Yema cake is not a traditional Filipino cake but rather a new creation that most probably have been created less than 20 years ago. I never seen this cake when I was a young and only showed up in the last couple of years, I first saw it on blogs then the Filipino bakeries here in New Zealand started to sell them afterwards. This cake is a type of chiffon or sponge cake infused with cream cheese then flavoured with yema, a type of milk custard candy popular in the Philippines.
This cake is sweet so I warn you if you haven’t tried it yet, it’s designed more for people who loves either yema, pastillas, the middle part of brazo de mercedes, creme caramel and anything similar, its creamy custardy goodness.
The most popular brand back home for this cake is the Rodillas, the bakery where it all began. There are no accounts when did all started but in 1997 when Vincent Rodilla the inventor of the said cake tried to sell this cake when they opened a small rental place but it failed to take off and was shut down on 2005. According to Vincent the cake was not yet perfect during those days but eventually it did so in 2008 people start buying them. Then in 2010 the fire sparked and it turned into wildfire as the bakeshop is now thriving. Since then it became a sensation and the rest was history.
I haven’t tried the original one as I was already residing in New Zealand when this phenomenon happened so I will be basing my recipe on the stories that I heard. I think it’s quite simple just use some basic fluffy cake then put some custardy icing on it then you have a yema cake. I know this will not be perfect like how Vincent made it but like him I will keep trying to make the perfect one until I try the real one. So if I have one request, if you have tried the real one and tried this recipe let me know how this went so I know where to adjust and make it as near as possible.
- ½ cup flour
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 50 g butter
- 250 g cream cheese
- ½ cup milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 6 egg whites
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 400g cans condensed milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup butter
- In a double boiler melt cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla together. Mix well to combine then set it aside to cool down.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.
- Pour mixture in a mixer, on low speed gently add and mix the sifted flour.
- Still on low speed, add the egg yolks then the lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar in high speed until fluffy. Add the vanilla and sugar gradually and continue to mix in high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Mix flour cheese mixture and egg white mixture by folding it together until evenly combined.
- Divide mixture in half then pour into two 8-inch round cake pan covered with parchment paper.
- Using the water bath method, bake cake in a 180C preheated oven for one hour or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and once its cool enough remove it from their pans.
- To make the icing, combine condensed milk, egg yolks and vanilla in a sauce pan and cook over low heat until it is really thick. Add the butter and combine it with the thick custard.
- While hot spread the filling on one top of the cake then stack it together. Spread the remaining on top and side, let it cool.
- Garnish with lengua de gato then sprinkle cheese on the top and side then serve chilled.