Category Archives: Baking Recipes

bibingka de pastillas

Bibingka de Pastillas

bibingka de pastillas

I know there are many frustrated bakers out there. While I can bake from scratch, I also want to inspire future bakers. First-timers need not be frustrated. They can start out with cake mixes for inspiration to see if baking is their kind of thing. You can even call it your very own cake for the holidays. Bibingka is traditionally eaten during the Christmas season and it gives such a festive touch to the holiday season. I love the unique aroma of toasted banana leaves. You can try this holiday favorite, Bibingka with pastillas. Sounds yummy!

maya cake mix

The pastillas in this recipe calls for MAYA’s “Fluffy n’ Tasty” Hotcake Mix while the Bibingka is made out of MAYA Oven Toaster Bibingka Mix (rice and wheat flour mix). Inside the box of the bibingka mix is coconut powder. You don’t even need an oven to bake the Bibingka de Pastillas. I will experiment with these cake mixes soon so I will update this post. Do try it out. Just remember that in baking, exact measurements are necessary. Make sure you have baking teaspoons and cups which you can buy at the supermarket. The dinner cups and spoons are not accurate measurements for baking.

Now if you were looking for a Bibingka recipe to prepare from scratch, check this recipe on Special Bibingka and Bibingka Royal .

1 ¼ cups MAYA Original “Fluffy n’ Tasty” Hotcake Mix, lightly toasted
1 ¼ cups powdered milk
1 can (300 ml) condensed milk
1 teaspoon melted butter
sugar for coating, as needed


1 pack MAYA Oven Toaster Bibingka Mix 150g
1 egg
1/3 – ½ cup water
1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine
banana leaf

Here’s the procedure.

Prepare pastillas. In a bowl, combine lightly toasted hotcake mix, powdered milk, condensed milk and butter until well mixed. Form mixture into long thin logs, about 5 inches long, and roll in sugar. Set aside.

Prepare bibingka.

1. Pass the banana leaf over medium flame until wilted. Cut into a circle big enough to line the bottom and sides of a 6.5-inch round bibingka pan. Set aside.

2. In a bowl, combine the bibingka mix and all of the contents of the coconut milk powder in sachet pack. Blend well.

3. Add the egg, water and melted butter. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.

4. Pour into the prepared pan. Remove the oven toaster tray and place the pan directly on the oven rack. ( I did not use my oven toaster. I used my Samsung oven)

from a samsung oven

5. Bake in the oven toaster for 7-8 minutes or until the top is firm to the touch and lightly browned.

6. At this point, arrange pastillas strips on top then return to the oven toaster to cook for an additional 2 minutes or until golden brown. Serve while still hot.

Yield: 4 servings

NOTE: Leftover pastillas may be wrapped in cellophane and paper for later consumption.

I tested this out myself. The photo below is not as nice as the stock photo that Maya sent me.

bibingka from the maya mix

Of course, I wanted to taste it and the texture of the cake is not as airy or spongy as some bibingkas I eat in restaurants. The color of the bibingka is almost beige. I think it is because the Bibingka mix contains wheat cake flour. But it is delicious! Try it.

bibingka from maya mix

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Baked November 25, 2014

A taste of home: My Golden Fruitcake recipe

Update: Use the banyo maria or Baño Maria (or bake steaming) to prevent over-drying of your fruit cake.

December 2013
December 2013

It’s the time of the year when one needs to plan for the holidays. As early as September, I already know what to bake for Christmas. A childhood memory that never fails to remind me of the Christmas season is Fruitcake. I used to bake a lot of fruitcake in the past but the girls never really got around to acquiring a taste for it. They preferred the Gingerbread Man Cookies because of the story behind it , after I bake the first batch.  It must have been the empty nest that inspired me to start baking Fruitcake.  The memory of my mom baking this every Christmas season gave me so much comfort. The aroma of the fruit cake adds to the festive spirit of the season.

I am also surprised that more and more people are raving for fruitcake. I see it in my facebook wall. In the past, friends hated it when they were given a fruitcake. It was only last year that I started baking two batches. Two good friends received my fruitcake because I was sure they appreciated fruitcake. This year, I showed the fruitcakes that I baked in Facebook, and I was again surprised that some even wanted to buy. Maybe next year, I will bake a few for sale. At least, I will be prepared to buy the ingredients at wholesale prices.

Anyway, fruitcake flavor is best when it has been aged for a few months in a cool place (preferably the refrigerator in the Philippines). Ideally, one month of storage is a to bring out the best flavors. I know others age starting January. I should try it too.

golden fruitcake slice

Fruitcakes taste better with age. This is called “ripening.”

