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Ongol-Ongol Singkong - Steamed Cassava Cake

Traditional Indonesian cake with cassava and coconut. This cake (kue/kuih) is easy to put together and a delicious way to enjoy cassava. Vegan-friendly and gluten-free.
Ongol-ongol singkong (Indonesian steamed cassava cake with grated coconut).

Ongol-ongol singkong (Indonesian steamed cassava cake with grated coconut).

Ongol-ongol is a traditional Indonesian cake. It has a slightly chewy texture, a sweet fragrant aroma, and we always serve it with grated coconut.

If this is your first time trying an ongol-ongol, you may find that the texture is very different than a typical baked cake using flour, butter, egg, and sugar.

If, on the other hand, you are familiar with Malaysian kuih or other Indonesian traditional steamed cakes, then you won’t be surprised by the texture when you take a bite. :)

If you live near an Asian grocery store, it should be easy to find all the necessary ingredients to prepare this simple and lovely cake. I also think this is a nice introduction to Indonesian more traditional cakes/snacks. :)

Ingredients for ongol-ongol singkong (steamed cassava cake): grated cassava, grated coconut, coconut milk, agar powder, pandan, vanilla, sugar, and salt.

Ingredients for ongol-ongol singkong (steamed cassava cake): grated cassava, grated coconut, coconut milk, agar powder, pandan, vanilla, sugar, and salt.

Ingredients for Indonesian steamed cassava cake

1. Grated cassava

I usually get a packet of frozen grated cassava. A one-pound (450 gram) packet is the perfect amount to make this cake.

If you get fresh cassava, you can peel and grate the root. I choose to use frozen grated cassava since this makes the recipe easier to tackle.

2. Coconut milk

Please use canned coconut milk and not boxed coconut milk. In the US, boxed coconut milk is thinner than canned coconut milk, and the viscosity is closer to fresh milk.

3. Agar powder

You will need a 7-gram pouch of agar powder for this recipe. I prefer to get a small bottle of agar powder that I can use for multiple recipes.

4. Grated coconut

You should be able to find packets of frozen grated coconut in a well-stocked Asian market. You can also buy a fresh mature coconut, crack it open, and grate its flesh.

If you live in Indonesia or other Asian countries, you can buy a fresh mature coconut from a market and has the seller open and grate it for you. :)

5. Pandan

We use pandan leaves to impart their lovely fragrance to the grated coconut. If you can’t find any, it is okay to omit this, and your grated coconut will still have a fresh coconut aroma.

6. Sugar, salt, and vanilla

(1) Stir grated cassava, coconut milk, sugar, salt, agar powder, and vanilla. (2) Pour the batter into an 8-inch round pan. (3) Steam for 50 minutes and cool completely. (4) Steam grated coconut, salt, and pandan leaves.

(1) Stir grated cassava, coconut milk, sugar, salt, agar powder, and vanilla. (2) Pour the batter into an 8-inch round pan. (3) Steam for 50 minutes and cool completely. (4) Steam grated coconut, salt, and pandan leaves.

Prepare and steam the cassava cake

Prepare a steamer big enough to fit an 8-inch round pan. Fill the steamer pot with enough water for an hour of steaming, and start boiling the water while preparing the cake batter over medium heat.

Stir grated cassava, coconut milk, vanilla, agar powder, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl until smooth. Pour the batter into the cake pan.

Once the steamer is ready – the water is boiling, and there is plenty of steam – place the pan in the steamer and steam the cake for 50-60 minutes.

Remove the cake from the steamer and set it aside to cool and firm up. You can chill the cake in the fridge to cool it faster.

Remove cassava cake from the pan, cut into serving pieces, and serve with pandan scented grated coconut.

Remove cassava cake from the pan, cut into serving pieces, and serve with pandan scented grated coconut.

Prepare and steam grated coconut

I highly suggest steaming the grated coconut on the day you plan to serve the cake since the grated coconut usually spoils faster than the cake itself.

Mix grated coconut with salt in a steam-proof bowl, top with knotted pandan leave, and steam for 15 minutes.

Option 1: cut into small half-inch pieces and toss with grated coconut.

Option 1: cut into small half-inch pieces and toss with grated coconut.

Serving the cake

There are two ways to serve this cake:

Option 1

Cut the cake into small half-inch pieces, place in a mixing bowl, add the grated coconut, and toss to coat the cakes evenly.

Option 2

Cut the cake into 2-inch pieces, arrange them on a serving tray/platter, and sprinkle the top with grated coconut.

Option 1 is more suitable for daily snacking or informal gatherings, and option 2 is better when you want a lovelier presentation. The cassava cakes will be delicious regardless of how you present them.

Option 2: cut into small 2-inch pieces, arrange on a serving tray, and sprinkle the top with grated coconut.

Option 2: cut into small 2-inch pieces, arrange on a serving tray, and sprinkle the top with grated coconut.

Make a layered cassava cake

You can turn this cake into a three-layer cake, with a different color for each layer, typically red, green, and yellow (plain). We call this a kue lapis singkong (layered cassava cake).

I suggest going with a 6-inch round pan if you want to turn this into a layer cake. The layers will be too thin in an 8-inch round pan.

To make the layered look, divide the batter into three portions. Add a drop of red food coloring to one batter, add a drop of green food coloring to another batter, and leave the third batter plain.

Pour the first batter into the cake pan and steam for 15 minutes to get the first layer. Pour the second batter over the first layer and steam for another 15 minutes. Finally, pour the third portion to create the final layer and steam for 20 minutes.

Ongol-Ongol Singkong - Steamed Cassava Cake

5.0 from 1 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 50 mins

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 8

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • Cassava cake
  • 1 packet (1 lb/450 gram) frozen grated cassava, thawed
  • 7 gram (2 1/4 teaspoon) agar-agar powder
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 100 gram (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Coconut sprinkles
  • 200 gram freshly grated coconut (frozen is okay)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pandan leaves, knotted

Instructions

  • Cassava cake
    1. Prepare a steamer big enough to fit an 8-inch round pan. Fill the steamer pot with enough water for an hour of steaming, and start boiling the water while preparing the cake batter over medium heat.
    2. Stir grated cassava, coconut milk, vanilla, agar powder, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl until smooth. Pour the batter into the cake pan.
    3. Once the steamer is ready – the water is boiling, and there is plenty of steam – place the pan in the steamer and steam the cake for 50-60 minutes.
    4. Let the cake cool completely before cutting. I usually let it chilled in the fridge overnight since it makes cutting the cake easier.
  • Coconut sprinkles
    1. Mix grated coconut with salt in a steam-proof bowl, top with knotted pandan leave, and steam for 15 minutes.
  • To serve
    1. Option 1: Cut the cake into small half-inch pieces, place in a mixing bowl, add the grated coconut, and toss to coat the cakes evenly.
    2. Option 2: Cut the cake into 2-inch pieces, arrange them on a serving tray/platter, and sprinkle the top with grated coconut.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • Yulia Hanners Yulia Hanners says:

    Thanks for the recipe Anita! I made mine today with colors, it was delicious.

  • Mimi Mimi says:

    Anita, can I use the swallow brand agar instead of the agar powder?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Mimi, yes you can use 1 packet of swallow brand agar powder. :)

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