Bebinca – Christmas Sweet

13 Dec

Its 2 weeks to Christmas and you can feel the excitement and expectations of the holidays. I wanted to share this recipe specially since everyone is looking for christmas sweet ideas and if you are looking for one, then Bebinca will definitely not disappoint.

Bebinca is a very popular Christmas sweet that you find in every households along with some more staple sweets made during the holidays in Goa. It’s a labor of love and patience but the end result of this beautifully multi-layer dessert made with coconut milk, eggs, flour, sugar, butter and nutmeg, is worth every bit of the effort. A similar named sweet made in the Philippines is called Bibingka and is made with rice flour, coconut milk, eggs, sugar and milk and is baked in a banana leaf.

Based on my recipe measurement you will need a round bake ware 9×4 pan. Please do not use the bottom pop out pan as I tried to put the batter in it thinking it would be easier to take outΒ  the Bebinca once’s done but the batter started to drip out of the pan as it is thinner than a cake batter.

Ingredients for Dark Brown color for half the batter (optional)


Caramel made to be added to half the batter for Bebinca for the layered look |Goan Imports

3 tbsp of sugar

4 1/2Β  tbsp of water.

* In a small sauce pan add the sugar and 1/2 tbsp of water. Let the sugar burn till it turns nice and dark brown.

* Take off heat add the remaining water into it carefully, stir till you get a nice dark liquid about 4 tbsp of it as shown above and keep aside.

Ingredients for Bebinca batter


Ingredients for Bebinca Christmas Dessert | Goan Imports

3 cans of coconut milk

2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour ( please do not use self-raising flour)

18 egg yolks

2 pinches of salt

1 stick of cold salted butter ( you will use about 2/3rd the amount)

1 1/2 tsp of nutmeg powder

3 tbsp of slivered almonds for garnishing (optional)

* Set oven to 375F degree. First sieve(sift) flour through a strainer to take off any lumps in it or dirt. Keep aside.

* In a nice large mixing bowl pour in the coconut milk, sugar and 2 pinches of salt and whisk it till the sugar is dissolved.

* Separate the yolks from the eggs and then gently add each yolk in to the mixture while gently whisking it.

* Once done add nutmeg powder and the flour slowly into the batter and whisk (I would recommend to do the whisking by hand unless otherwise).

*Divide the batter in two equal portions and add the 4 tbsp of caramelized sugar to one portion.

*Next apply a generous amount of cold butter to the bottom of the pan and pour in 1 cup of the dark batter in the pan. You will get 8 layers of this sweet from the batter.

* Bake the first layer for 20 minutesΒ  or till a toothpick comes out clean (varies on your oven) so please check. It has a tendency to puff up but do not worry as long as the top layer does not start to burn you have to keep a watchful eye. Take it out of the oven and switch your broiler to high or if you don’t have a temperature setting don’t worry you will have to keep an eye while baking.


Fist baked layer of Bebinca Christmas Sweet | Goan Imports

* Now rub again a generous amount of the cold butter all over the top of the first layer. Pour in 1 cup of the lighter batter and broil for 8 minutes till the 2nd layer is baked. Please keep a watchful eye as the layers are thin it can burn easily. But trust me all the work will be paid off once you take your first bite.

* Repeat the above steps 5 more times by alternating between the darker batter and lighter one. For the last layer which is the 8th layer you may have to combine the batter together for the last layer.

*Once the last layer is baked rub a little butter on the top layer. Let cool for 5-6 hours or overnight. Flip it over in a nice platter. You can decorate it with slivered almonds like I did. That is how my mum made it.


Bebinca Goan Christmas Sweet | Goan Imports

It can be kept in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks. when you are ready to serve a slice you can serve it cold or slightly warmed up in the microwave for a couple of seconds. Bebinca will be one of your most favorite Christmas sweets of all time.


Bebinca Christmas Sweets |Goan Imports

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35 Responses to “Bebinca – Christmas Sweet”

  1. The Editor December 14, 2013 at 4:20 am #

    Reblogged this on Recipe Reblog.

  2. theundergroundgourmet December 14, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    I have lots of Goan friends. I must ask them about this cake. Looks yummy.

    • Nandini December 15, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      It is really yummy :-). Yes there are a lot of Goans in Kenya and they speak Portuguese as well. We used to have exchange students from Kenya.

  3. firecook February 4, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    Thank you for liking a post.bYour recipe looks good:)

    • Nandini February 4, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

      Thank you Judith :-).

      • firecook February 4, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

        No problem. πŸ™‚ I love food

  4. The Weekend Baker March 19, 2014 at 6:55 am #

    Hi Nandini,

    Love your site. One half of my family is from Goa.
    I love bebinca but I don’t think I’ll ever have the patience to make it! Do you make perade too?

    • Nandini March 19, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

      Monica great to know that you have some Goan in you :-). Thanks for visiting my site. I do agree that Bebinca is a work of patience. I have’nt tried making perade yet. Its hard to find sweet gauvas where I live. Hopefully someday. Regards

      • Alba Fernandes May 19, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

        Hey Nandini. I tried the bebinca. I had to adjust the ingredients slightly the 2nd time and perfected it. Sugar 2-1/2 cups and flour 1-1/4 cup. It turned out really delicious and had an excellent texture after modifications.