For those of you who want to bake Fruitcakes for the Holidays, here is a recipe which I call Golden Fruitcake. I’ve modified this based from my mom’s original fruitcake recipe. My Golden Fruitcake does not have a strong taste of brandy nor is it too sweet. Anyway, there’s a lot of preparation so make sure you run down the list carefully.

Here is my Golden Fruitcake recipe

Prepare 2 loaf pans (a 8.5×4.5 pan) or 5 loaf pans (6 x 3 pan)  or a combination of both


I buy most of my ingredients at Chocolate Lovers in Quezon City (see Facebook Page)

1 Cup butter (I use Golden Crown)
1 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
4 large eggs (1 cup) or 5 medium eggs
3 cups all purpose four
1/2 cups flour (to dredge fruits and nuts)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
5 Tablespoon prune juice
3 Tablespoons Molasses
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (mix in molasses)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 cups nuts (Combination of walnuts, pecan, cashew, pili or almond slivers)
1 1/2 cups dates
1 1/2 cups fruit glaze (combination of local and imported fruit glaze)
1/2 cup cherry brandy

Extra Cherries, fruit glaze,nuts for decorating on top of cake
Cherry brandy to brush top of the cake (use wine or even a fruit juice of your choice)


Fruit Mix

1. Soak fruits in 1/2 cup cherry brandy overnight.
2. Drain the fruits for 1 hour. Set aside.
3. Dredge fruit and nuts with 1/2 cup flour so they won’t sink in batter. Shake off excess flour and use in the recipe.

Preparing the Baking pan

1. Don’t use waxpaper.
2. Use thick cellphane (1 piece only) and use enough to cover the cake after baking.
3. You can also use aluminum. More messy but more sure.


fruit cake batter

1. Heat oven to slow.

2. Cream Shortening and add sugar slowly until fluffy.

3. Beat in egg one at a time, beating after each addition until light.

4. Blend Flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg.

5. Stir in alternately with milk, molasses, juices and vanilla beginning and ending with flour.

6. With 1/2 cup flour. add to fruit mixture.

7. The batter is then mixed to the fruits. Add the nuts on top of the batter.

8. Put batter in cellophane lined or aluminum lined pans (4 pans)

9. Bake for one (1 1/2) hour to 2 hours at 300 F. ( But do check the temperature based on the pan you use. Never bake beyond 325 F)

bano maria

IMPORTANT: To prevent dryness in the fruit cake, use the banyo maria. Place the pans in a larger pan containing an inch of water, the result of which is bake-steaming the fruit cake batter.

10. At 45 minutes baking time, remove pans from oven and decorate top with cherries, nuts and fruits.

11. Cover pan with overlapping aluminum foil to prevent burning.

12. Bake one hour or so until done. Test for doneness by placing a metal/wooden skewer in center of cake. If it comes out clean, cake is done. Be careful not to over bake.

13. Always cool fruitcakes completely in pan and remove when cold.

After Baking

  • Keep cellophane or aluminum intact with the cake
  • After baking and the cake has cooled down, brush the top of the cake with cherry brandy
  • Wrap the whole cake with the overlapping cellophane or aluminum , then more aluminum foil to cover the whole cake ending with colored cellophane.
Baked November 25, 2014
Baked November 25, 2014


1. It’s important to drain the fruit mix for 1 hour. This is because alcohol destroys the cake batter.
2. Nuts are not placed in the batter; rather it is placed ON TOP of the batter. I still mix in the buts anyway. I use a combination of nuts.
3. Never use peanuts but do use pili, cashew, walnuts, or black walnuts.
4. The batter is mixed to the fruits so that the emulsion in the batter is not destroyed.


1. Once a week, brush the cakes with more liquor/cherry brandy. (or wrap the fruit cake with cheese cloth soaked in liquor)
2. Seal the cakes in plastic wrap or in plastic storage bags.

Yield: 2 loaf pans (a 8.5×4.5″ pan)

5 loaf pans with 6 x 3 pans
In another batch  I had 3 cakes 8 x 3 and 1 cake 6 x 3

I have 5 recipes for fruitcake but based on my past experience, the above recipe gave me the best results.

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Pinipig Cookies with Avocado Ice Cream

Pinipig Cookies

The Christmas season is coming soon in two months. Move over, Oatmeal cookies because Pinipig Cookies is a wonderful food gift item. Pinipig Cookies, was demonstrated by Filipino food advocate, author and restaurateur Amy Besa and her husband Chef Romy Dorotan at the Maya Kitchen recently. What a delightful way to bake cookies using a homegrown Pinoy ingredient.

