Bibikkan – Sri Lankan Coconut Cake

The queen of Christmas coconut treats is undoubtedly bibikkan, a rich, dark moist cake made of shredded coconut, jaggery and semolina that drives the sweet tooth wild. Bibikkan takes pride of place alongside other loved seasonal preparations such as Dutch Breudher and Poffertjes.

Its lavish assortment of ingredients include grated jaggery or treacle, melted in a little water, heated, then cooled and mixed into a batter with roasted semolina. Chopped dates, winter melon and ginger preserve, candied peel and cashew nuts are added to it, along with crushed fennel, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and a dash of salt. A beaten egg is folded in before the mixture is popped into the oven. The ingredients give this cake a delectably moist chewiness not replicated in the rest of the season’s spread of fruity sweetmeats; not even the glorious Christmas cake.

No one is certain where Bibikkan came from. Some say it originated from the country’s coastal areas where the Portuguese who colonised the island in 1505, stayed till 1658. They give all credit to the Portuguese. Locally, Bibikkan was once known as ‘poranu appa’, a traditional baked bread, alluding to indigenous beginnings. Today, it is also known as ‘pol’ or coconut cake.

Little is known about how this delicious coconut cake came to be called Bibikkan, although the name echoes Bibingkang, a rice flour cake made with coconut milk and, sometimes, grated coconut, traditionally served near churches in the Philippines on Christmas Day.

One can only imagine how the island’s wealth of ingredients inspired a creative cook to experiment with various combinations of local ingredients, like the local palm treacle, grated coconut, dry fruit and spices, until the humble rice flour cake metamorphosed into the queenly Bibikkan, a perfect dusky brown slab of luscious cake that was so irresistible, it became one of Sri Lanka’s very own festive offerings, more textured than Christmas cake, sweet but not overpoweringly so, and fragrant with spices. Bibikkan is infrequent, only making an appearance on festive and religious occasions like New Year’s night and Sinhala and Tamil New Year. And of course, Christmas. The long wait for this delicious indulgence makes it all the more desirable.

Bibikkan - Sri Lankan Coconut Cake

The queen of Christmas coconut treats is undoubtedly bibikkan, a rich, dark moist cake made of shredded coconut, jaggery and semolina that drives the sweet tooth wild. Bibikkan takes pride of place alongside other loved seasonal preparations such as Dutch Breudher and Poffertjes.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Course: Cakes
Cuisine: Sri Lankan
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 199kcal
Author: The Cook

Ingredients

  • 225 g jaggery
  • 225 g coconut
  • 50 g semolina
  • 100 g dates
  • ½ teaspoon fennel
  • 1 cardamom
  • 50 g winter melon preserves
  • 25 g ginger preserves
  • 25 g candied peel
  • 50 g cashew nuts
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  • Grate the jaggery and coconut, dry roast the semolina and stone and chop the dates.
  • Roast and crush the fennel and crush the cardamom. Chop the winter melon preserve, the ginger preserve, the candied peel and the cashew nuts.
  • Dissolve the jaggery in 375 ml water in a pan, add the coconut and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Cool the mixture and then stir in the semolina, dates, fennel, cardamom, winter melon preserve, ginger preserve, candied peel, cashew nuts, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • Separate the egg and beat the white and yolk separately. Fold into the cake mixture and pour into a buttered baking tray. Bake in a moderate oven <em>(160°C )</em> for 1½ hours.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 29.72g | Protein: 2.96g | Fat: 9.04g | Saturated Fat: 6.123g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.05g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 2.9g | Sugar: 22.24g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 0mg

 

Post QR

Tell Us What You Think

Permanent link to this article: https://aussietaste.com.au/cakes-2/bibikkan-sri-lankan-coconut-cake/

Alternative Comment Form

avatar

  
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Send this to a friend

Hi There - We notice that you have an ad-blocker
Plenty of visitors do. All we ask is that you please consider sharing us or commenting on the post as a nice gesture.
Thank you for visiting The Taste of Aussie
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
OR
Simple.
This is Photoshop's version of Lorem Ipsum. Proin gravida nibh vel velit auctor aliquet. Aenean sollicitudin, lorem quis bibendum auctor, nisi elit consequat ipsum.
2018 (C) All rights reserved.
{loginbox-username}
{loginbox-password}
{loginbox-remember}
{loginbox-submit}
Enter Your Details
Remember Me
Got Freebies?
Designer? Try our weekly freebies pack! Subscribe now and we will send you this week’s pack immediately.
Your Email
2016 (С) All rights reserved.
Enter Your Account
{loginbox-username}
{loginbox-password}
{loginbox-remember}
Remember Me
{loginbox-submit}
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY
Just one step to success!
Don't Miss Out!
Stay in touch with us by receiving our monthly newsletter of new recipes and related food posts.
Aussie Taste
Recipe Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up with our latest recipes and cooking information.