It doesn’t matter if you call it banh bo, cow cakes, honeycomb cake, or banh bo nuong (baked banh bo), it is a delicious Vietnamese dessert that contains coconut and flavor. The eggs make it light and fluffy, but the tapioca flour gives it a chewy texture. My mom taught me how to make this Vietnamese baked treat. I’ll show you how to make banh bo without all the mistakes.
This recipe is not easy. There are many nuances that must be mastered to make it perfect. There are many things U need to do right. Although it’s easy to follow the directions, if your style is more free-spirited than you are, you might get unexpected results. Makingbanh bo is fun, and it tastes great so let’s get to baking!
This banh bo recipe is not to be trusted.
My mom has been cooking for over a decade. This recipe was passed to me by my mom, who has made it many times over the years. Over the past year, she has refined this recipe by adding dozens of baking trials. Relentless. She tried many baking powders, mixing techniques, baking methods and sugar types.
Finally, she narrowed it down to a recipe that she was happy with. Look, mom also sent me many progress photos throughout the process.
There are many ways to make a banh bo delicious, but this recipe reflects my personal preferences. There are many technical details and specific ingredients that must be done correctly. Let me assist you!
What is banh bo?
There are two types: steamed (hap), and baked (nuong). There are many similarities between them and their characteristics. This recipe calls for banh bo nuong, the baked version. This cake is soft and spongey but still slightly chewy, with pandan aromas.
Baked versions have a browned crust that covers the entire cake, while steamed cakes don’t have this browned crust. They are usually cut into rounds and served with coffee or Vietnamese Coffee.
It is called banh bo because of its name.
This cake is a result of the Vietnamese-Americans’ interest and that of non-Vietnamese individuals.
- banh bo
- Honeycomb cake
- Vietnamese cow cake
- Vietnamese baked/steamed rice cakes
- Vietnamese green coconut cake
Banh bo is the original. However, it is understandable that every variation of this name, including the original, is a description of how the cake looks.
Banh bo is Vietnamese for “cow cake”. Its texture inside resembles a cow’s stomach liner. Banh bo is often called “honeycomb” because its stomach lining looks a bit honeycomb-like.
If you do not use banh bo, you will likely be confused if you ask someone who was born in Vietnam.
What is the taste of banh bo nuong?
Banh bo is dominated by pandan and coconut flavors. It also contains a lot eggs, making this flavor very prominent.
Banh bonuong (bakedbanh Bo) also has a slightly chewier, sometimes crispy browned crust that adds texture and flavor.
Fresh, it is light, airy and aromatic. It’s a wonderful treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee.
There are many other variations of banh bo
Many desserts in Southeast Asia are very similar, with banh bo being no exception. This is due to the influence of local ingredients and trade. Many desserts will be made with the products of these countries, including rice, coconuts and palm sugar. Look at all the cousins of to banh bo that I can think of. ):
- Vietnamese banh bo hap (Vietnamese steamed honeycomb cake). These mini cakes come in small cupcake sizes and as round mini cakes of approximately 8 inches.
- Bai Tang Gao is a Chinese type of steamed rice cake, which you can get at dim sum.
- Filipino puto
Other baked banh variations
Let me be clear: I began this journey learning how make banh bo from my auntie and my mom. Both were visiting from out-of-town. Both were great cooks and avid bakers. They also both have a large presence in the kitchen. It was incredible to see my mom and her in the kitchen, sharing ideas and learning from each other.
My aunt also had her own recipe. The ingredients, tools and methods of preparation for her recipe were also very specific. The recipe is very finicky and can produce consistently good results in baking banh Bo (just like my auntie). These are essential.
Her process is different because she uses palm sugar rather than white granulated sugar. This involves “carving” the sugar from a dense block and melting it with coconut milk. Then, let it cool down to room temperature. Hand beating the eggs and adding flour to the batter is a precise process that she uses. Her process also includes the use of a large basket with holes to resift and air-dry the batter.
Recall that there are many ways to make delicious banh bo recipe. This post will help you get to the right result.
Important ingredients inbanh bo
The final result of this cake is affected by each ingredient. These are the important ingredients that you should pay attention to and how they impact the final result. We also have some suggestions for substitutions.
