Ambon Binka Honeycomb Cake

I have tried making Ambon Binka countless times. None had great success. This holiday mold came just in time for Christmas. I thought why not give it a try again? Much better. Can’t get enough chewiness out of mini cakelets however. Will try again in a larger square pan next time.



  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp warm water ~ 100 degrees F

Coconut milk mixture

  • 350ml coconut milk
  • 180g granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp tumeric powder
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves, cut into strips
  • 2 stalks lemongrass


  • 180g tapioca starch
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten



  1. Prepare the warm water, make sure it is around 110 degrees F. The yeast needs to be at the right temperature. Too hot or too cold will not activate the yeast.
  2. Mix all ingredients for the starter in a bowl.
  3. Cover and let it rests for 15 minutes until it doubles in size and foamy.
  4. Note: If starter does not become foamy, get new yeast and startover.

Coconut milk mixture

  1. Place the coconut milk, sugar, turmeric powder, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass in a sauce pan.
  2. Cook on low heat until sugar melts and the mixture is warm, about 110 degrees F. Do not let the coconut milk boil.
  3. Remove from heat. If you overheated the coconut milk, let it cool back down to 110 degree F before proceeding with next steps.


  • Sift tapioca starch with salt in a large bowl
  • Whisk in the beaten eggs to combine.
  • Stir in the coconut milk mixture until blended.
  • Finally whisk in the starter to combine.


  • Cover the batter and let it rest in a warm place for 5 hours. Use the proof setting (100 degrees F) of your oven and leave the covered batter in the oven if you can.


  • Remove batter from the oven if you let it rest in it. Preheat oven to 330 degrees F.
  • Grease your empty baking pan. You can use a 7 inch square pan or other baking pan with similar capacity. If using a square or round pan, line the bottom with parchment paper for easy relase of the cake. I used holiday baking moulds this time since I am baking them for a holiday get-together.
  • Put your empty baking pan on top of another baking sheet and put it in the oven to preheat it.
  • When the pans are heated, give the batter a really good stir, scraping the bottom to lift the tapioca starch that has settled to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Pour the batter inside the preheated pan and place it on the middle rack and bake for about an hour until the top of the cake is light golden brown. If using small baking moulds, start watching closely towards the last 10 minutes; it requires lesser baking time. The top of the cake should be dry and springs back when touched. Add baking time in 5-minute increments if needed.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the bottom of the pan and increase the oven temperature to 350 degree F (180 C)  in convection mode or low broiling setting. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until the toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and top is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.


  • Run a plastic knife around the edges to loosen the cake and you can gently peel the cake off the pan. For small baking moulds, press down the sides to separate the cake from the edges of the mould.


  • Slice the cake with an oiled knife to desired size. Serve with hot Chinese tea.
  • Store in the refrigerator and reheat in microwave or steamer before serving.
The fragrance
The starter just after mixing
After 15 minutes, the starter is foamy
Heat the coconut milk mixture to 110 F. Do not overheat.
Crack 6 large eggs and stir into tapioca flour and salt
Add starter to the coconut batter mixture and stir to combine
Cover and rest in oven at Proof setting for at least 4 hours
Stir batter at the end of proofing and laddle into baking molds. Do not fill to the rim as cake will rise when baking
Done baking. Cool completely in pan.
Unmold and ready to serve
Yum. Will try baking it in a larger pan next time.

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