Vietnamese Pandan Rice and Mung Bean Cake Recipe

Vietnamese Pandan Rice and Mung Bean Cake (Bahn Da Lon)
© Connie Veneracion
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
303 Calories
5g Fat
62g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 303
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 113mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 62g 22%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 3g
Calcium 28mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Rice is to Asia what wheat is to most of the Western world. And while the West has vanilla for its go-to flavoring, in Asia, there is pandan. Traditional cakes, many flavored with pandan, are made with rice flour. And because ovens, as they are known in the West, are not native to Asia, rice cakes are often steamed rather than baked. 

If you can find split mung beans, use them as they cook much faster than whole mung beans.

While nothing compares to fresh coconut milk, if you have difficulty making it from freshly grated coconut, use canned coconut milk or coconut powder dispersed in warm water.


  • For the Yellow Layer:
  • 1/2 cup split yellow mung beans
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (not glutinous)
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • For the Green Layer:
  • 1 1/4 cups tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups pandan water
  • To Garnish: additional coconut milk, sesame seeds

Steps to Make It

For the Yellow Layer

  1. Gather the yellow layer ingredients.

  2. Rinse the mung beans several times. Place in a bowl and pour in two cups of water. Discard any piece that floats to the surface.

  3. Cover loosely and leave to soak for at least four hours. Overnight in the refrigerator is recommended.

  4. Rinse the beans several times again. Drain and pour into a pan.

  5. Pour in about a cup and a half of water.

  6. Bring to the boil over high heat. Cover, lower the heat to medium, and simmer until mushy. Depending on the quality of the beans, this can take anywhere from half an hour to an hour and a half. Add water, a quarter cup at a time, if the mixture dries up before the beans are soft. Turn off the heat cool completely.

  7. When the cooked beans have cooled, strain to remove any excess water. Pour the beans into the blender and add the sugar and salt.

  8. Puree the beans.

  9. In a medium bowl, stir together the coconut milk, rice flour, and tapioca starch.

  10. Add coconut milk mixture to the blender with the beans and process until smooth. Set aside.

For the Green Layer and Cooking

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Stir together all the ingredients for the green layer in a medium bowl.

  3. Prepare the steamer. Pour water into the pan and start heating it to boiling point.

  4. Lightly spray eight to 12 single-serve ramekins. 

  5. Pour about two tablespoonfuls of the green mixture into each ramekin. Arrange the ramekins in the steamer basket and steam for about seven minutes or until the top of the green layer is firm to the touch.

  6. Divide the yellow mixture among the ramekins. Steam for 10 to 12 minutes or until firm. 

  7. Divide the remaining green mixture among the ramekins. Steam for another five to seven minutes.

  8. Loosen the cakes with an oiled knife. Serve warm or at room temperature. You may drizzle them with more coconut milk and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

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