Bebinca – Layered Goan Cake #ChristmasWeek #Freund

by Helene Dsouza on December 11, 2013

Welcome to Day #3 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th.

 Bebinca - Layered Goan Cake with Coconut milk

Today I am pleased to finally share one of the best cake/pudding/desserts from the small Indian Coastline state, Goa. They call it Bebinca – a spiced layered cake with Coconut milk. The first time I was introduced to this delicacy was of course around Christmas time in Goa. Folks here mostly prepare it during advent but since this sweet treat has gained massive popularity amongst the people in this world, local brands have been selling it also during the year.

That means that you can make it anytime in the year, you don’t have to limit yourself. However I believe specialties should never be over indulged. In fact the more you eat something the less valuable it will appear but on the other hand if you make it only once or twice a year for a special occasion, then Bebinca for example will turn into the most wanted treat for your family. I know we humans are strange that we have to trick our minds, but that’s how it is. ;)

Anyway… Bebinca can never be made egg-less. Egg yolks are what make the bebinca a bebinca. The separated egg whites can be used for another dish such as omelette poi or macaron and meringue cookies. Adding coconut milk to the dough gives the goan cake another typical tropical feeling. The ghee creates the perfectly baked layers and adds the certain flavor we all are looking for.

The spices such as Nutmeg and Cardamom complete the bebinca in such a way that when you take a bite of the soft layered goodness, you experience something like an aha-effect and also a complete flavor harmony.

 Bebinca - Layered Goan Cake with Coconut milk

Again, to experience that you will have to get up, go into the kitchen and whip up the liquid dough. To recreate a bebinca you don’t need to be a rocket scientist as long as you understand the layered baking principle by looking at the step by step pictures in the recipe, then you will realize that it is pretty simple, and of course as long as you keep an eye on the baking bebinca.

The layers are what make the cake (or is it a pudding?) all the more special. They give a certain je ne sait quoi one would expect from a French delicacy. In fact the person who invented bebinca should have been honored as a brilliant baker for having had such a great idea. I am not exaggerating!

The recipe was adapted from my mother in law’s recipe. Thank you!

4.7 from 6 reviews

Bebinca – Layered Goan Cake #ChristmasWeek #Freund
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Goan
Serves: 1 cake or 12 portions
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

  • 375 milliliter thick Coconut Milk (only do the first pressing)
  • 300 grams powdered Sugar
  • 10 Egg Yolks
  • 100 grams white flour (all purpose)
  • 1½ Teaspoon grated Nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon Cardamom powder
  • clarified butter (ghee)
  1. In a mixing bowl add the coconut milk and sugar. Whisk well until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bebinca - Layered Goan Cake with Coconut milk
  2. Separate the eggs and place the yolks into a mixing bowl. Whisk them and then slowly pour and whisk the yolks into the coconut milk sugar mixture. Bebinca - Layered Goan Cake with Coconut milk
  3. Sieve your flour into the coconut milk batter and add the grated nutmeg and cardamom powder as well. Whisk the whole content to a smooth crepes like batter consistency without lumps. Bebinca - Layered Goan Cake with Coconut milk Bebinca - Layered Goan Cake with Coconut milk
  4. Grab a square or round pan (I prefer square, size of 9.5 inch length x 5 inch breadth and 2 inch deep) and add 1 tablespoon of clarified butter. Place it into the oven for a minute so that the clarified butter melts. Take out and pour about 2½ ladles into the pan. Allow it to spread evenly. Bebinca - Layered Goan Cake with Coconut milk
  5. Place into the oven and select the grill mode (not all round heat but heat from top to down) and allow it to cook for 18 minutes or until you can see the top all brown and hard. Your oven might require more or less time so keep an eye on it!
  6. Take it out again and spread ½ Tablespoon clarified butter all over the last layer. Then again pour in 2½ ladles full of batter and keep under the grill in the oven until it gets dark and hard (about 18 minutes). Repeat the ½ Tablespoon clarified butter and 2½ ladles of batter each time until you have used all the batter. You should be having 5-6 layers at the end. Bebinca - Layered Goan Cake with Coconut milk Bebinca - Layered Goan Cake with Coconut milk
  7. Remember to keep an eye on your cake so that it doesn’t over cook or under cook!
  8. Once the last layer has cooked add ½ Tablespoon of clarified butter and let it cool.
  9. Once cooled, carefuly detach the borders of the cake from the mold with a knife and topple the cake carefully over.
  10. To serve cut thin slices and enjoy.

 Bebinca - Layered Goan Cake with Coconut milk

Today’s #ChristmasWeek giveaway comes courtesy of Freund Container & Supply. Freund Container & Supply has been helping build businesses since 1938 as the largest distributor of glass bottles, containers, and wholesale packaging supplies online. Freund offers over 5,000 items in stock every day, 98% same day shipping, and low-price guarantees. Take a look at Freund’s wide selection of jars, tins, bottles and vials for all your crafting and food related needs! To enter to win one of FIVE different Freund gift certificates, read the details and use the Rafflecopter below!