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Pinipig Cookies with Avocado Ice Cream

Try it out:

1 1/2 cups pinipig
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 cup Maya All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Grease 2 baking sheets.

2. Warm a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the pinipig and toast, stirring, until lightly browned and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

3. Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Beat in the lemon rind.

4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to combine. Stir in the pinipig.

5. Drop the dough by heaping teaspoons onto the baking sheets 2 inches apart and press down with the tines of a fork. Bake the cookies in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, rotating the pans and switching the position of the baking sheets halfway through baking, until lightly browned around the edges, about 12 minutes.

Let cool on the sheets for a couple of minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely and bake the second batch on the cooled sheets.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies. Best served alongside with Avocado Ice Cream.

To bake a crispy version , use this recipe:

1 1/2 cups pinipig
3/4 cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar

More recipe ideas at .

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Leche Flan Recipe

leche flan

The original leche flan recipe was from my Mom but my sister Lorna reconfigured it to fit her tastes.

The perfect flan is such that when you slice through it, it barely quivers like jello. There is very little syneresis, that is, no weeping (or lots of holes in it!). I am sharing this precious recipe so you may prepare it for your family.

5 eggyolks
2 eggs
1 can condensed milk
1 can water (use the condensed milk’s can for measuring)
1 tbsp. vanilla to add to the mixture
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup sugar for caramelization

  • Get a pyrex loaf dish (or equivalent oval, square, or round dish).
  • Caramelize 1/3 cup sugar in it. Use your oven. When the sugar is starting to melt, make sure that you watch carefully. You don’t want the caramel to be too dark or it will taste burnt. Manipulate the dish until you are sure that the caramel is evenly placed on the bottom of the pan. Let the pan rest on the stove top.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

These are the cooking times:

For the first 45 minutes: 325 degrees Fahrenheit
For the next 20 to 25 minutes, until the toothpick test shows that the flan is done: 350 degrees Fahrenheit

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white forest cake

White Forest Cake

White Forest cake is a wonderful twist on a true classic, the Black Forest cake. Instead of dark chocolate cake, the White Forest Cake makes use of chiffon or the basic yellow cake. The cake can even be an angel cake or vanilla cake.

white forest cake

Chiffon Cake:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sifted MAYA Cake Flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 pieces egg yolks
6 tablespoons water
4 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar

1 cup all-purpose cream
½ cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
prepared syrup (1cup sugar + 1 cup water bring to a boil)
¼ cup brandy
drained halved cherries or cherry pie filling
shaved white chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a bowl.

2. Make a well at the center, add oil and egg yolks. Blend and pour in water, mix until smooth. Set aside.

3. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually and continue beating until stiff but not dry. Fold in egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture until thoroughly blended.

3. Pour onto 8 x 3 inch round pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until done. Invert to wire rack to cool.

4. Split the cake into 2 layers. Set aside.

5. Whip the chilled cream until stiff then add the sugar.

6. Place 1 cake layer on a platter. Brush with a mixture of syrup and brandy.

7. Spread halved cherries or cherry pie filling. Top with another cake layer and frost the cake all over with whipped cream.

8. Decorate with shaved white chocolate. Chill before serving.

Take note. The filling can also be macapuno, custard cream or whipped cream cheese. The cake can be an angel cake or vanilla cake. Serve.

Yield: one 8-inch cake

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Rum Cake

Chef Patron Inez Vargas Javellana from the famous Vargas Kitchen dropped by The Maya Kitchen recently and shared delightful recipes for the Holidays. Aside from fruit cake, one can choose other alternatives like Rum Cake. A rum cake is a type of dessert cake which contains well, rum. Wikipedia says rum cakes are a traditional Christmas dessert, descended from the Christmas pudding introduced by English settlers. Traditionally, dried fruit is soaked in rum for three months, then added to dough prepared with sugar which has been caramelized by boiling in water. The result, also known as “black cake”, is similar to a fruitcake, with a lighter texture. It has been proven possible to become intoxicated from consumption of excessive amount of rum cake, some rum cakes such as Tortuga contain even more than five percent of certain grain alcohols.

Chef Javellana shares this Rhum Cake recipe which you can surely try during the Holidays.

