This is the basic recipe. Use this to make different versions. The name of this cake literally translate to “pig skin cake”. Why? I have no idea.

Ingredients:
A: (Batter):

-350g tapioca starch
-50g rice flour
-4 2/3 cups liquid (water or coconut milk, I usually use both half coconut, and half water)
-300g sugar

*Mix everything together.

B: (Filling)
-300g cooked mung beans or taro
-200g sugar
-100g tapioca starch
-175g coconut milk or water

*Put everything in a blender and blend until ‘smooth’.

Steaming:
Grease mould (cake pan or tart mould) with oil. Pour in a layer of batter (mixture A) and steam for 5-10 mins., (until cooked), then pour a layer of filling (mixture B). Steam until filling is cooked and then pour on some more batter. Continue with this process until you use up all of the batter and filling. Make the cake as many layers as you want.

Different Versions:
Pandan and Mung Bean (pictured):
Mix pandan leaves in a blender with the liquid to use in batter. Use mung beans for filling.

Pandan and Durian:
Mix pandan leaves in a blender with the liquid to use in batter. Blend 100g durian with filling and reduce the sugar in filling to 100g 150g (depending on how sweet durian is).

Taro:
Use taro to make the filling instead of mung beans. There is a type of leaf in Vietnam called “lá cẩm” when you boil it it gives off a purple color. This liquid is then used to make the batter. However, here in the states it’s almost impossible to get a hold of, so... use purple food coloring instead.

Note:
Make sure the amount of batter, and filling you pour (steam) is the same at all times, this way you will have a “even” layer cake.

Comments (52)

On 8:48 PM , Little Corner of Mine said...

Yummy, definitely have to put this on my to do list.

 
On 9:21 AM , Anonymous said...

Well, because it looks like pig skin.

 
On 9:03 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

Anonymous,
are you sure it looks like pig skin? I've never seen 1 inch thick, green and yellow layered pig skin before....have you? :D

 
On 9:12 PM , Anonymous said...

You know, it resembles bacon.

 
On 10:18 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

yeah it kinda resembles bacon but then again, the name of the cake translates to pig skin not bacon or pork belly.

 
On 9:32 AM , Anonymous said...

You have to understand the analogy. The pig skin has a layer of skin and fat. Skin would be the green part and yellow would be the fat.

 
On 10:42 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

I still don't get it....skin is skin, fat is fat, why is fat a part of the skin? Also skin and fat is never layered like it is in the cake...who has 3 layers of skin and 2 layers of fat?

 
On 11:05 AM , Anonymous said...

What is under the skin of pigs? FAT. When you cut a pig, that's what is still attach to it. Well, that how the cake is layered (Layered cake). But the point is resemblance.

 
On 11:09 AM , Anonymous said...

Actually that is not the point. We really have to know the back story of this cake to know why it is called pig skin cake.

 
On 11:11 AM , Anonymous said...

*history

 
On 1:34 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

Yes, fat is under the skin which means in order to see a layer of skin and fat you have to be looking at a piece of pork (pig meat) NOT pig skin. My point is, cake is called pig skin but it looks more like pig meat, thus the question still is why is it called pig skin?

 
On 4:19 PM , Anonymous said...

Yeah, go ask the creator of this cake. Whoever he/she is.

 
On 4:23 PM , Anonymous said...

This looks delicious. Can you clarify for the coconut water - is it 175g or 175ml. Thanks.

 
On 8:11 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

I’ll love to ask the creator if I had the chance. Unfortunately, this is a very traditional cake and chances are the creator has left earth for good.

For liquids 1 ml = 1 gr (with the exception of oils). Therefore 175g = 175ml.

 
On 12:44 PM , Anonymous said...

hi tt, i tried this recipe and ran into a couple of problems. 1st, i added pandan leaves (since you didn't mention the quantity, i just put a third of a frozen 200g package). but even using my fine mesh sieve, i still got bits of leaves in the batter. could you just extract the juice by boiling the leaves? does it matter that it's frozen? 2nd, the batter just didn't look green enough so i added many drops of food colouring. how much pandan leaves to you need exactly?

 
On 1:47 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

frozen leaves don't have as much flavor as fresh ones. I used pandan paste (flavor + color). The cake's color will be darker when it steams.

 
On 12:50 PM , Anonymous said...

You takes some pieces of pig skin then you stack them on top each other, then you compare it with 'pig skin cake' (color is an option). After that if you still wonder about it's name, just asks your knee!!!

 
On 1:00 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

my knee knows the answer? :D Wow! I never knew it was that smart.

