This classic Filipino dessert CASSAVA CAKE will steal your heart. Made with grated cassava (yuca), this baked dessert is chewy, sticky, rich, decadent topped with a luscious sticky coconut milk-based custard topping. And it’s super easy to make, too!
This popular cake dessert has long been overdue. It is *THE* Cassava Cake in its truest form.
If you remember my Cassava Coconut Cake HERE, well, better brace yourself ‘coz this Filipino dessert is a lot to take in. This time around I decided to share with you the basic version of cassava cake – which means no coconut flakes or cheese, but the same cake that will knock your socks off.
And did I mention that I made two versions of this (rectangle and round cake shapes) ‘coz I feel like one wouldn’t be enough? Yeah, you’ll soon find out once you try this, friend. So, buckle up and get let’s get baking!
What is Cassava?
Cassava, also called yuca or manioc, is a tuber similar to yams, sweet potatoes, and taro. This tuberous starchy root crop is native to tropical America and is popular throughout the tropics. It was first introduced to Asia during the Spanish era in the Philippines and then distributed throughout tropical Asia by the 19th century.
And it’s not only popular in South America and Asia. Cassava is also the second most well-consumed food crop in sub-Saharan Africa. I grew up consuming fermented cassava made into gari and, of course, fufu. And I knew then that this dessert is right up my alley.
These cassava roots can actually be prepared in various ways depending on the region. And in case you didn’t know, those pearls that you have in your bubble milk tea (yeah…those chewy black ones) are made from tapioca which comes from the cassava roots. Yep! Surprisingly crazy, right?
Here are other ingenious ways of preparing cassava in case you want to explore it more.
- Frying (just like this Yucca Fries HERE)
- Sun-dried and ground into a flour (for porridge or chappatis)
REMEMBER: Cassava should NEVER EVER be eaten raw. It contains cyanogenic glucosides that are toxic. So be extra careful when preparing it and making sure that it isn’t undercooked.
When preparing cassava, make sure to peel it first and cook. On the brighter side though, this root crop is good for those with allergies as the roots are gluten-, nut-, and grain-free.
Cassava Cake Ingredients
For this cake recipe, I went ahead and use frozen grated cassava coz they’re readily available in my neck of woods.
You can buy them in Asian, and Latin supermarkets. But fresh yuca can actually be found in the produce section of most grocery stores here in the U.S.
How to Cut and Peel Cassava Root
Don’t worry though if you can’t find frozen cassava. Although working with fresh cassava takes a bit of your time, your reward will be great once you taste your first cassava cake slice.
To prepare fresh cassava for this recipe, you need to…
- Cut both ends of the cassava tuber.
- Slice it horizontally into 2-3-inch pieces, depending on how long the cassava is.
- Hold the cassava pieces vertically on your chopping board, then start peeling off the skin vertically one side at a time using a sharp knife.
- Cut it off vertically into quarters to expose the fibrous wood-like core. Then slice off that core and discard.
- Wash the cassava and drain carefully.
- Grab your grater and shred the cassava with a bowl underneath it. You can proceed then with the next steps in the recipe box OR place them in sealed bags and refrigerate overnight.
Other ingredients that you’ll need
- condensed milk
- coconut milk
- evaporated milk
- melted butter
- vanilla extract
As for the custard topping…
- eggs yolk
- condensed milk
- coconut milk
- evaporated milk
Just mix all the cake ingredients above in a bowl and pour it into a prepared baking dish or pan (both 9 x 13 and round pans work). And as you wait for it to fully cooked, you can start working on the topping towards the end of the baking process. Lastly, pour the topping over the baked cake and pop it back in the oven for the topping to set. It’s as easy as that!
How Long Does Cassava Cake Last?
I’m glad that you asked. This cake actually lasts up to 3-4 days in the fridge. You can serve it cold or a little bit hot. Buuut, I don’t encourage you to freeze it. The texture of this cake is sticky or glutinous and you’ll risk having bad texture when you freeze and defrost it.
More Cassava Recipes
Oh, I looove cassava. So, here’s my little tribute to this amazing, filling, and starchy root crop.
How To Make Cassava Cake
Leave cassava to thaw overnight – or submerge cassava packs in a large bowl of water, until cassava has thawed. Squeeze out some water from the cassava. Place on a sieve and let water from the cassava drip to a bowl. Do not squeeze dry. Cassava should have some moisture in it. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9×13 baking pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together cassava, condensed milk (⅔ can, reserve ⅓ can for topping) coconut milk, (⅔ can, reserve ⅓ can for topping), evaporated milk (⅔ can, reserve ⅓ can for topping) eggs, butter, vanilla extract, and nutmeg.
Pour the cassava mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a long toothpick or skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks, remaining condensed, coconut, and evaporated milk. Carefully pour egg custard over baked cassava cake, return back to the oven and continue baking for another 15 or more minutes or until the topping is set. Check with toothpick.
- 2 packs Frozen Cassava (2 pounds ) , about 4 cups
- 1 can ( 14 oz) condensed milk, divided
- 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk, divided
- 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk, divided
- 2 large eggs , light beaten
- 2 tablespoons (28g) melted butter
- 2 teaspoons (8.4g) vanilla extract
- ½ -1 teaspoon (1g-2g) nutmeg (optional)
For the Custard Topping
- 3 large eggs yolk
- ⅓ can condensed milk , from reserve
- ⅓ can coconut milk , from reserve
- ⅓ cup evaporated milk
- Leave cassava to thaw overnight - or submerge cassava packs in a large bowl of water, until cassava has thawed.
- Squeeze out some water from the cassava. Place on a sieve and let water from the cassava drip to a bowl. Do not squeeze dry. Cassava should have some moisture in it.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9x13 baking pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together cassava, condensed milk (⅔ can, reserve ⅓ can for topping) coconut milk, (⅔ can, reserve ⅓ can for topping), evaporated milk (⅔ can, reserve ⅓ can for topping) eggs, butter, vanilla extract and nutmeg.
- Thoroughly mix until fully combined.
- Pour the cassava mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a long toothpick or skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks, remaining condensed, coconut and evaporated milk
- Carefully pour egg custard over baked cassava cake, return back to the oven and continue baking for another 15 or more minutes or until the topping is set. Check with toothpick.
Tips & Notes:
- Do not squeeze dry the grated cassava. Cassava should have some moisture in it.
- This cake actually lasts up to 3-4 days in the fridge. You can serve it cold or a little bit hot.
- This cake works fine in both 9 x 13 and round pans.
- Using fresh cassava instead of frozen? See the FAQ How to Cut and Peel Cassava Root for the instructions.