How to make tapioca layer cake steamed

I love eating this steam tapioca layered cake dessert on as a past time snack.  It's soft, chewy, and coconutty. This is also known as "banh da lon" in Vietnamese. It is also known as "kuih lapis" in Malaysia.  This recipe makes 1 cake.

Tapioca Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can coconut milk (13 oz) + 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup cooked yellow split mung beans
  1. Boil the 1/2 cup water and add the sugar until disolved. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the rice flour and tapioca starch.
  3. Add the coconut + water mixture to the flour mixture. Stir.
  4. Add the water/sugar syrup to the mixture.
  5. Divide the mixture into 2 parts. 
  6. Yellow layer - add the mung beans and mixture to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Sift the mixture to remove lumps. Add yellow food color.  If you don't like mung beans, skip the mung beans!
  7. Green layer - add food color and mix.
  8. Place a metal container in a steam pot.  Add one layer of green. When solid, add yellow layer. Continue until all layers are finished.
  9. Once cool, cut the tapioca cake.  When it's warm, it is really sticky.  It gets more firm once cooled. Enjoy!


Watch the video!


Hi Annie, where do you find the powder food color?? Thanks for sharing. I check often to see new post & videos :)

I got mine at an asian store that sold indian food.  If you can't find powder food coloring, you can also use the liquid kind. Good luck!

Thanks for this recipe. I was just wondering how long does it usually take for each layer? Thank you !

Only a couple of minutes or until the layer is solid and can support the next layer.

What kind of pan is that? Do you spray anything on the pan first before pouring the layers ? Thank you!

It is just a plain aluminum pan I bought from the grocery store.  It was a cheap one that came in a set of 3 that I got for $0.99. I didn't spray it with anything cos the batter is kind of oily since it contains coconut milk.  You just have to wait until it is completely cool before removing it from the aluminum pan.

Hi Annie,can I use individual plastic mold, like the one using in making steamed rice cake?thanks

Did you add the Mung Beans to your steamed layer cake? And if u did how did u cook your Mung Beans? 

Hi Sophie, yes I added 1 cup of cooked mung bean to the yellow layer like in the video. Then I strained the yellow layer to get rid of any chunks.  When I cooked the mung bean, I soaked it for an hour (usually you want to soak longer) and then I put in a steamer for 20-30 minutes. 

Thanks Annie for sharing your recipe! I made it over the weekend and it turned out great! I LOVE this steamed cake. I used the left over steamed mung bean from when I made sesame balls the day before. I will be sharing your site here with my fellow friends as we all love eating this stuff. Thanks again and keep posting up delicious recipes. =)

Padee, I'm really glad you liked the recipe and enjoyed the dish!

I just wanted to say Thank You Sooooooo......MUCH!  My mom loves to eat this stuff, N I've been trying to get someone to teach me how to make this so i can make it for her...It's been only 5 yrs since i'd told my mom i will learn to make it and make it for her...( kekekeke..) But thanks to your wonderful recipe, I finally managed to make it TONITE, and It turned out GREAT!  My daughter really like it too...Once again, thank you A LOT, and i hope to see more great recipe from you again in the near future.....KEep Up tHe wOnderFul wORk......

Thanks for your comment! I really appreciate it.  I'm glad that you can try this recipe! :-)

Hey! Next time, you should try steaming taro and adding it like you did the mung bean. It's also delicious!

That does sound very yummy!!!! :-)

I was wondering what kind of rice flour... is it the one in the red bad or the green bag... cause I think one of them is the sticky kind and the other isn't... by the way I love your videos... me and my son we always watch it every single time we make your nam vam... love it... can you post up how you make your papayas and fried noodles... my family loves it but I don't know how to make it so I always order... you seem like you're a great chef... so just wanted to see how you make your version of it... I would totally love to try and make it... thanks alot for sharing your talented videosTruely Inspired,Paj Huab Vaj

Hi Pajhuab, in this video I used the clear bag with the red lettering (rice flour). 

Thanks for your comments! I enjoy making food videos because I like food and I also want to share recipes with new friends. 

I believe that making memories with food can last a lifetime.  Back when my son was young, he would smile and jump up and down with happiness everytime I made his favorite food.  I love and crave for that type of affection.  It triggers a human emotion that always takes me back to that moment when I made him so happy by preparing his favorite dish.

I am not a professional chef or professional cook. I'm just an ordinary woman who likes to eat and share food with others. :-)  I'll add more food videos! Thanks for your suggestions.

Kind regards,



This coming Saturday my parents are having a party and I wanna to make this for the party how many bags of tapioca starch and how many bags of rice flour do I need to make two big trays?

You'll need a lot. This recipe only makes 1 small pie pan.

Hey is the yellow mung beans required to do this tapioca layer or is it optional if you want to use it or not? If I dont want to use it, then could it still work? Thanks

Hi Mai, mung means is optional. You don't need it unless you like the flavor.

Hi sister Annie Vang,Kuv yog ib tus sister hmoob lis nyob MN no kuv xav paub tias koj cov  tapioca  steam layer cake no puas yog cov khanom chan lo tsi yog?

Hi Mylinda, I'm not sure what the name of this is translated into Hmong. This dessert is chewy and sweet.  It has a sticky texture too.  Hope you can try it someday!

