Cassava cake is one of the easiest Filipino dessert you can make! In this recipe, I will show you how to make a moist and cheesy cassava cake with gooey caramelized condensed milk on top. You can make this with fresh cassava or frozen grated cassava.
Cassava cake much like biko and bibingkang malagkit is almost always present on special occasions in our household. So if we're not having either of the two for Christmas, New Year, or birthdays, cassava cake would definitely be there!
About this Cassava Cake Recipe
Here's why you'll love this recipe:
- It's not too sweet–compared to others, my recipe uses less sugar and less condensed milk.
- Stays moist even the next day–just like a regular cake 🙂
- It's so easy to make–it's as straightforward as dumping all the ingredients in a bowl.
- It's gluten-free! This recipe does not use any flour. The cassava, coconut milk, eggs, milk, and butter are gluten-free.
What is Cassava?
Cassava is a starchy tubular root vegetable. It has a subtle earthy and nutty flavor. When boiled, it has a similar texture to potato.
In the Philippines and many Asian countries, cassava is a popular ingredient for dessert and snacks with cassava cake being the most popular.
Fun fact: Did you know that tapioca flour is made from cassava root? Tapioca is a popular gluten free ingredient for making cakes, puddings, and is also often use as binding and thickening ingredient.
How to Prepare Fresh Cassava Root
Start by cutting the root into 2 to 3 pieces. Slice through the peel of each piece vertically then gently wedge a paring knife under the bark so that it lifts up and be easily removed (see video).
Wash the flesh thoroughly to remove any dirt and leftover pieces from the bark. Soak for 20 minutes then discard the water.
Grate using a food processor or a hand grater. For added texture, shred the cassava using the large holes of the grater.
Cassava Cake Ingredients
Here's what you need to make the cake:
- Cassava - You can use fresh cassava root to make cassava cake. For convenience, you can buy frozen packs that have already been grated. This can be found in some online stores and most Asian supermarkets.
- Eggs - gives the cake firmness, structure, and stability.
- Milk - this recipe uses 3 kinds of milk that are common in many Filipino dessert and cake recipes–coconut milk, evaporated milk, and condensed milk. All of these give the cake a delicious flavor. You won't even need vanilla.
- Sugar - I used brown sugar but you can also use white.
- Salt - balances the overall flavor of the cake
- Butter - the secret to making a moist cassava cake
And this is how I make cassava cake:
Combine all the ingredients of the cake in a large bowl, EXCEPT for the grated cassava. Taste the batter and adjust the sugar based on preference.
Did you know that raw unpeeled cassava is poisonous and toxic? –source
And that is the reason why I won't recommend tasting the batter after the cassava has been added. Note that cassava is completely safe to eat when it's properly peeled and thoroughly cooked.
After tasting and adjusting the sugar of your batter, add the grated cassava. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Check doneness as early as 43 mins.
Note that cooking time may vary depending on the size of the pan you're going to use and how thick the batter will be. Mine was done at exactly 46 minutes.
Cassava Cake Topping
Filipino cassava cake is never complete without a topping. That is what makes it special from other cassava recipes. In this recipe, I have included two kinds of topping you can use for the cake. Use alternatively base on preference.
Here they are:
Condensed Milk Topping
The simplest topping you can use for the cake. You don't need any other ingredients. Just the milk. Pour it all over the cake and spread it evenly. Bake until golden and caramelized.
Made of the "excess" ingredients from the cake–coconut milk, condensed milk, and sometimes evaporated milk plus egg to set the mixture. Pour it all over the cake and spread it evenly. Bake until golden. Baking time is longer, about 20 minutes.
- Cheese can be added to the batter and as a topping. Filipinos love using this as a topping as it balances the sweetness of the cake.
- Young grated coconut for some texture. You can add this in the batter or in the custard topping.
- Sweetened macapuno - I recommend draining the syrup if you don't like the cake to be too sweet. You can add this to the cake batter or combine it with the topping.
Cassava cake will have a very soft and tender texture fresh out of the oven. Let it cool for 2-4 hours before slicing and serving. For a firmer texture, cool in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
Enjoyed it as a dessert or snack or serve it with your other favorite Filipino dishes. I love this with pancit bihon, pansit canton and Filipino spaghetti 🙂
Shelf-life and Storage
Leftover cake can last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days stored in an airtight container. Freezing is not recommended as it can affect the overall texture of the cake.
To reheat, microwave for 20 to 30 seconds on high. You can also bake in the oven at 100c/200f until just warm.
More delicious recipes with condensed milk
- Ube Cheese Bread 3 ways!
- Whole eggs Leche Flan
- Tres Leches Cake
- Filipino Fruit Salad
- Buko Pandan Salad
- Filipino Cheese Cupcakes
- Turon with Dulce de Leche
Filipino kakanin recipes
Watch the Cassava Cake Recipe Video
Cassava Cake–stays moist!
- Banana leaves (optional)
- Food Processor with grater or Hand grater (for fresh cassava)
- Baking Pan
Cassava Topping (option 1)
- ½ can condensed milk, add more if preferred
- ½ cup grated cheddar cheese, for topping, add more if preferred
- Grease baking pan with butter or oil. Place banana leaves on top if using and grease the top as well. Pre-heat oven to 180c/ 375f.
- Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add all the cake ingredients EXCEPT for the grated cassava. Mix well until sugar is dissolved. Do a taste test and add more sugar, if preferred.
- Add the grated cassava. Stir until combined. Pour into the baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Check doneness at 43 mins.
- Remove cake from the oven. Sprinkle ¼ cup grated cheese on top. This is optional. Pour condensed milk, spreading evenly to the edges. If using the custard topping: place all ingredients in a bowl. Stir until combined then pour on top of the cake. Spread evenly.
- Return to the oven on the upper middle rack and BROIL for 3 to 5 minutes or until the top is golden. Watch carefully and rotate pan if needed. I kept the oven door open to do this. For the custard topping: BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Let the cake cool for 2-4 hours or overnight before slicing. Serve and enjoy!
- If using fresh cassava root: Cut the root into 2 to 3 pieces. Slice through the peel of each piece vertically then gently wedge a paring knife under the bark so that it lifts up and be easily removed (see video). Wash the flesh thoroughly to remove any dirt and leftover pieces from the bark. Soak for 20 minutes then discard the water. Grate using a food processor or a hand grater. For added texture, shred the cassava using the large holes of the grater.
- Grated young coconut can be substituted with macapuno. I recommend draining the syrup to lessen the sweetness.
- Storage and shelf life: Leftovers can last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days but I highly recommend consuming it within 3 days for the best flavor and texture.
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Frequently asked questions
I recommend straining the excess liquid from the frozen cassava instead of squeezing it.
This recipe has not been tested yet using cassava flour.