Granulated sugar This is the most common type of sugar you likely have in your pantry. It works well with palm sugar, too. It requires that you cook the palm sugar with coconut milk until it is completely melted. Once it has dissolved, you can then mix it with the rest of the ingredients. This is fine. However, palm sugar imparts a strong taste that I do not like in this recipe. I want the pandan and coconut to shine through. As you can see, we used organic sugar for its health benefits. However, white sugar can brighten your cake.
Single-acting Baking Powder – While double-acting baking products are the most popular in American pantries, this recipe uses single acting baking powder. I used the Alsa brand. Rumford double-acting baking flour was tested because it produces great results with a mild aftertaste. However, the results are not as consistent as single-acting powder.
Oil Butter is shown above. However, coconut oil would be a better choice to get a more flavorful product. Butter can be used, but it must be fully melted before it is added to the batter. You can substitute neutral cooking oil if you don’t have either.
Coconut cream or coconut milk Both will work. However, coconut cream will give the cake a richer taste.
Liquid vanilla extract – Powdered vanilla is fine if this is not possible. Vanilla is used to mask the eggs smell. However, if you use fresh pandan, it isn’t too much of an issue. You can also add a little bit of rum or another alcohol to make it worse.
There are many types of cake molds that you can use for banh bo recipe
These cakes are baked in 8-14 inch cake pans. You will often see them in smaller 8-inch cakes at stores where you can purchase the whole cake. Some shops will sell slices of 4-5 from a larger mold to allow them to bake more quickly.
These recipes were extensively tested by my mom, who taught me to use a bundt pan mold. This mold’s cutout in the center helps heat spread more evenly into the batter, allowing the banh bo to cook faster and rise uniformly.
How to store banh bo
This is one of those foods that won’t keep well. It can be kept on the counter for up to a week, but it shouldn’t spoil. Coconut doesn’t like being at room temperature. It can be refrigerated but the cake will remain untouched. You can make slices of banh bo slightly fresher by microwaving them before you serve it.
The best way to enjoy banh bo is right after it has been baked and cooled. You can store it if necessary, but it is best to enjoy it and share it as soon as possible with friends and loved ones.
Banh Bo Nuong Recipe- Vietnamese Baked Honeycomb Cake
- 1 heavy-cast bundt cake pan (12 cups)
- 3 large mixing bowls
- 1 OXO silicone spatula
- 1 fine stainless-steel strainer
- 1 balloon whisk
- 1 electric hand mixer at low speed
- 240 g (14 fl oz) coconut milk
- 50 g defrosted pandan leaves
- 1 bag vanilla powder
- Large whole eggs – 530g
- 360g granulated white Sugar
- 250 g tapioca starch
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated salt
- 20 g Rice flour
- 2 bags Single-acting Alsa baking flour
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Make sure it is melted. You can also use neutral cooking oil.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
- Wash, dry and defrost the pandan leaves thoroughly. Blend the pandan leaves with coconut milk in a Vitamix or high-speed blender until they are the same size as rice grains. It will taste bitter and more grassy if it is blended too finely. This is a picture of how small to blend the leaves.
- Pour the pandan coconut milk mixture into the first bowl. Use a fine mesh strainer for as much coconut milk as possible.
BANH BO BATTER
- Combine all the tapioca starch and rice flour in a second bowl. Mix well and strain through a mesh strainer to get rid of any lumps.
- Combine eggs, vanilla powder, and salt in the third bowl. Mix half of the flour with an electric hand mixer at LOW speed. Continue mixing for 30 seconds.
- Mix all ingredients together and let stand for 30 seconds.
- Mix in the remaining flour and continue to mix for approximately 40-50 seconds.
- Mix the oil with the flour for about 10 seconds.
- To remove any lumps, pour all of the batter through a fine mesh strainer. Continue to do this one more time.
- Spray the cake molds with cooking spray.
- Slowly pour the batter into the mold. The batter should be between 1/2 to 2/3 full. It will not rise if it is too full.
- Bake at 350 degrees F in a preheated oven for 45 mins or until a cake tester comes clean. If you are using a smaller mold, reduce the cooking time.
- Broil the cake for 1 minute to brown the top. The cake should be left in the oven for 10 minutes, with the door slightly open.
- The cake mold should be placed upside down on a cooling rack and supported with cans or other ramekens. Before removing the cake mold from the mold, cool it completely to room temp. To speed up the process, I place a fan on it.
- To remove the banh bo from the edges, you will need to use a knife to gently lift the cake out of the mold using your fingers.