Yema cake is a traditional Filipino cake recipe that many Filipinos can boast about. This sweet and delectable cake is very popular all over the country. Many Filipinos fall in line whenever yema cake is served on the table to get a piece of it off the sweet Filipino dish. I had a sudden craving for yema cake and since it’s my day off, today’s the day we’ll dive the pantry and bake a yema an easy yema cake recipe.
But first off, let’s take a closer look at yema. Yema alone is a popular sweet candy-like treat that both Filipino kids and adults love. Yema actually means egg yolk in Spanish but here in the Philippines, yema is popularly known as the candy-like sweet mentioned above.
It’s probably called yema because, in essence, it’s a custard candy made up of egg yolk and condensed milk that’s cooked over low heat until the mixture is thickened. This sweet hardened mixture either shaped into pyramids or balls and wrapped to be sold to excited kids and adults.
Yema cake is basically a chiffon cake with yema icing on all over. Some bakers add delicious grated cheese on top and nuts on the side to give it another layer of flavor and texture. Talk about leveling up your favorite treat. This dessert can be found in bakeries and restaurants with the fluffy chiffon and the yema that melts in your mouth being the perfect combination for a dessert after a meal.
Like many kids, I practically devoured any yema that I come across and was very delighted when I discovered that it has a jumbo version in the form of the yema cake. I always wanted to bake my own and so as not to rely heavily on purchasing them from various restaurants which are still delicious mind you.
So going through the internet, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it’s relatively easy to bake yema cake, but like any form of baking can be time-consuming. However, if you’re familiar with the basics of baking, you’re guaranteed to get good results! Once you’re used to the process, you can play with the recipes and can make different versions of the cake as long as you follow the fundamentals of the recipe.
Now the ingredients for baking a yema cake vary, but we’ll be using the basics. The list of the ingredients can be considered long so if you’re missing some in your pantry, take a trip to the grocery store first to complete everything you need. I sure did.
I’ll separate the list of the ingredients for the cake and the yema filling or icing. The cake first, we’ll need 50 g of butter, 250 g of cheese cream, 110 ml of milk, 60 g of all-purpose flour, 20 g of cornstarch, 6 egg yolks (yema in Spanish), 6 egg whites, 140 g of sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, ¼ tsp of cream of tartar, 1 tsp of calamansi juice (you can use lemon if you prefer), ¼ tsp of salt, and an optional 1 vanilla pod.
For the ingredients of the yema filling or icing, we’ll need 2 cans of condensed milk, 6 egg yolk, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, ½ tsp of almond extract, ¼ cup of butter, and ½ cup of grated cheese.
That’s all we need! Side note: choose the best-colored egg to use in this recipe as the color of the yema filling or icing can be affected by the color of the egg you’ll use. But if you’re someone who doesn’t really care about the color, the color of the egg is nothing to consider as the taste of the yema won’t be affected.
Now for the preparation of the batter and the yema filling and icing. First, the batter. In a small pan over simmering water, melt together cream cheese, butter, and milk. If you’re using the option vanilla pod, scrape the beans from the vanilla pod first before adding to the pan. Once the mixture is melted, take off the pan and let it cool to room temperature. In a mixture, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks. Lastly, add in the lemon juice. Set these aside.
In a separate bowl, mix egg whites and cream of tartar until it’s foamy or frothy in its consistency, then add vanilla and gradually add sugar until stiff peaks form. Then fold in egg whites to the cream cheese mixture, just make sure everything is well combined.
Now you have the batter! Pour it into a 8-inch round pan and cover it with parchment paper. Bake the cake in a water bath for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until done at 325F.
While the batter is in the oven, it’s time to make the yema filling or icing. Open two pans of condensed milk and pour it over a pan. Add in egg yolks, and cook in low heat. Next, add in vanilla and almond extract. Keep it over low heat until it’s thickened enough to spread then add in butter.
After you’ve taken the cake out of the oven, let it cooled down, and prepared the yema filling or icing, it’s now time to assemble the yema cake. Divide the cake into two by cutting it horizontally in the middle. Add the filling on top of the first half and cover with the other. Cover the entire thing with yema icing and top with grated cheese.
We now have yema cake! Enjoy.
Easy Yema Cake Recipe
- For the cake:
- 50 g butter
- 250 g cream cheese
- 110 ml milk
- 1 vanilla pod optional
- 60 g all purpose flour
- 20 g cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 tsp calamansi or lemon juice
- 6 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 140 g sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the filling or icing
- 2 cans condensed milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup grated cheese
- In a small pan over simmering water, melt together cream cheese, butter and milk. If you opt to use vanilla beans, scrape the beans from the vanilla pod and add it to the pan. Once melted, cool to room temp. Using a mixer, add in flour, cornstarch, salt. Then add in egg yolks and lastly the lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy (or frothy). Add in vanilla then gradually add sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in the egg whites to the cream cheese mixture. Make sure everything is well combined.
- Pour batter into an 8-inch round cake pan covered with parchment paper. Bake the cake in a water bath for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until done at 325F.
- To make the icing, open two cans of condensed milk and pour it over a pan. Add in egg yolks and cook in low heat. Add in vanilla and almond extract. Cook until it thickens enough to spread. Add in butter.
- To assemble the Yema Cake, divide cake into two. Add the filling then cover it with the other half of the cake. Cover the rest of the cake with icing. Top with grated cheese.