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Royal Vigan Bibingka

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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.

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4.50 from 2 votes

Royal Vigan Bibingka

The Filipino Royal Vigan Bibingka is a sticky rice cake which is thick, dense and is mildly sweet with a melted cheese topping. It is famous in the city of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, the northern part of the Philippines. Each town in Ilocos has bragging rights to their own versions. The common ingredients are rice flour, coconut, sugar, milk, butter, eggs and cheese. This is an easy rice cake to put together and bakes quickly for an enjoyable midday snack or breakfast and brunch fare. Serve warm with piping-hot salabat (ginger tea). This recipe was inspired by the cookbook Naimas: The Food Heritage of Ilocos by Deogracios Savellano and Heny Sison. This recipe I made yielded 15 cupcake-sized bibingkas or 1 large pie plate.
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Merienda, Snacks
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Filipino Royal Vigan Bibingka
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 320kcal
Author: Asian in America


  • 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.

To store:

  • Keep the bibingka refrigerated at all times.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 190mg | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 76IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 1mg

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 PotBuy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

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  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing your royal bibingka recipe. My daughter will definitely have a happy tummy when I cook this for her.

  2. Hi! Just found this recipe and thought, gee that name sounds familiar. That’s because I have your Filipino Desserts book. So my question is, this isn’t quite the same recipe. The one in the book sounds richer as well as a bigger version. I’ve also browsed other recipes and some add in a small (25%) amount of glutinous rice flour. I was thinking of doing the same. Reason being, the bibingka I just purchased has a lot more chew than what I’m thinking just using rice flour would give. What do you think? Is this a safe assumption? Does using rice flour alone also produce a chewy bibingka?

    I can’t wait to try making my own. I didn’t think it was possible without the coal cookers they use in the PI.

    1. Correction: I meant to say 75% rice flour and 25% glutinous rice flour. Your book recipe only uses rice flour and this one uses only glutinous rice. 100% glutinous rice to me would be more like the Asian Butter Cake that uses Mochiko flour.

      1. Hi RQM, thanks for the feedback on both my desserts cookbook and this recipe. To clarify, first my cookbook recipes are not on this blog, and vice versa. Second, this Royal Vigan Bibingka is a different type of Filipino bibingka, inspired by the ones they sell in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, which are more chewy in consistency. The bibingka recipe you made from my How To Cook Philippine Desserts Cookbook is based on the more popular version all over the Philippines, that has Kesong Puti and salted eggs toppings. That type of bibingka is also baked in banana leaves. This Royal Vigan Bibingka recipe is an Ilocano type of kakanin, thus the difference in rice flour used. Hope that helps. Thanks!

  3. 4 stars
    Love it! I tweaked a little to add more deliciousness as my partner suggested. I decreased the sugar from 1 cup to 3/4 cup and added 1/2 condensed milk. Yummy!

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