What's an orchid cake?  If you've ever tasted Sponge Cake or Génoise you've tasted Orchid Cake.  Bánh Bông Lan/Orchid Cakes are small sponge cakes baked the old school way.  Although génoise's family tree traces it back to Italy; cake was introduced to Vietnam by the French.

What's with the name?  Génoise are often flavored with vanilla.  Vanilla comes from/is an type of orchid.  Orchid in Vietnamese is "Bông Lan", thus the name Bánh Bông Lan - Orchid Cakes.  Traditionally, the cakes are baked in a cast iron mold heated with charcoal.  Modern ovens make baking these cakes much less laborious...but some how I still prefer the traditional way...nothing like sitting outside on a mild spring day, enjoying the light breeze, the bright shinning sun and baking sponge cakes. 

Ingredients:
-4 egg (200g)
-120g flour
-120g sugar
-1 tbs tsp oil or melted butter
-1 tsp vanilla powder or extract

Method:
Beat the egg whites with the sugar until stiff peaks are formed.  Add the yolks one at a time.  Sift and fold the flour into the eggs.  Fold in the butter and vanilla last.

To Bake: 





 Preheat the mold, brush each cavity with a cotton ball dipped in oil.














Fill until 3/4 full of batter.






Cover and bake for about 3-5 mins.

Comments (17)

On 3:24 PM , Thao said...

Wow. That's for the recipe and great background info. Where did you get the mold? This would work in the oven at 375 degrees right?

 
On 5:22 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

Thao,

the mold was handed down to me from my aunt. I've never baked the cakes in the oven before but yeah, I guess 350-375'F is probably the right temp if you were to bake them in the oven.

 
On 8:43 AM , Kitchenaid said...

So yummy!
Chị chịu cái baking pan của em quá!!!

 
On 6:57 PM , lilyng said...

tt

this cake is called kuih bahulu in malaysia. we used to bake them in moulds like yours but unfortunately, the new moulds have no cover for the charcoal.

Treasure this, it is one of a kind.

 
On 7:26 PM , SweetChocoGirl said...

Oh those are so adorable! I remember when i was little, my mom occasionally bought those for me. They don't have a cute variety of shapes like yours! They had either a plain triangle shape or a round one that looked like a mushroom.

 
On 12:24 AM , DSK said...

hey tt! my bf showed me your blog for the first time to encourage me to learn how to cook viet food. lol

thanks for sharing with us your talent!

-DSK

 
On 8:35 PM , Tebonin said...

When I was lit..I had that Orchid Cakes everyday for lunch. I guess I was 11 or something. Miss the smell of home.

 
On 1:14 AM , Brightclouds said...

Cái khuôn nướng bánh đẹp quá ... !

 
On 11:21 PM , Anonymous said...

wow...been looking for the recipe 4ever!! The mini cakes are looking so good. One of my fav cake ever. Ques: you list flour in the ingredient but, what kind of flour? All purpose, self rising or cake flour?? Cause I noticed you didn't list baking powder in the ingredient. So please share. Thanks much.

 
On 7:28 PM , Ann said...

Do you know where I can buy the cast iron mold?

 
On 9:16 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

i used a.p. flour. sponge cakes are leavened by the air whipped into the eggs, so you don't need baking powder.

Ann,
you can try your luck and look for the moulds at a well stock asian grocery store. The only place i know for sure that carries it is in Vietnam...

 
On 9:13 AM , Anonymous said...

I love the mold. I wonder if they still those in VN.

 
On 7:34 AM , vansg said...

Hi,
cám ơn bạn đã chia sẻ công thức, nhìn cái khuôn sao giống khuôn bánh thuẩn của người Huế quá, nhất là cách đặt mấy cục than trên cái nắp khi nướng..
Vân

 
On 7:37 AM , vansg said...

Hi,

Cám ơn bạn đã chia sẻ công thức.
Nhìn cái khuôn giống khuôn bánh thuẫn của người Huế , nhất là cách đặt mấy cục than trên nắp khi nướng bánh, nhưng bánh thuẫn k có bơ ( k biết mìh nhớ đúng k )

 
On 7:21 PM , Tina said...

what flour did you use?

 
On 1:33 PM , Anonymous said...

love your blog..would like to give a try, the recipe is simple...but I m for sure, it isn't simple to do like the way you share...wish me luck....
Your mold is very very good one...just like heavy one...so the cakes come out very good. My greataunt, back in VN, have this one...but too bad, I couldn't have it... Just wish I could OWN one....

 
On 1:13 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

Tina,

I used ap flour.