 
On 1:30 AM , Anonymous said...

TRIED THIS RECIPE FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR AND IT TURNED OUT BEAUTIFULLY. EVERYBODY ASKED HOW I DID IT. I WAS AMAZED HOW EASY IT WAS TO MAKE. I ONLY MADE IT TO SEE IF I COULD AS ITS NOT MY FAVOURITE CAKE BUT I'M GOING TO TRY YOUR STEAMED BANANA CAKE NEXT COZ I LIKE THAT. YOUR WEBSITE IS REALLY COOL.

 
On 5:04 AM , Anonymous said...

holy crap, i tried this and it took forever and sadly, it turned out bad. i KNEW i should've consulted with you first on this one.

1. Pandan paste - where do you buy this? I went to my local vietnamese grocery store, and all they have is the pandan leaf extract in a can, and fake pandan leaf flavoring in a bottle.

2. I used bot nep in my thing, probably why i ran into lots of problems. Usually sweet things are made with bot nep and not bot gao right?

3. how do you convert quantities? you're based in america but use a metric measuring. I went online, converted the grams to cups.

4. Steaming - Took way longer than 5-10 mins...did i do something wrong there? I think the water from the steam dripped down onto the cake.

5. 300 grams of ALREADY cooked dau xanh right? I used 300 grams dry...what a hard paste! =)

im scared to try again...what kind of pan do you use? i used a pie pan and steamed it with a lid on. any help would be appreciated!

 
On 11:50 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

I'm so glad you dared to play with your food!

hope this helps...

1. You can find pandan paste at any asian grocery store. It's actually pandan extract (liquid), but known as pandan paste because the liquid is pretty thick like syrup. You can use fresh pandan leaves = blend the leaves in the blender with a portion of the liquid called for in the recipe, strain and use as directed.

2. There's nothing that says sweet things are usually made with bot nep. It all depends on the recipe.

3. you can never convert grams into cups. Why? Because grams = measurements by weight. Cups = measurements by volume. A cup of water can weigh 240g while a cup of sugar can weigh 200g. As you can see although they have the same volume they do not weigh the same. It is impossible to find a universal formula to convert grams into cups. Everything has a different density (weight). You're going to have to go and buy a scale.

4. it takes 5-10 mins per layer.

5. 300g of cooked mung beans

>>The type of pan (mold) does not matter.

>>what do you mean by "i used a pie pan and steamed it with a lid on"?
Lid on the steamer or the pie pan?

 
On 5:14 PM , Warren said...

Thanks for your help...

Hmm it actually wasn't too bad after I let it cool down. It tastes better after I refrigerated it, but the green layer is still too soft (probably because I used bot nep) and the beans....too hard because I used way too many beans.

When i said I steamed it, i put the lid on the steamer (I actually had two layers cooking at one time. I used a two-story steamer thing and the bottom story would always get wet and the banh would get really gooey, so I had to drain it. Should I just not open the lid to prevent that?

Cam On Lam!

 
On 11:35 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

warren,
only steam one story at a time. The reason why the cake steamed in the second story was gooey was because the excess steamed from the top story dripped down onto the cake in the bottom story.

 
On 4:38 AM , Anonymous said...

This is really yummy!! Your website is awesome!!!!!

 
On 8:32 PM , Anonymous said...

Who knows where we can buy steamed tapioca layered cake in Sai Gon? Thanks for your answer.

 
On 10:32 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

street vendors and wet markets, some supermarkets also carry them. why buy them when you can make them?

 
On 11:35 AM , Anonymous said...

is there a way you can put the convert the measurement into cups for us? It's hard to make all your recipe when it's in gram. We not expert baker, you know. It would be nice and thoughtful of you if you can help us out. Your food looks very awesome, but i bet alot of people have a hard time measuring it.

 
On 12:12 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

You don't have to be an "expert" to use a scale. I'm not an expert and I use the scale.... My blog is not intended to be a source for recipes, it is meant to encourage others to play with their food and come up with their own recipes. There are a lot of other sources out there with recipes measured by volume, you should check them out, they probably have more of what you're looking for.

have fun!

 
On 7:27 PM , Anonymous said...

Hi TT,

Notice that you use 175g of coconut milk or water. Just wondering what that is in ml or cups? Like you said, different liquid have different weight, so how can 175g of coconut milk be the same as 175g of water.

 
On 7:30 PM , Anonymous said...

ok, read the previous blog, and got the answer regarding the 175g. However, your equation does contradict what you mentioned about weights with liquid.