1/2 cup pecans, halved
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons + 1/2 cup canola oil, separated
1 3/4 cup MAYA All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup MAYA Cornstarch
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vanilla pudding
3/4 cup whole milk
4 large eggs
3/4 cup Myer’s dark rum
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the rum syrup:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark rum
Special Equipment: One 10-15 cup Bunt pan

1,Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour bunt pan, and drop halved pecans into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

2. In the base of a mixer, cream the 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and the 1/2 cup butter. Add the 3 tablespoons oil, flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt combining until evenly distributed. (Mixture will look like fine crumbs.) Mix in the pudding mix.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, rum, vanilla extract and remaining vegetable oil. Add to the dry mixture and mix well until combined. The batter will be smooth, thin and pour easily.

4. Pour into the prepared bunt pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the cake comes up clean.

5. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack. Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes.

6. While the cake cools, prepare the rum syrup: In a large saucepan with high sides, combine the butter, water, granulated sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until the butter completely melts and the sugar dissolves. Let reduce slightly, keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum (it will bubble).

7, Wash and dry the bunt pan, then place over the cool cake and invert the cake back into the pan. Pour the hot rum syrup all over the cake and let soak for 8 hours (overnight). In the morning, invert the cake back onto a serving platter. Keeps covered for 1 week at room temperature.

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Pumpkin Pie, The Old-Fashioned Way

It is almost Thanksgiving day in the USA. A few years ago, my sister-in-law baked me a pumpkin pie. I loved it. I love the pumpkin spice. It reminds me a bit of fruitcake. One doesn’t even have to buy pumpkin spice if it is not readily available in your cupboard. Just mix 1 teaspoon ginger, 4 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon cloves then after mixing, store in a cool dry place.

In the Philippines, it is difficult to buy canned pumpkin but there is a way to prepare the pumpkin filling by just using our local squash (Check the “How to Prepare the Pumpkin“. Our local squash is more stringy so don’t forget to strain it many times till you get a smooth puree.

Anyway, here is the recipe.

Pastry for Filled One-crust pie


3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (16-oz) can (2 cups) pumpkin or prepare from real pumpkin
(You can buy canned pumpkins in Metro Supermarket in Market Market , if there is still stock)

1 (12-oz) can (1 1/2 cups) evaporated milk

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans, chopped)

* ( you can make Pumpkin Pie spice by mixing 1 teaspoon ginger, 4 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon cloves and store in cool, dark place)

1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped


1. Prepare pastry for filled One-crust pie.

2. Heat oven to 425 F.

3. In a bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Blend Well.

4. Pour into pastry-lined pan. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes.

5. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Bake an additional 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

6. Cool until ready to serve.

7. Serve with whipped cream. Store in refrigerator.

You can make variations by using maple-flavored syrup for the 1/2 cup evaporated milk

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Banana Bread

One all-time favorite breakfast menu I love is eating fruits along with Banana bread and cottage cheese. One thing great about Banana bread is that it contains fiber and that’s what we all need to start a day. Why not have banana bread for breakfast. Baking Banana Bread is so easy even your teen-aged kids can do it. This was the first recipe my daughter baked. Try it


3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups mashed bananas (lacatan variety- You can even use super-riped bananas)

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Bread & Butter Pudding

Executive Chef Vicky Pacheco of Chateau, Café Sentro, WineBar, SideBar and 1771 El Pueblo shared some recipes over at the Maya Kitchen. A favorite is Café Sentro’s ” Bread & Butter Pudding” from brioche type bread baked in a luscious custard with butter and real vanilla bean.

bread and butter pudding

Here is her recipe. Use a rectangular or square baking dish is the best so that the slices of bread don’t need to be trimmed too much.


30 grams salted butter
6 slices monroe bread
15 grams sultanas, soaked in hot water & drained.
500 mL fresh full cream milk
500 mL whipping cream
¼ tsp sea salt
½ pc vanilla pod
6 pcs large eggs
250 g sugar
apricot jam
powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 150C. Prepare hot water for bain marie.

2. Butter the bottom and sides of the baking dish.

3. Spread the remaining butter on each slice of bread, using it all up. Arrange the bread in one layer on the baking dish.

4. Scatter the sultanas over the bread.

5. Combine the milk, cream and salt in a sauce pot and gently bring to a boil.

6. Split the vanilla pod, scrape the insides with a knife and add the scraped bits to the hot milk mixture.

7. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale.

8. Gradually add the milk and cream mixture into eggs, stirring well to blend.

9. Pour the milk mixture over the bread. The bread will rise to the top.

10. Take a baking pan in which the baking dish will fit and place a folded newspaper at the bottom.

11. Place the baking dish on top of the newspaper and pour hot water just enough to come halfway up to the sides of the pan.

12. Place in preheated oven, 45-50 min. or until it wiggles a little. Take out when done.

13. Spread apricot jam on the surface of the pudding.

14. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

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