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Cassava Cake

This easy to make cake is a classic favorite that is always present in Filipino gatherings. Cassava cake is appropriately sweet with notes of cheddar cheese and milk, and a whole load of the filling, tasty cassava meat.

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Round Cassava cake

This cassava cake enticed me with its unusual circular shape and its gorgeous caramelized top. I mean, I am used to seeing cassava cake baked in rectangular or square pans, then cut into servings in bar forms.

This one, though, is a slight deviation from the traditional Filipino delicacy, being baked in a circular cake pan like it is a regular sponge or butter cake.

A slice of Cassava Cake

What is Cassava?

Think taro, yams and sweet potatoes. Cassava is similar to these tubers: it is a starchy root crop with its own distinct taste, but like the rest of the tubers, it is a perfect base to add flavors to, in order to yield a filling, substantial dish or dessert. Cassava can be boiled, baked, fried and steamed.

Frozen grated cassava
Frozen grated cassava

Frozen Grated Cassava

This recipe uses frozen grated cassava. It is convenient and way easier than using fresh ones. If you want to use fresh cassava, you have to do the extra work of peeling and grating them. I have outlined a guideline below.  

Round cassava cake with a slice cut off.

Using Fresh Cassava

Fresh Cassava can be occasionally found in the produce section of supermarkets. They are long and brown irregularly shaped logs that vary in length and width.

  • Cut both the tapered ends of the tuber.
  • Depending on how long the cassava is, you might have to cut it into 3-4 inch pieces horizontally just so you can hold it with ease. Hold the cassava vertically, letting it stand on your chopping board. Peel off the skin of the cassava one side at a time using a sharp knife. This skin is thick and hard.
  • Once peeled, cut the cassava vertically in quarters to expose the fibrous, wood-like center in them. Slice the fiber off and discard.
  • Wash the cassava pieces and drain. Using a grater, shred the cassava and either place them on a bowl if you are using them immediately, or place them in sealed bags and refrigerate for up to overnight until you are ready to make the cake.

One slice of Cassava Cake

How to Make Cassava Cake?

  1. Simply mix together in a large bowl, the grated cassava, the sugar, coconut milk, cheddar cheese and butter until they are thoroughly incorporated. Pour mixture into a 9.5-inch springform pan. Set the pan on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch any spillage. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour or until the cake is set. The surface should have no more liquid and there are some spots of brown on the surface. Mixing the cassava base ingredients
  2. Combine flour and water until smooth. Add coconut milk and condensed milk and stir. Let this stand while waiting for the cake base to be done. 
  3. Once the cake base has set, briefly remove it from the oven and gradually pour the topping mixture over the base, allowing some time for the liquid to get absorbed by the cake before pouring some more. Pouring the milk topping over the cassava base.
  4. Bake cake for another hour and 20 minutes, or more, until the top has set with a little jiggle and the top has turned golden. Some spots will be darker than the others. 
  5. Let cake cool completely in the pan. Loosen sides with a knife and release from the springform pan. And behold, milky, cheesy and caramelized topping over a chunky cake layer, you are going to love this one.
Looking for more Filipino desserts recipes? Also, try:

(Originally published on August 2019, and is updated to use frozen grated cassava)

Round Cassava cake

Cassava Cake

This cassava cake is appropriately sweet with notes of cheddar cheese and milk, and a whole load of the filling, tasty cassava meat.
4.87 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: cassava cake
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 576kcal
Author: sanna

Ingredients

For The Cake Base

  • 2 lbs frozen grated cassava thawed (If using fresh, see notes below)
  • 2 and 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1.8 oz grated cheddar cheese or lossely packed 3/4 cup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter softened and cut to small pieces (or 42.5 grams)

For the Topping

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9.5 inch spring form pan with butter. Mix all the ingredients for the base in a large bowl, until the sugar is dissolved and everything is incorporated.
  • Pour mixture onto greased pan. Set it on top of a baking sheet that is lined with foil to catch any seepge. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or more, until the cake has set and there is no more liquid on top. Some brown spots might be present. 
  • While the cake is baking, prepare the topping. In a bowl, combine flour and water and stir until smooth. Add the rest of the topping ingredients and mix well.
  • When the cake base is done, briefly remove it from the oven and pour the prepared topping gradually. Allow the liquid to be absorbed by the cake before pouring some more. Bake cake for another hour and 20 minutes or until the top has set and the color is golden. Some areas will be darker than the others.
  • Let cake cool completely in the pan. Loosen sides with a knife and remove cake from pan.

Notes

If using fresh cassava, weigh out 2 and 1/4 lbs fresh cassava, then peel and grate.
Recipe adapted from Cassava Cake by Donovan Cooke from book World Class Cakes written by Roger Pizey.
Nutrition Facts
Cassava Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 576 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 22g138%
Cholesterol 22mg7%
Sodium 118mg5%
Potassium 584mg17%
Carbohydrates 78g26%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 34g38%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 230IU5%
Vitamin C 22.6mg27%
Calcium 136mg14%
Iron 3.8mg21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 576kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 584mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 22.6mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 3.8mg
 This cassava cake is appropriately sweet with notes of cheddar cheese and milk, and a whole load of the filling, tasty cassava meat.

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35 Comments

  1. So excited to make this!! I’ve been looking for an appealing recipe to use my Cassava on, and I think I’ve found it! I do have a question though, can you explain the purpose of the cheese? It seems to so foreign to me, putting cheese in a cake, so I was just wondering what it brings to the dish flavor or texture-wise, and is it necessary or can I leave it out if I’m not feeling adventurous? Also, what kind of cheese should I use? a sharp, medium, or mild cheddar? Or American processed cheese?

  2. Hello, is it possible to replace the flour with a gluten free flour like rice flour or oatmeal flour for the making the topping? Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  3. Hi, I followed the directions, including using fresh cassava that I grated. The cake is baking now, so I don’t know how it will turn out yet. My Filipino friend told me that he usually squeezes out all the excess liquid after heating because the liquid has a butter or sour taste. I did not do this. Have you heard of this before? I’m hoping it will be good.

  4. Thank You for sharing your recipe!!!!! I had a slice while visiting family on Maui, Love Love Love!!!!! I am planning on making, I will be using Cassava flour, how much should I use for this recipe!?! Thank You for your time!!!!!

    1. Hello there, Monique! I am so glad you liked cassava cake. Unfortunately, I have not tried using cassava flour so I can’t tell exactly how much to use. You can buy the frozen grated cassava in Oriental supermarkets and they are pretty easy to use too.

  5. Tried this recipe using fresh cassava. I used the grater with bigger holes to speed up the grating process so I had the chunky texture. The taste was really good! I will definitely make it again but I’ll be using the small hole grater to make it smoother.. and maybe top it with more cheese after baking. Grating the cassava could give me an arm workout but I’m sure it will be worth the effort!

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