 
On 10:43 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

do this: weigh out 175g of coconut milk. Then pour it into a measuring cup. do the same with water. if you have some extra time, repeat using eggs and milk. Notice something?

 
On 2:20 PM , Anonymous said...

How long did you steam the filling? My cake layer doesn't stick to the filling layer after it has cooled.

 
On 2:53 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

it should stick unless you purposely try to peel the layers apart. did you? if not, cut the steaming time a little.

 
On 5:43 PM , Anonymous said...

do you know how many cups do you pour in 1 layer. I want to know so i will have a uniform thickness on every layer.

 
On 8:28 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

the rule for uniform thickness is to pour a uniform amount every time.

Play with your food!

 
On 10:17 PM , Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. It was easy to make and absolutely delicious. My kids loved it and said it was just like the one we buy from our local food market.

 
On 6:42 PM , Anonymous said...

I've been looking for this recipe, my mother use to make this. Thanks so much.

 
On 12:20 AM , Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe. I'm grateful to be able to find it in English. Looking forward to trying it.

For those of you who need it, I found an awesome site to convert the measurements...

http://www.recipes4us.co.uk/us_cups_to_weight.htm

 
On 2:45 PM , Anonymous said...

I was just wondering if you can use mungbean flour instead of cooking the mungbeans. If so what are the measurements? Very gratefull if you would reply please.

 
On 2:59 AM , Anonymous said...

Great recipe but when talking about steaming the layer, what do you mean? How can you steam it?

 
On 9:45 AM , gelato2005 said...

Thanks for the recipe. The level of sweetness is just right. Texture was perfect after it cooled down. (I used the pandan and coconut milk version)

 
On 11:09 PM , captainJ said...

Hi from australia=) Thanks for posting your recipe
I tried to play with this but alas, it did not go well.
The texture of my cake was all very very bad
I was wondering for the batter, do u mean 4cups+2/3cups of liquid or 4x 2/3cups of liquid?
Also, what should the batter and filling look like after they've been mixed? Should it be more of a paste or liquid consistency?
Thanks!

 
On 9:10 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

4 2/3 = 4 and 2/3

the batter should be somewhat thin (liquid).

 
On 12:34 AM , Anonymous said...

AWESOME! mine tasted exactly the same as the store. Only thing was that the green layer wasn't as clear like the ones at the store. Any ideas as to how to make it clear?

Wait for it to cool before cutting. Maybe even after refrigerating it for a bit.

Thanks! I have a bunch of recipes bookmarked!

 
On 3:39 PM , Anonymous said...

i found pandan paste. but how much am i supposed to use?

 
On 11:08 AM , Tiffany said...

I think the naming has to do with the chewy texture of the cake in addition to the layers the are representative of the pig skin. But I am curious as to why the southern Vietnamese would name the cake "da lợn" instead of "da heo"? As we all know, "lợn" is a term use by northern vietnamese for pig exclusively. Yet the cake originated from the south; hence, it should be called "bánh da heo" imho (though it doesn't sound as appetizing). Does anyone know why that is the case?

 
On 11:45 AM , Anonymous said...

Hi, I am from Germany therefore I am not really used to the amount of 'cups' To clear up some things I wanted to know whether it's right that I need more than 1 litre liquid in the dough part because it seems quite a lot to me. Furthermore is an amount of about 175ml enough for the mung bean layer (seems to be quite a few) or did I make miscalculations?

 
On 12:08 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

1 cup = 240ml

 
On 4:12 PM , Tiffany said...

I've tried the recipe today and it didn't turn out as expected. I don't think the 175g of fluid in part B is enough for the mung bean paste. The paste came out as really thick and my 3 horse-power Blendtec blender almost gave in. In addition, when steaming the green layer (part A), the coconut milk separated from the flour as it sat in the steamer waiting to be cooked. Hmm ... I'll try it again next weekend and maybe adding the coconut milk into the mung bean instead of the flour. Will let you all know how it turns out.

Best.

 
On 1:39 PM , Anonymous said...

hi I tried this recipe this weekend. Since I didn't know the conversion so I kinda wing the recipe a little. Instead of using your bot nep and bot tapioca I went out and got the bot to make banh da lon in a bag they sold. It actually came out pretty well the taste and everything except its a little too sticky. What do you think went wrong? did I put to much water in it?

 
On 6:37 AM , Julia said...

I tried this last night. It turned out well. I made it Pandan/Mung Bean. My 2 and 3 year old ate it for breakfast and loved it! Thanks for sharing:)

 
On 12:43 AM , Anonymous said...

Thank you so much hoangtam. I tried it the first time and it turned out great. My family loves it so much.