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bibinkga (and key lime pie) — grub’s ninth birthday!

the big man is bigger ::::

Just like last year, Grub requested a key lime pie for his birthday. I don’t need to post the recipe again this year — there is no way to better the recipe I already have in his eyes — so I gussied up this post with my piña colada side: bibinkga.

Bibinkga is a glutinuous rice based coconut cake from the Philippines. The rice is soaked and fermented overnight with palm wine or yeast, then ground to a paste. When cooked, the fermentation gives a distinct sour taste to the crust.

However (that’s a huge however), this recipe does not do ANY of that. The recipe below takes advantage of most white American baking pantry ingredients, using all-purpose flour.  This recipe was recommended by a Facebook friend cookie artist extraordinaire who happens to be Filipino so I didn’t go out of my way to find a rice-based recipe to try. It’s a crispier version and modified to use less sugar — sweetened shredded coconut here would make my teeth ache. These basically present as bar cookies, too. (Vehicle to put key lime pie onto? Then stuff into mouth like a dense piña colada?)

In addition to a fabulous key lime pie, Grub asked to take a small group of buddies to Six Flags in lieu of a party. Pies already made, we braved the 90+ degree heat traipsing around the park this birthday weekend. We managed to not hit too many long lines but the unrelenting humid heat finally got us in the end. I limited the Six Flags part of the party to three hours partly because I expected we’d wilt like this.

Grub and I watched the other friends (and Eat and another friend’s dad) on this rollercoaster before Grub hopped onto the “more scary and longer” one:

He headed home for birthday pie…and forgot about the bibingka until later.

Bibinkga is extra sweet, just like Grub. He still gives me hugs and rubs his face into my belly. He is smart and clever: it’s fun to talk about schoolwork with him because he enjoys explaining things he learns and wants to understand more. He is a diehard fan of Nathan, aka Unspeakable, of You Tube Minecraft gamer fame. Grub is already coming up with his own “team” of gamers with game names for their future channel. I have no doubt he could figure out how to do it.

I love you, Grubby. Hope you had a great birthday this year.


One year ago: key lime pie (Grub’s eighth birthday)

Two years ago: pandan cupcakes (Grub’s seventh birthday)

Three years ago: vanilla cake with pandan frosting  (Grub’s sixth birthday)

Four years ago: chima (laval) cookies (and/or cupcake toppers — a photo tutorial) (Grub’s fifth birthday)

Five years ago: tomato-sunflower seed pâté and ninjago frosting redux (Grub’s fourth birthday)

Six years ago: turtle cupcakes (Grub’s third birthday)

Seven years ago: turbinado sugar cookies (Grub’s second birthday) and no-knead bread and croutons

Eight years ago: plum kuchen and pimento cheese and pear galette [Grub’s first birthday — I used to call him Mr. Man here]

bibinkga (and key lime pie) -- grub's ninth birthday!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Filipino
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
The original recipe uses sweetened shredded coconut -- it makes my teeth hurt. Go with unsweetened. The bars are still really, really sweet. They are prefect cut into small squares and served with a tannic tea ... or eaten alongside key lime pie for a different riff on piña colada ingredients.
  • CRUST: 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • FILLING: 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups UNSWEETENED shredded coconut, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment, with ends long and up the sides.
  3. FOR THE CRUST:In a large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar and salt.
  4. To this mix, stir in 1 cup melted butter.
  5. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake until light brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 325 degrees F.
  6. FOR THE FILLING: In another large bowl, whisk the first seven filling ingredients until blended.
  7. Stir in 3 cups shredded coconut.
  8. Pour mixture over cooled crust and sprinkle with remaining coconut.
  9. Bake until light golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a baking rack.
  10. Remove from pan by lifting parchment "wings" and cut into bars to serve.
  11. Can be kept on countertop well wrapped for about 1 week. (The amount of sugar helps keep them stable.)


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