The cuisine of Honduras is a delightful fusion of Central American, Mesoamerican (Lenca), Spanish, Caribbean, African, and Garifuna cuisines; a product of its own roots and a marriage of cuisines that it came in historic or geographic proximity with. The dishes, whether savory or sweet, are rich in flavor and use ingredients that are locally grown or sourced. This month’s dish, Honduran Yucca cake, features some quintessential Honduran ingredients, including yucca (cassava) and coconut milk. Somewhat reminiscent of a tres leches cake in that this recipe also uses three kinds of “milk,” coconut, evaporated and condensed, the yucca cake is vastly different in texture and taste as it uses grated yucca as the “flour.” It is almost less cake and more like a bread (zucchini bread comes to mind), if you will. Extremely flavorful, due to the mix of spices used, and somewhat decadent, a slice of this cake would be perfect with coffee as an evening snack or as dessert.
While the traditional recipe used finely grated yucca, I tested this recipe by substituting a more accessible form of yucca, cassava flour. This no doubt changes the texture of the cake but it isn’t entirely a re-imagining of the traditional dish, just a more accessible version. If you have access to yucca root, you can use grated yucca in place of the cassava flour.
Honduran Yucca Cake
Serves: 8 or more
Cassava flour – 2 cups
Sugar – ½ cup
Ground cinnamon – ½ tsp
Ground nutmeg – 1/8 tsp
Salt – ¼ tsp
Eggs – 2
Coconut milk – 1 can (13.5 ounces)
Evaporated milk – 2/3 cup
Coffee – ½ cup
Vanilla extract – ½ tsp
Sweetened condensed milk
Baking pan- I used a springform pie pan but you can use 8 X 1 ½ inch round cake pan or if you want a taller cake, a 6X2 inch round cake pan.
Spray or butter to grease pan
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Grease your baking pan.
- Mix all dry ingredients.
- Mix all wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix to combine, ensuring that there are no lumps.
- Pour the batter into your greased pan.
- Bake at 350F for 20 – 30 minutes. Test doneness by inserting a knife/toothpick in the center. Knife/toothpick should be clean when you pull it out.
- Allow to cool completely.
- To serve, add desired amount of the sweetened condensed milk as a glaze and enjoy.
Recipe and photo credit: Vinola V. Munyon