Oh khanom chan is not a hmoob words it's thai and laos.Well let me see if i could put more details for u .Khanom chan yog cov es lawv ua tau thaum morning es lawv pheej nqa tuaj tso rau tib neeg cov stores for sale.1   green/yellow than green again2   red/pink than red againlawv muag ib daim green and red tso uake muag ib pob $2.00   

Yes, it is similar to that.  This recipe here is a vietnamese recipe called banh da lon.  There's 2 ways to make the recipe. The one posted on this page is using rice flour and tapioca starch.  There's also another way using glutinous rice flour and tapioca starch.

The other way using glutinous rice flour and tapioca starch this will be the same recipe as the one u show on this  video.

Hi Annie,I just tried out your Hmong jello recipe a couple of hours ago and it turned out great! I really like it! Thanks! I want to try this recipe next, but I was wondering about the Mung beans. I went through all the questions and comments so I wouldn't have to waste your time by asking, but I didn't find an answer yet. So my question is, does the Mung beans really make a difference in the final outcome of how the cake will taste like? I know it's optional, but if I don't include it, will the cake still taste just as good? Thanks in advance :) You're a really good cook, and you make your recipes easy to follow :)

Yes, I think the mung beans do enhance the flavor.  It has a more "rich flavor" with the mung beans.  If you don't like it, you can just skip the mung beans.  It is personal preference in taste.  Good luck!

Lam nug xwb ua li koj puas tau try fruit craving os? Yog twb ua lawm thov upload rau peb tau kawm thiab,,,thanks :)

Hi, yes I've done fruit carving. I love carving watermelon, papaya, and other fruits! They make a pretty presentation. Right now it's not fruit season so there aren't many to choose from except for the smaller fruits. Maybe when spring and summer arrives, I'll do a carving tutorial.

what kind of rice flour did you use? i want to do this the next coming month for a big party. how much ingredients and stuff  do u think i need? Please, give me the step on everything.. how much to use so i can make it perfect for all in people that is coming to the party. can i cook this the day before the party? is it still going to be good? thanks!!!

Hi Kay,

For this recipe I used the clear bag with red letters (rice flour) 1/2 cup and clear bag with blue letters (tapioca starch) 2 cups.  Plus all the other ingredients I listed above on this page.

After the cake cools, I suggest you wrap it with plastic wrap and leave in a room temperature place. DO NOT put it in the refrigerator or else it will get ROCK HARD.  It will be good a day after it is made, but it usually tastes best to eat a few hours after it is cooled.  I would suggest eating it within 24-36 hours.




Annie, I saw your site link on Sarah Pha's FB and I love that you're so open to sharing these receipes. I've been wondering how to make these for the longest and I can't wait to try this out! Pls continue to share your knowledge of these receipes. I will be visiting your site often for new dishes to make.

Awesome! Thank you for stopping by!!!

Annie, I am so thankful to have found your link on Sarah Pha's FB. I think it's wonderful that you are so willing to share these great recipes. I love that you enjoying sharing and taking the time to make the videos as well. I've just made the Tapioca Steam Layer Cake and it turned out great because of your step by step instructions and the visual you've provided. I look forward to trying out all of your other recipes. Thank you again.

Very cool. Glad it turned out for you. Sarah makes some good food.  :-)

Did you use the rice flour in the red bag or green bag?

I used the rice flour in the clear bag with red lettering.  I used the tapioca starch in the clear bag with the blue lettering.

I was wondering what kind of coconut you use.

Any brand.  Just be sure to shake the can, if it is really watery don't buy it. Buy the kind that doesn't have too much water. It means there's more thick coconut milk.

Thanksyou so much for the recipe. I've just made the tapioca steam layer cake for my kids and they love it. Again, thank you soooo much!!!

That's great to hear! :-) Yay!

Thanks Annie for sharing!  Your demonstration is nice & clear!Banh Da Lon means "pig's skin" in Vietnamese!  I know, it doesn't sound tempting ;-)Originally, Vietnamese use pandan leaf for the green color.  It gives such wonderful fragrant.  When cooking with most of vietnamese deserts, we love to place pandan leaf in cocunut milk, and nothing beats this wonderful fragrant & taste.Kindest Regards,Trang N. 

I do like pandan too in moderation. :-)  Thanks for your feedback.

Hi sister,Thank you so much for the demonstration of how to make this cool snack and shared with the recipe and please keep up with the great job sister!It doesn't matter where the recipe of this food were originally from Vietnamies, Hmong foods or other Country.  What matters is that the knowledge of cooking and sharing was blessed from God above to the individual, this individual has happened to be a Hmong girl, she was blessed with a kindness heart and know how to shared her knowledge, take the extra time to gives instruction, shared recipe with others.  This recipe is going to keep pass on to everyone, to next generations to come.  Yes, even though these cake has been sold at the Vietnamies, Asia market, we bought them, we paid for but without a recipe to shares it doesn't do any good deed.  Wondering how I would like and know how to cook it in the past but now I will utilizing your recipe too!Thank you..HY

Hope you enjoy the recipes! :-)  I hope that you are able to try it and make someone happy with your food.

Did you just boiled the mung beans then split it in half or how did you cook it?

I soaked the mung beans overnight so they got soft (or you can soak them for 1 hour) and then I steamed them until soft. 

Hey Annie, I like your recipe, its very helpful.
Question for you though, how long do you let each layer steam?
I mustve overcooked mine a bit because its not as.sticky and its thicker. The layers also don't stick well together as it should.

I cook each layer less than 5 minutes. Only until it gets solid enough to support the next layer. If you cook it very long, it gets hard.


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