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Monday, August 6, 2012

Mainly Tapioca Cake

Cake or kueh, you decide !
My maternal grandmother wanted to have nothing to do with tapioca or sweet potato. Those were her wartime food and up till now, she would shudder at the mention of these root vegetables.

On the other hand, tapioca cake ( she called this 'kueh' in Teochew ) was my late mother's regular contribution to my school funfair  because it was the kind of cake that she could make at a whim. It was not my friends'  favorite, a point she happily ignored, because it was too marketplace.

Nostalgia  made me do this, but what I had in mind was the type sold at Bengawan Solo ( kueh bengka ubi )  and nowhere near as colorful as this. I have never intended the end product to look like this.  But when I discovered that I was running short of tapioca, I used the lone sweet potato lurking in the dark recess of the fridge  to make up for the shortfall. Then, I selected the wrong   grating plate for the processor  and what ended was this colorful gritty-looking cake with plenty of bite. It just goes to show that there are mistakes and then there are happy mistakes.

What's worth celebrating was that the folks at home who would have nothing to do with tapioca actually helped me finish this cake . Now, that's  cause for celebration.

Ingredients :

1 egg
150g fine sugar ( 120 g for a less sweet version,  but a much less sweeter version will reveal the bitterness of the  tapioca )
Pinch salt
300g grated tapioca, finely grated
80g orange sweet potato, finely grated
200ml coconut milk
50ml water

4 pandan leaves, bruised and intact

In a big mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients ,including  pandan leaves.
Remove leaves and transfer the ingredients to a lined / non stick pan, 7 inches.
Bake at 170C for 30-40 minutes until top is caramelised.
Cool tapioca cake in its tray.
Lift cake from tray and remove parchment.
Cool further on a rack.
Serve hot or cold.


  1. And there was a time when I couldn't tell the difference between sweet potato and tapioca. I like kuih bengka ubi. Your version looks interesting. I might try it one of these days.

    1. Same here - but in my case, I still can't remember which is salted egg and which century egg!

  2. Wow, this is a unique cake indeed! We don't have the option, here, of using real tapioca, sadly. Ours comes in a box--ha! ;) This cake does look wonderful.

    1. Tapioca in a box is a let down indeed. But I love the idea of having so many types of fresh seasonal fruits and berries over at your side. Envy, envy !

  3. i know i will love this cake! yum!
    hope u like the awards :)
    you're so inspiring!

  4. Thislook really delicious. I always loved this type of kueh but yours looks really special with all the chunks of sweet potato and tapioca.

  5. So long did not make this tapioca kueh,,interesting to see you add in sweet potato.

  6. Mich and Sonia,
    This cake lasted 2 days tops because I was on a diet. I got over the diet restriction by cutting it to thin wedges before devouring them. Problem solved!