Indonesian bingka is a magical cake where the cake batter transforms itself during baking into two parts, an outer crust, and an inner custardy portion.
Imagine a pie, if you will, with no need to separately prepare the pie dough, and the pie filling. With one bingka batter, you will get the pie filling and the pie dough in one go!
And just like pie, bingka comes in many variations: sweet potato, cassava, potato, pumpkin, and so on. Since I have some kabocha pumpkins that needs to be used up, let’s bake some bingka labu (Indonesian kabocha pumpkin and coconut milk cake)!
What you need to prepare bingka labu
A bingka cake does’t require a lot of ingredients. You only need:
- kabocha pumpkin flesh, to be steamed and mashed
- all-purpose flour
- coconut milk
- coconut oil (or melted unsalted butter)
- toasted black and white sesame seeds, for garnish and totally optional
Which pan size to choose
For this recipe, I choose to use an 8-inch round cake pan. For this bingka labu recipe, you can choose from four different cake pans, so hopefully you already have one of these at home:
- a 7-inch square cake pan
- an 8-inch round cake pan
- an 8-inch square cake pan
- a 9-inch round cake pan
If you choose option 1 or 2, your baking time is 60-75 minutes, or exactly as written in the recipe.
For option 3 or 4, your baking time is only 45-60 minutes, but your will end up with a shorter cake.
Wait until the bingka is completely cool before cutting and serving
The only visual indication you get that your bingka is properly baked is from the crust that has developed while baking. Once you see that a uniform crust has developed and the color of that crust is golden brown, your bingka is probably done.
The center of the cake will remain very soft and custardy when the cake is hot, especially so when it is just out from the oven, so you need to be patient and let the cake cool completely in the pan.
Once the cake is at room temperature, gently remove the cake from the pan, and cut into serving slices. You should notice that the kabocha pumpkin center is firm, or very close to firm, with no leak.
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