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Filipino Cassava Cake with Custard Topping

Filipino Cassava Cake is a beloved traditional dessert. It’s perfect for snacks, special events, and family get-togethers. This dessert combines grated cassava root, coconut milk, eggs, and condensed milk into a soft, moist, and sweet treat. A creamy custard layer adds a silky texture on top.

Simple Ingredients, Rich Flavors

Often, we enhance the cake with mix-ins like young coconut strips or coconut flakes. It’s best enjoyed warm, letting you savor the custard’s creaminess and the cake’s tender texture. Unlike typical cakes, Cassava Cake is denser, offering a unique eating experience. The custard topping brings a smooth contrast.

Where to Find Cassava Cake

You can find this delectable dessert at local Mexican and Asian markets. Some Walmart stores also stock it.

A Brief History of Cassava

Cassava, or Yuca, is a staple root crop from tropical regions like the Philippines. It features a brown, bark-like exterior and stark white inside. Introduced by the Spaniards, cassava has been a key ingredient in Filipino desserts and a rice alternative. However, it’s important to cook it first, as raw cassava contains cyanide, which can be harmful.

Ready to Make Cassava Cake?

Join me as we dive into the world of making Cassava Cake. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cook, there’s always something new to learn about this exquisite dessert. Let’s begin!


Cassava Cake Recipe

Ingredients

Cassava Cake Batter/Mixture

  • 1 ½ cups (12 oz) grated cassava root (I used 1 cup of the medium, and ½ cup packed full of the finely grated)
  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk, divided (use 1 cup for the cassava cake mixture, and 1/3 cup for the custard topping)
  • ¼ cup (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted + 1-2 tbsp for greasing the baking dish
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp salt

Custard Mixture

  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (from the reserved)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup whole milk

Toppings

  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese (use any cheese of your choosing)
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • Pinch flaky or Kosher salt

Items You’ll Need

  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups, bowls, and spoons
  • Silicone spatulas
  • Parchment paper (optional)
  • Pastry brush
  • Baking glassware (I used 13″x9″)
  • Cupcake liner (optional)
  • Knife or butter knife

Instructions

Prepare the Baking Dish

Applying butter to a baking dish

To ensure that the cassava cake doesn’t stick to the pan, we need to prepare the baking dish. Start by brushing 1-2 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter on the baking dish. If you prefer, you can also line the dish with parchment paper for easy removal later. Set the dish aside for now.

Grate the Cassava

Grating cassava in a food processor using a shredding disc insert

For this recipe, we are using frozen whole cassava. Thaw the cassava a day before and break them in half to expose the hard stem in the center. Remove and discard the stem.

Now, it’s time to grate the cassava. Using a food processor with a shredding disc attachment, grate about 4 cups of cassava. You can skip this step if you have store-bought grated cassava. We will only use 1 cup of grated cassava for the recipe, so you can save the rest for later use.

Transfer the grated cassava to a mixing bowl.

Mix the Ingredients

Mixing the cassava cake ingredients in a bowl

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups of grated raw cassava, 1 can of coconut milk, 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk, ¼ cup of melted unsalted butter, two large eggs, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Mix the ingredients well until they are fully incorporated. The mixture should be smooth with no lumps.

Bake the Cassava Cake

Adding the uncooked cassava cake to the oven

Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Smooth out the top with a spatula. Trim the excess parchment paper to avoid catching it on fire when broiling later. Bake the cassava cake in a preheated oven at 375°F for 30 minutes.

Preparing the Custard Topping

Mixing the custard toppings with chopsticks

While the cassava cake is baking, let’s prepare the custard topping. In a separate bowl, combine 1/3 cup of condensed milk, 3 egg yolks, and 1/3 cup of whole milk. Whisk the ingredients together until they are well combined and the mixture becomes smooth.

Add the Toppings

Adding grated parmesan cheese to the cassava cake

After 30 minutes of baking, remove the cassava cake from the oven. Sprinkle ½ a cup of grated parmesan cheese evenly over the cake. Next, pour the custard mixture over the cheese layer. Finally, sprinkle a tablespoon of dark brown sugar on top.

Broil the Cassava Cake

Adding the cassava cake to the oven using the broil feature

Put the baking dish back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and set the oven to broil. Broil the cassava cake for 3-5 minutes or until all sides have browned perfectly to your liking.

Check the Cassava Cake and Finishing Touches

Checking to see if the Cassava cake is cooked using a small wooden stick

Once the cassava cake is nicely browned, you can check if it’s done by inserting a stick in the middle. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Allow the cake to cool down completely. Run a butter knife along the sides to loosen it from the dish. Sprinkle a pinch of kosher or flaky salt for an extra touch of flavor.

Enjoy Your Filipino Cassava Cake!

Now, it’s time to enjoy your homemade Filipino Cassava Cake with Custard Topping. This delightful dessert is best served warm, allowing the flavors to melt in your mouth. We hope you enjoy making and savoring this delicious treat as much as we do!

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