Flourless Tapioca Cake (Kueh Bengka)

kueh bengka 

Kueh bengka is one of the most popular desserts in Southeast Asia. Made from grated tapioca and coconut, it’s not too sweet, has a lovely semi-firm texture and is a perfect bite-sized dessert for parties and afternoon tea.


Kueh Bengka Recipe


  • 2 pounds grated tapioca*
  • ¾ cup grated coconut*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 pandan leaves*
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 large banana leaves


*You can easily get freshly grated tapioca and coconut in markets in Southeast Asian countries. If you live in the US, you can find frozen grated tapioca as well as pandan leaves in Asian grocery stores. Thaw them to room temperature and drain the excess water before using.


Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C).

This is the easy part! Add the tapioca, coconut, eggs, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir everything together until they are mixed well. Tie the pandan leaves into individual knots and add them into the mixture. Using a wooden spoon, crush the leaves for a few minutes until you can smell the vanilla-like scent in the mixture. Add coconut milk and water and stir.

Line a 9 inch square or round baking pan with banana leaf pieces, shiny side up.

Remove the pandan leaves before pouring the mixture into the baking pan. Shake it around until the top becomes even.

Bake in the oven for 1¼ hours. The top should be golden brown and the edges lifted off the sides and crusty.

Take it out of the oven and leave the kueh in the baking pan for another 45 minutes for it to cool down and firm up. Turn it over onto a wire cooling rack and leave it to cool down for another hour.  Slice into small pieces and serve it as a dinner dessert or afternoon tea snack. You may serve it at room temperature but it is also delicious re-heated.

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