Wingko Babat – Gluten Free Coconut Cake

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Wingko Babat is Indonesian traditional gluten free dairy free coconut cake. It has been popular snack through many generations. It is a combination of sweet and salty coconut in one piece.

traditional coconut cake wingko babat

Indonesian has this famous traditional coconut cake which is gluten free. I have always loved coconut, so this is just my favorite traditional snack.

What is Wingko Babat (Gluten Free Coconut Cake)?

Indonesian traditional gluten free coconut cake or wingko is a combination of shredded coconut mixed with coconut milk and glutinous rice flour fried on a pan. It was first produced in Java therefore it is one of many Javanese cuisine.

Its shape is round and flat, usually wrapped with paper and sold in cities in Central Java near bus or train stations as local cuisine.

Origin of Wingko Babat

The first wingko or traditional gluten free coconut cake was made in Babat, a small district in Lamongan, East Java. (1) It dated back during Dutch colonial period in 1904. Its name was wiwingka or bibika, and also wingko.

Even though Babat is a small town, many wingko factories employed a lot of workers. The factories contributed a great deal to the economy of the small town. And the name wingko babat is famous until now.

How is This Gluten Free?

The main ingredient in wingko is freshly shredded coconut, coconut milk, and glutinous rice flour. Glutinous rice flour is what makes this cake a sticky cake.

Even though the name has the word gluten, it is gluten free. It is called glutinous because it makes the end product sticky without containing gluten. (2)

So, even though this cake uses glutinous rice flour, it is considered gluten-free.

My Version of Wingko (Gluten Free Coconut Cake)

I found that the original traditional coconut cake from Babat too hard. Well, the first time you bought it, it may not be too hard. But after a day or two, it becomes hard and dry. The size is also very small and thin with black crust sometimes.

Since I love this coconut cake very much, I created my own version with egg and cheese. The cake become less hard, even fluffy after I add 1 egg to the recipe. Cheese adds an extra flavor the the whole cake.

Next, the sweetness of the original wingko has been a big problem for me! It’s too sweet. I have tried several other wingkos from different factories. They are all super sweet!

I put much less sugar in this recipe and I add salt and cheese to balance the sweetness.

Trust me! After you try this coconut cake recipe, you will want to have more!

Ingredients

Shredded Coconut

Try to get freshly shredded coconut as much as you can. Of course you can use dried coconut, if you can’t find the freshly shredded ones. But the taste will be different. The freshly shredded coconut creates a moist texture in the coconut cake.

The downside is it gets stale pretty fast. These cakes can only last 3-4 days at the most. The hotter the weather, the faster it gets stale. It is because it uses coconut milk and freshly shredded coconut.

Pandan Leaves

If you can’t find pandan leaves near your area, you can skip this or just use pandan essence (extract). Try to find pandan essence with no coloring. Otherwise your cake will turn green.

Pandan leaves are easy to grow in any weather. It can be useful if you like cooking Asian food, especially the South East Asia countries. Most recipes use pandan leaves. They smell wonderful.

When you steam freshly shredded coconut with pandan leaves, it helps give the coconut aroma.

Coconut Milk

You can use instant coconut milk that is sold in cartons or cans. If you want to use the fresh coconut milk, it is okay.

Glutinous Rice Flour

There are many brands you can use. I usually use Erawan brand since it is easily purchased here.

Cheese

I add cheese to give the wingko more flavor. If you don’t like cheese, you can skip this.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract is optional. You can skip this. If you love vanilla smell in your cake, please do add this.

Wingko Babat Recipe

  • 330 gr freshly shredded coconut
  • 2 pcs pandan leaves
  • 150 gr coconut milk
  • 2 gr salt
  • 1 pc pandan leaf
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 150 gr glutinous rice flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 sdt vanilla extract (optional)
  • 100 gr cheese

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Steam the freshly shredded coconut with 2 pandan leaves with high heat for 15-20 minutes. If you use dried coconut, you don’t have to steam it.
  2. I myself have never used dried coconut for this cake. I highly recommend you use freshly shredded coconut for this recipe. Not only will it give your cake moist texture, but also it will make your cake full.

gluten free coconut cake wingko babat
Shredded coconut and pandan leaves
  1. Pour the coconut milk in a pot with pandan leaf. Let it simmer. Put in the sugar and salt. Stir well until the sugar dissolves.
  2. In a big bowl, pour in the steamed coconut, glutinous rice flour, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix well using a spatula. Pour in the coconut milk mixture. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Preheat the dorayaki pan. Brush some butter in each hole. Pour 1-2 tablespoon of the dough into the hole, try to fill it to the brim.

dorayaki pan gluten free coconut cake wingko babat
Dorayaki pan
  1. Cover with the lid. Let it fry for about 10 minutes or until the cake is dry enough at the bottom and is okay to flip. The cooking time might differ due to the thickness of the pan.
  2. You can adjust the stove and check each side. Do not leave it unattended as it can burn.
flip wingko babat
After 10 minutes, you can check the other side.
  1. Flip the cake. If both sides are dry, let it cook until the color is golden brown. They are ready to eat.
golden brown wingko babat
Both sides are golden brown
  1. Take them off the pan and leave them on a cooling rack. Let them cool down completely. Wrap each one of them with paper or cookie bag.

