Easy steps to get Bebinca right- The layered Indo-Portuguese cake


Indians love their traditional sweets, and .t’s a kind ritual to end a meal with a sweet. What about having the same as the West? Culture and history are reflected in the regional cuisine, which holds true for Bebinca. Bebinca or bibic is an impressive dessert to behold the Portuguese legacy. Portuguese, who ruled Goa from the 15th to the early 16th century, are known for their custard-style desserts.

Indian desserts are loved for their earthy flavor of spices such as cardamom or nutmeg. The ‘Bebinca’ recipe is simple, made from eggs, sugar, flour, and coconut milk with nutmeg to add an earthy flavor. The dessert is baked in separate layers and then stacked with a smear of ghee in between.

So, what makes Bebinca unforgettable? Since the literal meaning of Bebinca is ‘uncountable’, this dense cake traditionally consists of six to sixteen layers.

History of Bebinca

Bebinca got its name from the nun called Bebiana. The egg whites were used to starch clothes in early times in Goa, and yolks were left. I am mesmerized by the sustainable thinking of that time. To use the leftover yolks, Bebiana prepared a unique layered sweet dish.

  • The first Bebinca has seven layers, representing the seven knolls of Lisbon and ancient Goa.
  • A few more layers were added at the request of priests living in the convent.
  • Bebinca has a maximum of 16 layers.
  • The process of crafting layers that delight consumers would require time and effort. The finesse of the layers shows how skilled a baker is.

Hold your breaths as we share secrete to bake your Bebinca right, making it super moist, spongy, tasteful, and melt in the mouth.

Cook Bebinca right

Bebinca is a perfect example of zero-waste cooking. Baking the queen of the Goan dessert is a labor-intensive process. It is the highlight in most Goan festivities, like Christmas, Easter, and weddings.

The proportion of ingredients for Bebinca

  • Egg yolks                                                          12
  • Coconut milk                                                750 ml
  • Refined flour                                                200 grams
  • Powdered sugar                                         450 grams
  • Salt                                                                     a pinch
  • Cardamom powder
  • Clarified butter
  • Nutmeg powder

Steps to make

  • Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together.
  • Mix the coconut milk and salt with egg yolk and blend well.
  • Add flour and cardamom powder. Bring everything together, seeing no lumps remains in the mixture.
  • Finally, sieve the batter to get a smooth batter.
  • Grease a baking container with clarified butter. Pour a ¼-inch thick layer of batter into it.
  • Bebik is traditionally baked in an earthenware oven called Tizal, which gives it a unique flavor. The lower part of the oven is filled with sand, whereas the upper part is fueled by coconut husk and shell. The batter container is placed over hot sand.
  • Providing heat from the upper leads to slow caramelization of sugar and achieves the smoky undertone.
  • The first layer takes around 25 minutes to complete a nice brown-stained appearance.
  • Once it cooks, lather clarified butter on it and sprinkle nutmeg powder. Pour the batter of ¼-inch for the second layer over the first layer. Cover to cook.
  • Repeat the steps to create multiple layers.


Shelf Life: 2 weeks

Soulmate: Ice cream

Indian desserts are such glory that no one can wait to finish his meals but can relish them any time. Portuguese carried custard-style pudding Bebik to their other colonies in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, and East Africa.
Today, Bebinca can be found in every Goan bakery and restaurant. If you don’t want to wait too long for baking, grab the packaged one from a nearby café or bakery.


1. Can I replace refined flour with other flour in the recipe?
Yes. You can customize the recipe with healthier flour options like whole wheat, almond, or finger millet.

2. What is the healthier choice than sugar to replace in the recipe?
You can replace white sugar with jaggery powder or maple syrup.

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