PM on 10/8/09 | Reply ]

What is cassava pone? I've never heard of it?

[ Posted at 12:19 AM on 10/9/09 | Reply ]
Oh man, what a blog you have.... am totally stumped by your talent & your generosity! ur husband and family are extremely lucky - cooking for so many ppl, with so many diet restrictions and allergies! you are a super woman! God Bless you Jaqueline!
[ Posted at 11:37 AM on 10/19/10 | Reply ]
Hey, this seems like a really good recipe, but I can't get split mung beans though. I can only get whole mung beans, should I do the same thing to make the paste with these whole mung beans?
[ Posted at 2:44 PM on 12/10/10 | Reply ]
[-] gray - Guest-denise130
this cake turned out like a gray mass of grossness, I like baking and consider myself an excellent cook. Perhaps the cassava i used was the wrong kind, the world market did not specify its origin. I had to get it fresh since the frozen was out. I followed the instructions to a tee. the batter tasted wonderfully coconuty, the cake, not so much, bland is how id describe it & that's if you can get past the grayness enuf to actually try it!
[ Posted at 11:20 AM on 12/22/11 | Reply ]
Chefs choice coconut milk I highly recommended
[ Posted at 8:40 PM on 1/7/12 | Reply ]
Chefs choise I highly recommended
[ Posted at 8:35 PM on 1/7/12 | Reply ]
[-] Mrs - Guest-Mai
I baked the cake yesterday, it was really good, my Ong Xa love it! - I used fresh cassava but forgot to soak the root in salt water and I added 1/2 can of evaporated milk. THANK YOU femme fatale, I mean Pham fatale :)
[ Posted at 8:41 AM on 3/3/12 | Reply ]
how deep were the pans you used?
[ Posted at 9:19 PM on 3/16/12 | Reply ]
hi Pham, ditto to depali's comment - thank you.
in Jamaica our puddings are normally slightly firm and full of texture but refer to the smoother types as pones which looks similar to your cake. can cassava or tapioca flour be used for shredded cassava, and can any color mung bean be used?
[ Posted at 3:59 PM on 5/8/12 | Reply ]
This is just what I'm looking for..yeees! saves my $1.50 a piece at a asian cake shop.....taste so nice and delicious...yuuuum & gotcha! thanks to this site.
[ Posted at 12:24 AM on 5/29/12 | Reply ]
[-] 2 Tbs sugar? - Guest-Twinkle
Would it be possible to omit the additional 2 Tbs of sugar from the recipe or would it drastically affect the sweetness or consistency? I find condensed milk to be very sweet so I would like to cut back, if at all possible.

Thanks!
[ Posted at 9:46 AM on 12/13/12 | Reply ]
Tried your recipe last night & it was delicious! I used the 2 - 9" pans but it came out too thin. Next time I'll try the smaller pans & your other recipes! TY!!!
[ Posted at 5:29 AM on 9/9/13 | Reply ]

Order my latest book:
Banh Mi

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