This classic Vietnamese baked good is rich in the flavor and aroma of pandan and coconut milk. It’s sweet, pillowy soft with a little chew, and deliciously fragrant – like eating a cloud! Today I’ll be showing you my recipe for Bánh Bò Nướng, made quick and easy at home using simple, wholesome ingredients.
What is Bánh Bò Nướng
Bánh Bò Nướng or pandan honeycomb cake is a popular dessert in Vietnam. It’s a beloved childhood treat for many of us Vietnamese people. Now that I have a family of my own, I love making this at home for my daughter and passing on our cultural heritage!
Bánh Bò Nướng is well-known for its vibrant green color and the unique, honeycomb-like pattern of the cross-section when you cut into it.
Warm Bánh Bò Nướng fresh out of the oven is simply wonderful – the sweet fragrance and flavor of pandan and coconut milk paired with the soft and chewy texture of the cake is just so dreamy!
From the outside, it looks like a classic sponge cake. But the taste and texture are really quite unique. It also shares some similarities with the Indonesian honeycomb cake known as Bika Ambon, but there are noticeable differences in flavor profile and cooking technique.
How to Make Vietnamese Pandan Honeycomb Cake
Despite the simple ingredients, Bánh Bò Nướng can actually be a little difficult to get just right. The beautiful honeycomb texture of the cross-section comes from the little pockets of air throughout the cake that usually requires careful beating and straining to achieve.
But don’t let this discourage you!
I’ve simplified my pandan honeycomb cake recipe to make it much easier to pull off the iconic texture. I’ve also included some notes within the recipe, based on my own experience from making this cake multiple times, to ensure your success.
Either way, the cake will still be delicious, fragrant, and soft even if you don’t achieve the honeycomb texture, so don’t worry too much about getting it perfect every time!
Homemade vs. Store-bought Pandan Extract
For this recipe, I highly recommend making your own pandan extract. It only takes two ingredients (just pandan leaves and water) to make a potent batch at home! I have an easy recipe for it on my blog.
Compared to store-bought pandan extract, I find the homemade kind has a much cleaner and stronger pandan taste. It also has no preservatives, artificial flavoring, or colorants. This is why your final product might not be as shockingly green as some other versions, but will taste just as wonderful – if not better!
How to Serve Vietnamese Pandan Cake (Bánh Bò Nướng)
The classic way to eat this honeycomb cake is on its own. We love eating it this way at home – it’s warm, comforting, and flavorful.
For a lovely Vietnamese-inspired brunch, you can have a slice of pandan honeycomb cake with some Vietnamese coconut coffee – coffee brewed through a traditional Vietnamese filter topped with a frothy mixture of coconut cream and condensed milk – on the side. And for the kids, a coconut smoothie!
Vietnamese Pandan Honeycomb Cake | Bánh Bò Nướng Recipe
- 1/3 cup Water
- 1 cup Coconut Milk
- 2 tsp Pandan Extract
- 7 Eggs
- 3 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 240 grams Tapioca Starch
- 2 tbsp Rice Flour
- 1 cup Sugar
- ½ tsp Coarse Salt
- 2.5 tsp Baking Powder
- Use either store-bought Pandan extract.
- Or make your own by blending 15-20 Pandan leaves with ¾-1 cup of water. Strain and let the Pandan juice sit in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, the extract (chlorophyll) has settled on the bottom. Pour the water from the top out and you are left with some gorgeous Pandan extract.
- Place bakeware into oven and pre-heat to 350 degrees.
- Mix water, coconut milk and Pandan Extract – set aside.
- Crack 7 eggs and beat LIGHTLY with a fork or use a scissor. Do not overbeat otherwise your cake won’t have the beautiful honeycomb look.
- Now mix the lightly beaten eggs with the water/coconut milk/panda mixture – set aside.
- Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix slowly but thoroughly.
- Pour the mixture through a strainer.
- Add Coconut Oil and mix.
- Take bakeware out of pre-heated oven, grease (be careful – it is hot) and pour mixture into your bakeware.
- Bake approximately 55 minutes.
- Turn off the oven but keep cake in the oven with the oven door partially open for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove the cake from the form and let it cool.