by Elena Johnson
Bibingka is the richest cake I’ve ever eaten – or baked. But traditionally, it’s loaded with eggs and butter, along with coconut milk, which means it’s also loaded with artery-clogging cholesterol and saturated fat. That’s why I created a heart-healthy egg and butter-free version. It’s every bit as indulgent, and your taste buds won’t know that there’s zero cholesterol and half the amount of saturated fat.
My recipe for bibingka – which is one of my husband’s favorite desserts – substitutes eggs and butter with plant based alternatives. Earth Balance Buttery Spread, available in major grocery stores and health food stores, is delicious and can be used as a direct replacement for butter. Ener-G Egg Replacer, available at Whole Foods and health food stores, acts as a thickener and binder in baked goods, but without the fat and cholesterol found in eggs. I also add a dash of turmeric to maintain the traditional “eggy” yellow color.
Makes 9 inch round cake.
1 cup rice flour
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
⅛ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. vegan margarine (like Earth Balance Buttery Spread)
1 cup sugar
Ener-G Egg Replacer equal to 3 eggs
14 oz. can light coconut milk
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
½ – 1 tsp. turmeric – for color (not enough to change flavor)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine rice flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Following package instructions and measurements, mix Ener-G Egg Replacer powder equal to 3 eggs with warm water. The mixture will be viscous and a bit gooey. Set aside.
Cream together vegan margarine and sugar until well combined. Gradually add egg replacer and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Add rice flour mixture and mix well. Whisk in coconut milk and shredded coconut, if using. Add turmeric gradually until batter turns slightly yellow (color will deepen as cake bakes). Whisk batter for 1 – 2 minutes.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes until top is browned and sides start to pull away from pan. Let cool before slicing.
About the Author
Elena Johnson is a second-generation Filipino American living in Baltimore, MD. As a vegan chef and caterer she has been reinventing her family’s recipes and sharing these vegetarian versions of Filipino comfort food with friends, relatives, and those unfamiliar with the flavors of the Philippines. Elena is also the Special Projects Manager at Compassion Over Killing, a national animal advocacy organization focusing on cruelty to animals in agriculture and promoting vegetarian eating as a way to build a kinder world for all. Elena combines her passion for vegetarian food with a love of teaching by offering cooking demonstrations to the public. To learn more about why she went veg, visit TryVeg.com. Questions/feedback: email firstname.lastname@example.org.