***This giveaway is for five (individually awarded) $100 gift certificates to Freund Container & Supply. Gift certificate is a one-time use certificate and must be used in its entirety; any leftover monies on the gift certificate will be forfeited. This giveaway is open to both US and Canadian residents. However, it should be noted that due to current International shipping rates, any Canadian winners will pay higher shipping costs for orders. ***

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***Disclaimer: This giveaway is being provided by Freund Container & Supply. #ChristmasWeek bloggers have not received product or been compensated as a part of this giveaway.***

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I am Helene, the author behind Masala Herb! My aim is to show you an incredible world full of surprises. Food, Culture and Travel are my forte and that's what I enjoy. Follow my Food and Travel adventures and learn some incredible things! Now in the beautifull Indian coastline state, Goa.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }


A wonderful cake! I’m sure it tastes divine.




Jen @JuanitasCocina

What a beautiful cake! I know I’d love the flavors!

Happy day #3!
Jen @JuanitasCocina recently posted..#ChristmasWeek Day 3 with a #Freund Gift Certificate #Giveaway!My Profile


John@Kitchen Riffs

This is a new dish to me – sounds totally delightful. Really great flavors – thanks so much for this.
John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted..The French 75 CocktailMy Profile



I’ve been stumbling around via Pinterest, finding great food blogs like yours for a while now, and I’m glad to have found this one in particular! I love finding new sweets recipes like this cake.
I never win the giveaways, but I’d love to win this one, I’d buy clear glass bottles for my Kombucha!


Shashi @

Wow – this cake looks delish! Growing up my parents made a traditional Sri Lankan Christmas cake – it was so rich and so good! But if it had been made all the time, it would have lost its appeal for sure – just like you said.
Thanks for sharing this!
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Two of the places I’ve lived, Brazil and Malaysia, also have a similar dessert. I wonder if it’s the Portuguese influence. Your bebinca looks wonderful, Helene! Bet your mother-in-law is proud!


Dionne Baldwin

I really appreciate the step by step photos! I have never tried bebinca before but I definitely agree about keeping things special. Eating in season, saving holiday treats for the holidays is what makes it special. If we had this every day, it would be ordinary and not a treat. Well, this may never be ordinary! I am so very curious to try this. Thank you for making this a part of Christmas Week!
Dionne Baldwin recently posted..Collapsidie Cookies for #ChristmasWeek #FreundMy Profile



I have had something like this before, can’t remember when now but I really liked it, so different and so good.


The Ninja Baker

Mmm. I am so very intrigued, Helene. Love a slice of the cake / pudding…Undoubtedly the cardamom, nutmeg and coconut make for a delicious marriage!

P.s. How very wonderful that you’ve inherited your mother-in-law’s recipe. I presume this is an honor and a sign of deep love <3



Awww I LOVE bebinca! I will have to give it a go!! Thanks for sharing this Helene! :-)
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Wow, this is one gorgeous presentation, Helene! It looks like a perfect cake for the holidays.
Liz recently posted..Layered Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge #ChristmasWeek #FreundMy Profile


Aimee @ See Aimee Cook

That is gorgeous! I’ve never had anything like that before – it looks wonderful.
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Joanne T Ferguson

G’day Helene and thank you for allowing me to learn something new, true!
I had never heard of this dish before and looks lovely too!
Cheers! Joanne
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Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

This is so cool that it’s cooked one layer on top of the other and under the grill. Brilliant. I’m trying to imagine the flavors. :)
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted..ShortbreadMy Profile



Thank you for posting this family recipe. I love Bebinca and your method is very similar to mine. I would like to ask a few questions and have some suggestions.
Why powdered sugar instead of regular sugar? Maybe your mum-in-law has the answer.
Out here in the US, we have different kinds of ovens. The grill you mention is known as a broiler. The placement of the bebinca pan height to the broiler element is critical to making perfect even layers. I have found that purchasing an oven thermometer does the trick. Adjust the grill rack so that the thermometer reads 350 deg celsius. If your broiler has two settings, high and low, the low setting is the one to use. The high setting outputs 400 deg celsius. During broiling, you’ll see the batter puff up. Don’t panic, the low broil setting cycles the broiler on and off. During the off cycle, the batter loses it’s puffiness ans settles down to an even layer.
Another trick is to use marked measuring cup, so that the poured batter is of consistent quantity.
Hope this helps! I’m looking forward to many more great recipes from your blog.



Big Error! deg celsius should be corrected to deg Farenheit. Ever since I’ve lived in the US, I mistakenly confuse the metric measurements with the American (english) ones.


Eva Taylor

Hi Helene, this cake sounds very much like the Indonesian cake I made last year and I am very intrigued by these unusual recipes. As luck would have it, I have about 12 egg yolks in my fridge from baking I had to do for a photo shoot, this would be a lovely recipe to use it up in.
For some odd reason, I am unable to rate the recipe for more than three stars!
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Kim Beaulieu

I’m speechless. This is just gorgeous Helene. I am always in awe of your recipes.

So happy you joined us this week.
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I love this cake… great flavors. :)
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I absolutely love Bebinca. I first had it when a Goan colleague brought it to office post Christmas. I find it irresistible yet I avoid eating it coz it is so rich!
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