Bibingka Cups (Gluten and Dairy Free; Paleo)

Bibingka Cups

In the Philippines, “-ber” months are dedicated to preparing for the most wonderful time of the year–Christmas! As soon as September hits, radio stations start blasting festive songs from Jose Mari Chan, the “Father of Philippine Christmas Music.” Street vendors display different shapes and sizes of parols (star lanterns) along the road.  Families even start assembling their Christmas trees and decors. These are only a few things that show how important this season is to Filipinos!

Of course, this time of the year will not be complete without the thing that defines family reunions and celebrations the most—food!  From lechon to fruit salad, dinner tables overflow with dishes, desserts, and drinks. One of these Christmas treats that a sweet tooth like me always look forward to is bibingka.

Bibingka is a Philippine native rice cake. It is often sold outside churches for church-goers who participate in the nine day-novena known as Simbang Gabi (night masses). Traditionally, they are prepared using clay pots that are lined with banana leaves. This method is very tedious as it requires the use of coals. But thanks to the invention of ovens and stainless steel baking pans, you can make Bibingka from the comfort of your own home.

The Bibingka cups I made slightly deviate from the norm. I thought of remaking the Bibingka recipe such that it can accommodate diets that restrict high carbs, gluten, and dairy. To achieve this, I did not use rice or dairy in the mixture. Instead, I used cassava flour and a dairy substitute, coconut milk.

Rice might be the essence of the bibingka but there are other alternatives we can use for it to retain its spongy texture. Other types of flour can be used such as cassava flour.  Fun fact: one variant of Bibingka is made out of cassava, although it is commonly deemed as Cassava cake! I thought of using cassava flour for this recipe, but in order to achieve the coconut taste of Bibingka, I went for the mixture of coconut flour and almond flour.

Some of you might be wondering why I didn’t stick to one type of flour. Through experience of baking paleo or gluten-free recipes, mixing flours is the best way to get that fluffy consistency. And voila! These came out fluffy and very flavorful, despite the various ingredient substitutions. Since I’m not extremely lactose intolerant, I topped my cups with melted kesong puti (white cheese). I added some coconut sugar and coconut shreds, too— just the way Bibingka is supposed to be enjoyed!

Recipe

Ingredients:

    • Banana leaves
    • 1/2 cup Coconut Flour
    • 1 1/2 cup Almond Flour
    • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or maple sugar)
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
    • 1/2 cup Coconut Butter (or ghee, or palm shortening)
    • 4 Eggs
    • 1 tsp Baking Soda
    • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (or lemon, or cream of tartar)

Toppings:

    • Salted Eggs
    • Kesong Puti or Cream Cheese (if you’re not lactose intolerant)
    • Freshly grated coconut

Directions:

  1. Before lining the muffin pan, subject banana leaves to stove fire to make them supple.
  2. Once they are supple, cut into small strips then line muffin pan. Make sure that there aren’t any gaps between the leaves. The leaves will prevent the bibingka from burning.
  3. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  4. In a mixing bowl, cream the coconut butter.
  5. Gradually add the coconut sugar while creaming the coconut butter. (Don’t worry about the crumbly consistency)
  6. Add the eggs and continue whisking until ingredients are well incorporated.
  7. Slowly add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt (and cream of tartar, if using) while mixing.
  8. Pour the coconut milk then mix again.
  9. While whisking the mixture, add the apple cider vinegar.
  10. Pour the mixture in lined cups.
  11. Top the mixture with sliced salted eggs.
  12. Bake for 15 minutes.
  13. Remove from the oven and let cool. If you’re topping it with kesong puti or cream cheese, add it right after removing the pan.
  14. Top with coconut sugar (or regular sugar) and coconut shreds.
  15. Serve and enjoy!

Food, Snacks, Sweets

Apr 26, 2018

Hey there!
I’m Diane Lee.

I am an NYC based content creator, filmmaker, gluten-free foodie, and mental health advocate.

more about me

  1. Marla says:

    Do you have any kind of suggestions for composing articles?
    That’s where I constantly battle and I simply finish up staring vacant screen for very long time.

    • admin says:

      I used to have that problem. I was so terrified of writing that I never started writing. It’s normal to feel stuck sometimes. I, too, still have the problem of concluding compositions but I just try to think, how do I usually wrap things up when I’m talking to friends? Being conversational helps. I also find myself, at times, remembering the three parts of an essay: intro, body, and conclusion. Ultimately, just start! You can always make a draft and edit after.

      Hope this helps!

      xx D

  2. Earle says:

    Hi there! Such a great write-up, thanks!

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Hey there!
I’m Diane Lee.

I am an NYC based content creator, 
filmmaker, gluten-free foodie, and 
mental health advocate.

more about me

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