This coconut cake is a perfect choice for a gift. It is easy to make and very delicious. You can see the texture of the cake is soft inside and a little crispy on the outside.

gluten free coconut cake

Tips and Trick

  • I highly recommend you use freshly shredded coconut. Steam it with pandan leaves for 15 minutes.

  • The mixing process of the whole ingredients are not strict. You can mix all ingredients all at once and stir them all with a spatula. This is a fail-proof recipe, so don’t worry.

  • You need to pay attention in frying the cake with a dorayaki pan. Do not forget to brush some butter in each hole. And brush some butter on each side of the cake. You can use salted butter or unsalted butter.

  • If you don’t have dorayaki pan, you can just use a normal pan for frying. The downside is just the shape may not be the same or may not be perfect round. The result will be the same anyway.

  • Do not leave the frying process unattended. Flip to check if the coconut cake is golden brown enough or not. This is to your liking. If you like it a little bit crusty, you can leave it longer on each side.

Storage and Reheating

If there are some leftover, you can store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Make sure each piece is wrapped individually.

Reheating is very easy. You can heat it in a microwave or on a pan for a few minutes.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Is Wingko Babat the same as coconut cake?

A: Wingko Babat is different from the regular coconut cake found globally. This is a simple rich coconut cake with glutinous rice flour.

Q: How long can you store Wingko Babat?

A: Freshly made Wingko Babat is best consumed within 1-2 days when stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place. However, if refrigerated in an airtight container, it can last up to a week.

Q: Can you freeze Wingko Babat?

A: Yes, Wingko Babat can be frozen for longer storage, up to a month. It’s advised to wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container to retain freshness.

Q: Can I use desiccated coconut instead of fresh coconut?

A: While fresh coconut is traditionally used and offers a moist texture, desiccated coconut can be a substitute. If using desiccated coconut, spray some water and steam it to hydrate it.

Q: Is it suitable for vegans and vegetarians?

A: Traditional Wingko Babat recipes are typically vegetarian. However, vegans need to omit the egg. The recipe mentioned above is still good without egg.

Conclusion

Wingko Babat is a gluten free coconut cake from Indonesia. It is a traditional snack that has been passed down through so many generations.

It has become a culinary iconic item served as souvenir. Whether you are a chef or a beginner in the kitchen wanting to try this recipe, it is really worth it.

It is easy, fail-proof and the method for cooking is just like a regular pancake. Follow the steps mentioned above, you will get a wonderful delicacy at home.

If you like Asian traditional snack, you should also check this purple yam steamed cake or if you like coconut you can try coconut kaya spread recipe.

Please share this gluten free dairy free coconut cake recipe to your friends if you like it, or try it, please leave a comment or tag me in my Instagram.

traditional coconut cake

GLUTEN FREE INDONESIAN TRADITIONAL COCONUT CAKE (WINGKO)

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This is the recipe for Indonesian traditional coconut cake! It is very easy to make and very delicious! The good thing is it is gluten free!

Ingredients

  • 330 gr freshly shredded coconut
  • 2 pandan leaves

Coconut milk mixture

  • 150 gr coconut milk
  • 2 gr salt
  • 1 pandan leaf
  • 100 gr sugar

Other ingredients

  • 150 gr glutinous flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 100 gr grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Steam freshely shredded coconut with 2 pandan leaves for 15 minutes. (high heat)
  2. Pour coconut milk and 1 pandan leaf into a pot and cook until simmer.
  3. Pour in sugar and salt. Stir while it is still hot and let the sugar dissolve thoroughly.
  4. Put the steamed shredded coconut in a big bowl. Put in egg, glutinous flour, vanilla extract and coconut mixture. Mix well thoroughly.
  5. Preheat the pancake pan, brush some oil or butter.
  6. Spoon the dough into the each hole, filling the hole to the brim.
  7. Cover with the lid. Let them cook for 10 minutes or until you can see the bottom is no longer wet and you can turn it upside down.
  8. Fry the cake until both sides are golden brown. You can brush both sides with butter or salted butter.
  9. Once they are done, let them cool completely on a cooling rack. Pack each one of them with a plastic bag.
  10. Enjoy within 2 days.

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