        • Nandini May 19, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

          Hi Alba great to know you tried the recipe πŸ™‚

  5. celladoore June 14, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    Wow, these layers are perfect! It looks so delicious… Well done πŸ™‚

    • Nandini June 14, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

      Thank You! I appreciate your kind words πŸ™‚

  6. Msz Know-It-All August 4, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

    Omg, I love Bebinka. A friend and I discovered it in our first trip to Goa (back in 2008) and we were hooked. It’s that one item I ask someone to get for me, if I know they are going to Goa, and to find this recipe here is a Boon. I seriously caNNOT wait to make it soon.
    PS: your Chicken Xacuti is also in my diary; just the other day, a Goan friend of mine told me how to pronounce Xacuti and then I read it in your blog. Fun food facts I love πŸ™‚

    Thanks for coming by my blog. I am glad you did coz now I found your blog. Yippe, Goan food πŸ™‚

    • Nandini August 5, 2014 at 11:04 am #

      Awww….. I am so happy to know about your love for Goan foods. Makes me feel my work is worthwhile πŸ™‚ I too am happy we found each other.

  7. apples&cardamom November 8, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    This looks so good I pinned it so I can try this on the holidays. My father in law was born in Indonesia and they also had a spiced layer cake a bit similar, it also took many eggs! And they would take all day baking it as each layer was very thin, almost paper thin. I would never attempt that, my hats off to them! But I will try yours, I hope you can answer any question if I have any before I attempt making it. Your cake is very beautiful πŸ™‚

    • Nandini November 8, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

      That is so good to know. I have seen it on some blogs before. My uncle was a missionary priest in Timor for more then 50 years he died in 2000. Hopefully some day I will get to visit :-). And definitely if you ever need more information please do ask. I am not an expert but I will try my best πŸ™‚

      • Lina November 15, 2014 at 3:14 am #

        Hi Nandini,
        My husband is from Goa and this is his fav sweet, but unfortunately we dont get it where we live. I really want to make this for his for our anniversary coming up but I have a few questions….the recipe calls for 20mins of baking for the first layer, then broil till the upper layer darkens, then add the next layer and do we bake or broil the next 7 layers? And how long each. Is it 20 mins of baking then 8 mins of broiling for EACH layer, or just leave it on broil for all the next layers and keep for 8 mins each? It looks so yummy…I have only had it for our wedding and the layers didnt look as beautiful as yours! Ingenious idea!! Looking forward to your response!

        • Nandini November 15, 2014 at 7:24 am #

          Hi Lina,
          It’s so nice to hear from you and about you heritage. I am sure your husband will be definitely happy :-). With regards to the layer you have to keep a watchful eye as each oven heats differently based on your weather and humidity. So yes, the first layer you bake till it’s done. I would say check between 12-20 minutes. The next layers you just broil and that could vary based on the thickness of your layers. If it’s really thin then it would be done between 5-10 minutes. Also note Lina my desserts are not very sweet, if you do like it sweeter you can add more sugar. Hope this info helps. If you need more please ask πŸ™‚

          • Lina November 15, 2014 at 7:33 am #

            Thank you for such a timely and detailed response! Cant wait to try it!!

            • Nandini November 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

              You are welcome and do let me know how it goes πŸ™‚

  8. lisalabelle2014 December 11, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

    This sounds scrumptious…yummy.

    • Nandini December 12, 2014 at 6:16 am #

      It is Lisa, you got to try it some day πŸ™‚

  9. Linda Creation April 9, 2015 at 1:52 am #

    I cant nail dis beauty Nandu will try for sure after seeing ur beauty I m curving

  10. 1partingredient9partslove December 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    You have a great blog and some great recipes here…Thanks for stopping by😊

    • Nandini December 27, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

      Thank You and you are very welcome πŸ™‚

  11. Cimi Rodrigues E Ferrao December 20, 2016 at 8:36 am #

    Hi Nandini

    Im from originally from Goa. And now away from home. Wanted to make bebinca. It’s been a while searching for a good bebinca recipe which calls for coconut milk in ml as I dnt get coconuts here. I’m glad I found your recipe. Could you please help me in knowing about the coconut milk you used how much ml is one can? It’s 400ml or 165ml? I’ll wait for you reply. I’m waiting to try this recipe for Christmas

    • Nandini January 6, 2017 at 7:02 pm #

      Hi Cimi, Thank you so much for writing to me. I truly apologize for the late reply. The can I have are 400ml each. I hope you managed to make it for Christmas πŸ™‚ Happy New Years!

  12. Cimi Rodrigues E Ferrao December 26, 2016 at 3:04 pm #

    Hi Nandini

    Im from originally from Goa. And now away from home. Wanted to make bebinca. It’s been a while searching for a good bebinca recipe which calls for coconut milk in ml as I dnt get coconuts here. I’m glad I found your recipe. Could you please help me in knowing about the coconut milk you used how much ml is one can? It’s 400ml or 165ml? I’ll wait for you reply. I’m waiting to try this recipe for Christmas


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