Christmas isn’t the same for Filipinos if we don’t have a bibingka rice cake. And so, I made the Royal Vigan Bibingka, which can be a faster way to enjoy merienda.
On a visit to the Philippines, we traveled to Vigan, Ilocos Sur, a UNESCO World Heritage City, and stopped by souvenir stores. We purchased the Royal Bibingka as pasalubongs (gifts from travel) for family back home.
Royal Bibingka is an Ilocano variety of the Philippine bibingka. Vigan’s version are the size and shape of large cupcakes. They are mildly sweet, are thick, translucent and have the density of a cassava cake.
The Royal Bibingka is baked in a regular oven with rice flour, coconut, regular milk, sugar, eggs and grated cheddar cheese that melts and results in a gooey, crusty topping. Served warm with a cup of salabat (ginger tea), the Royal version is scrumptious. Even better, it is convenient to cook – especially if you are far from Vigan or any part of the Philippines.
Since that visit to Vigan, I’ve tried to recreate the Royal Bibingka in my American kitchen. It is the kind of bibingka you can bake quickly in the oven. You can make a large one in a pie plate or several small-sized bibingkas. No matter, the cheese and butter aromas from these thick, dense rice cakes surround your kitchen and will lure your family to ask for more.
When asked, I try not to compare this Royal Bibingka with the traditional Bibingkang Galapong. Each have their own luscious characteristics.
Just like friends I know in real life. Every person in my life is unique and lets his or her own light shine through, with their distinct set of talents and abilities. This holiday season, make a note to enjoy the company of those dear to you. Whether you are with family or friends, cherish the love and the time spent with those you care for. Bake them bibingkas. This is what Christmas is all about.
Royal Vigan Bibingka
- Large pie plate (oven-proof) - 9-inches diameter
- Large muffin tins
- 2 cups glutinous rice flour
- 3/4 cup coconut milk (canned)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 whole large eggs
- 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Salabat (ginger tea) for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Line the pie plate or the muffin tins with parchment paper or paper cup liners. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the glutinous rice flour, coconut milk and the sugar. Blend ingredients well with a wooden spoon or whisk.
- Pour in the water, milk and melted butter. Make sure melted butter is at room temperature or the eggs will cook in it.Mix in the eggs. Blend till batter is smooth.
- Pour the bibingka batter into the muffin tins (or large pie plate). Cover the bibingkas with aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven 350 F for 15 minutes.After 15 minutes, take the bibingkas out of the oven. Uncover and remove the foil. Sprinkle the grated cheese on the bibingkas. Distribute evenly.
- Return the bibingkas (uncovered) to the oven. Continue to bake for 25 to 30 minutes more. The cheese should form a crusty topping, that is slightly melted.Take out of the oven. Cool on the counter.Serve warm with salabat (ginger tea) or your preferred beverage.
- Keep the bibingka refrigerated at all times.
Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking or baking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Did you love this recipe? I have more Philippine dessert recipes in my popular cookbook How to Cook Philippine Desserts, Cakes and Snacks.
If you need Filipino Instant Pot recipes, find more in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot. Buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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