Last Updated on May 20, 2020 by Chef Mireille
Banh Bo Nuang
Banh Bo Nuang – Vietnamese Pandan Honeycomb Cake is one of Vietnam’s most popular cakes. Gluten Free, with a honeycomb look, is definitely worth a try!
Gluten Free was not an issue in the past, but nowadays if you are planning a party, it’s a good idea to have a gluten free cake or dessert as it’s more than likely at least one person at the party is going to be gluten free. They may have celiac’s disease or choose to eat gluten free by choice.
Banh Bo Nuang – Vietnamese Honeycomb Cake is one of Vietnam’s most popular desserts and this cake is traditionally gluten free, made with rice flour and tapioca starch. What’s special about this cake is the cool honeycomb texture achieved when you cut the cake!
Banh Bo Nuang is a very egg rich cake – it almost tastes like a flan in cake form. If you do not like the taste of eggs in your desserts, it is not the cake for you. However, for everyone else, this cake is light and airy and perfect to enjoy if you are gluten free.
A few months ago I finally bought an Angel Food Cake pan. I have been wanting to try an Angel Food Cake for years, made with egg whites, it is America’s most traditional low fat cake.
The directions for this cake was similar to an Angel Food Cake, in that you are supposed to let the cake cool in the pan hanging upside down. Although I followed the directions and only greased the bottom of the pan, my cake just slid right out within 2 minutes.
Perhaps the quantity of cake batter was too little for the large sized pan I have or maybe I should not have even greased the bottom of the pan. Well I rather use this cake to experiment with the pan, until I am ready to go through all that work of separating all those eggs for Angel Food Cake.
The cake would have probably had a little more height to it if it had been allowed to cool upside down. Regardless, I got the cool honeycomb texture and it tastes great so as far as I am concerned, this cake was still a success! You can try the directions in the original recipe here using a regular cake pan and see if it works better for you.
This cake is great to serve at parties for kids. Whether they are gluten free or not, they will want to try it because of the cool green color, due the pandan paste. Make sure you use pandan paste and not pandan extract/essence. While you will get the flavor using the extract/essence, you won’t get the color. However, if all you can find is pandan extract/essence, use it with a little green food coloring for the same effect.
Pandan in Southeast Asia’s most common flavoring for desserts. Think vanilla extract – Asian style! If you cannot source pandan, you can substitute vanilla extract. However, if you do have pandan paste, check out some my other recipes utilizing pandan.
- Pandan Puto – Filipino Steamed Muffin
- Puteri Ayu – Malaysian Pandan Sponge Cake
- Kue Pukis – Indonesian Pandan Cakes
- Kuih Dadar – Stuffed Pandan Crepes
Make sure you use coconut cream and not cream of coconut, the stuff used to make Pina Colada. If you cannot find coconut cream sold separately, take a can of regular coconut milk and put it in the refrigerator and the cream will rise to the top and be a bit more solid than the milk in the remainder of the can.
You will probably need to use 2 cans to get the 1 cup of coconut cream required for this recipe.
Banh Bo Nuang – Vietnamese Honeycomb Cake
- 1 cup coconut cream
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pandan paste
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 5 eggs at room temperature
- ¾ cup + 2/3 cup tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon rice flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Brush the bottom only of a cake pan with butter and place in the oven.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine coconut cream, salt, pandan paste, sugar and oil. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- In a small bowl, crack the eggs. With a pair of scissors, cut the egg yolks. This is so less air will be whipped into the eggs. If there is too much air, the honeycomb texture will not result.
- In another small bowl, combine the tapioca starch and the rice flour.
- Add the eggs and half of the tapioca mixture to the electric mixer. Beat well until thoroughly combined.
- Add the remaining tapioca mixture and beat until thoroughly combined.
- Add cream of tartar and baking soda. Beat until well blended.
- Pass batter through a sieve to get rid of any tapioca starch clumps.
- Remove warm cake pan from the oven.
- Transfer to prepared cake pan. Drop the cake pan on the counter a few times, to remove any air.
- Transfer to oven and bake for 45 minutes.
- Hang cake upside down to cool for 1 hour. I hope it works for you.
- Slice and serve.
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