KitchenTigress: Kueh Bengka Ubi (II)

Kueh Bengka Ubi (II)

Kueh beng ubi is full of the fragrance of coconut milk, caramelised sugar, and eggs. It's like an edible tropical paradise that's chewy and soft.

If you can buy ready-grated tapioca and ready-squeezed fresh coconut milk, it'd criminal not to make kueh bengka ubi. It is so easy, so quick, so good.
There aren't many tips for making kueh bengka ubi because the Malay/Nyonya cake is really straightforward. Even after eating lots of kueh to fuel my brain, I can think of only a few:

🌲 There're two types of tapioca (aka cassava): yellow and white. If you use the one that's yellow, your kueh will be yellow without artificial food colouring.

🌲 If you use a dark-coloured cake pan, the bottom and sides of the kueh will brown better.

🌲The quality of coconut milk makes or breaks kueh bengka ubi. Use freshly squeezed, unadulterated milk if possible Second choice: pasteurized milk. Third choice: canned or ultra-pasteurized milk.

🌲If the kueh browns too quickly around the edges, cover it with a piece of aluminium foil with a hole cut in the middle.

🌲If you find that the kueh is too soft after it has cooled down, you can bake it again to make it firmer. KBU is very forgiving!

🌲If the kueh tastes bitter, don't eat it. The bitterness comes from the cyanide in raw tapioca. When it's cooked, cyanide is not bitter. More importantly, cooked cyanide is harmless unless you're eating lots day in, day out over a prolonged period.

🌲Some people drain and discard the liquid in grated tapioca to reduce the bitterness. I don't think that's necessary since, as I just said, the bitterness goes away when tapioca is fully cooked.

Here's my video for the easiest kueh ever:

How to make kueh bengka ubi

Step-by-step guide

This recipe is from "Cooking for the President". Just mix all the ingredients thoroughly and bake. It's as easy as a box cake, but the results are way more delicious.

kueh bengka ubi
(For one 23 cm cake)
  • 2 eggs
  • 300 g sugar
  • ⅙ tsp salt
  • 1 kg grated tapioca, at room temperature
  • 4 pandan leaves – rinse, drain thoroughly
  • 375 ml freshly squeezed coconut milk, at room temperature, undiluted
  • 125 ml water
Related post: more tips for making kueh bengka ubi.

  1. Line 23 x 5 cm square cake tin with parchment paper, leaving some overhang. Preheat oven to 170°C.

  2. Stir eggs, sugar, salt and tapioca till evenly mixed. Knead and wring pandan leaves in mixture till completely crushed. Add coconut milk and water. Mix thoroughly. Discard pandan leaves.

  3. Pour batter into cake tin, moving stream of batter around tin as you pour. Smooth the top, stirring liquid that may accumulate around edges so that batter is evenly mixed.

  4. Bake for about 1¼ hours, till top is golden brown, edges are crusty and slightly caramelized, and inserted skewer comes out almost clean. Cover edges with foil during last 30 minutes if top doesn't brown evenly. Do not over-bake or cake will be dry.

  5. Remove cake from oven. Leave on wire rack till slightly firm, 30-45 minutes. Unmould and leave cake on wire rack till cold, another hour or so. Cut with an oiled knife. Serve.

  6. Leftovers should be wrapped and refrigerated. Rebake till thoroughly heated and soft.