Bibingka: A Cheerful Bite of Christmas at Home

Paskong Easy Sarap: How to Make Bibingka at Home

Vibrant decors are put up as early as September, twinkling lights line the streets at night, nostalgic music plays in both public and private places — there really is nothing like pinoy Christmas. And what makes Christmas pinoy are the traditions we practice during the season. In this feature, learn about one Christmas tradition that you can always enjoy at home, especially during this time with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bibingka & Simbang Gabi: Christmas Traditions Explained

Ever wonder why bibingka (and puto bumbong) are well-associated with the Christmas season? Why is it the top of mind snack after Simbang Gabi

Having bibingka after Simbang Gabi or in the early hours of the morning dates back to the Spanish colonial period when friars introduced Simbang Gabi, a nine-day-set of masses held at dawn where it is believed that anything prayed for would be granted. The schedule of the masses is thought to be set at around 3 a.m. and 5 a.m so that farmers could attend before diving into tending for their crops. To prepare for their long day at the farm, bibingka and puto bumbong became the farmers’ go-to carbo-load snack after each Simbang Gabi mass. 

Through the years, more and more joined in on the practice and to this day, bibingka and puto bumbong sticks as early morning treats after attending mass. 

Traditionally, bibingka is made with glutinous rice (galapong) soaked overnight in water or coconut milk. This is then processed into a thick paste, and mixed with eggs and milk before being cooked. The freshly-cooked bibingka is then wrapped in a strip of banana leaf for extra aroma. 

Bibingka at Home

While times may be different and practicing traditions such as attending Simbang Gabi are put on pause, having the savory-sweet goodness of bibingka at home is always possible. Check out these paskong easy sarap recipes.  

Classic Bibingka 

INGREDIENTS

Makes 6 servings / rice cakes

  • 1 cup rice flour (non-glutinous) 
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup sugar (granulated if available)
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt 
  • 6 Tbsps. cheese, grated
  • 1 salted egg, cut into 6 slices
  • 1 banana leaf + jumbo muffin molds
  • Non-stick spray

For garnish:

  • Melted butter
  • Extra grated cheese
  • Shredded coconut
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Use the top of a small bowl as a guide for cutting out 6 circles (5.5 to 6 inches in diameter) from the banana leaf. Line the round cutouts into jumbo muffin molds. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients: rice flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients together: coconut milk, melted butter and egg. Then pour wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients. Whisk until the batter becomes smooth and runny. 
  3. Divide the batter evenly among molds and bake for 10 minutes. 
  4. Remove bibingka from the oven and top each with a slice of salted egg and a tablespoon of grated cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Use a toothpick to check if the center comes out clean.
  5. Brush with melted butter and garnish with coconut and cheese before serving. 

NOTE: If you’re not using a banana leaf, you can use a 6-cup muffin pan.

Cornbread Bibingka

INGREDIENTS

Makes 12 servings

  • 1 can (425g) Mega Prime Cream Style Corn
  • 1 cup rice flour (non-glutinous)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 can (400mL) coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt

For the topping: 

  • Unsalted butter, melted
  • Sugar (granulated if available)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan. Make sure to cover the bottom, as well as the sides.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: rice flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until they’re fluffy. Add in sugar and melted butter. Don’t stop whisking until the mixture becomes foamy.
  3. Combine dry ingredients with coconut milk, then add to the egg mixture. Mix thoroughly before adding in Mega Prime Cream Style Corn.
  4. Transfer batter into the greased pan, then bake for 30-40 minutes or until browned. Use a toothpick to check if the center comes out clean.
  5. Once ready, remove your bibingka from the oven. Lightly brush a layer of melted butter on top, and sprinkle with sugar. Return bibingka back into the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes. 
  6. Let your bibingka cool down before cutting into squares and serving.

Mega Prime products are available online via Megamart, Shopee, Lazada, and in Robinsons, Puregold and other leading supermarkets and groceries nationwide! Catch more #EverydayEasySarap Christmas recipes.

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