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Bánh đậu xanh nướng (Baked mung bean cake)

Wow, 3 posts on desserts in a row. This must be some kind of record for me 🙂

Note: This isn’t the powdery mung bean cake you can get from northern Viet Nam or  Vietnamese supermarkets in the US.

Bánh đậu xanh

This is one of the few actual recipes with ingredient measurements that we know, simply because it came from my Mom, who was patient enough to figure out all these measurements for me. This is a very easy recipe and the results are definitely yummy. Enjoy!


Mung beans (without the green seed covering): 300 grams (1.5 cups)

Sugar: 300 grams (1.5 cups) (we prefer our desserts on the less sweet side, so if you prefer more sweetness, you should definitely add a bit more sugar to the batter)

Water: 1/2 cup

Flour: 1/3 cup

Tapioca flour: 1/3 cup

Coconut milk: 1 can (14oz)

Oil: 2 tablespoons

Milk: 1 cup (optional)

Vanilla extract


– Soak mung beans in warm water for an hour, then drain.

– Boil water, cook soaked mung beans in boiling water for 8-10 minutes, then drain. Put the pot back on the stove, turn heat to very low, steam for about 20 minutes. Mash the cooked mung beans.

– Add 1/2 cup of water and sugar to a small sauce pan, cook on medium heat for about 6-7 minutes. Let it cool down

– Combine cooked mung beans, sugar syrup (above), flour, tapioca flour, oil, coconut milk, milk and vanilla extract. Blend well in a blender or run the combined mixture through a sieve to get a smooth batter .

– Pour batter into a cake pan that has been lined with wax paper. Bake at 350F for about 1h and 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool and put in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to let it solidify further.


I referred to the weekend that we made this along with bánh xèo (Vietnamese crepes) and bánh tét the “mung beans and coconut milk” weekend. They are among the main ingredients of all three dishes. I guess these dishes are from southern Viet Nam and southerners just LOVE coconut milk and mung beans 😀


  1. hello. i tried you recipe
    baked it, but at the end, it was still liquid…yummy but liquid i was wondering what it was supposed to look like
    just like a normal cake ?!? dry ?!? tks for the recipe anyway

  2. Shirley says:


    Do you have to steam it? Or is it ok to continue boiling? Also how many servings does this make?


    • Hi Shirley,

      Thanks for visiting our site.

      Steaming mung bean softens the bean without introducing excess water (so the mashed mung bean isn’t too wet). I guess it’s ok to continue boiling mung bean but you’ll need to find a way to get rid of the excess liquid or reduce the other liquid ingredients a little bit so the cake can solidify. Sticking the baked cake into the fridge for a few hours will help, too.

      Not sure about servings…usually the batter from this recipe fills a 9-in cake pan with a little bit left over. Hope that helps. I really should learn these things. How many servings are there in a 9-in cake?

      • Shirley says:

        9″ pan is all i needed 😛 although I halved the recipe as it was the first time plus I’m making it for other people and not sure whether they will like it. The batter turned out to be 3.5 cups so 775 mL. Thought there might have been more. I only baked it for about 45 min – 1 hour. I pricked it with a fork to see if it was ready. Big mistake. All this air came out and the top started to sink and wrinkle after it was cooling on the bench. Will refrigerate it overnight and see how it comes out tomorrow.

        • Cool. Thanks so much for the info on the final volume. Hope you like the cake despite the wrinkled top. 🙂

  3. Shirley says:

    Also, what if you only have mung beans with the green shells? Must you remove the shells?

    • Good question. I have never made this cake with mung beans that still have the shells on. Reason is the final product should have a very smooth texture. The shells might introduce unwanted chunks into the cake. I guess if you have whole mung beans, you will need to run the blended batter through a sieve while pouring it into the cake pan to make sure the batter is smooth. Let me know how it turns out for you 🙂 (perhaps adding the shell chunks might make the cake more interesting :D)

      • Shirley says:

        Oh and I made it with the shelled mung beans. If it was just for me I would have made it with the whole beans since the shells are good for you anyway 😀

  4. This looks so yummy!

    1. How many cups is 300g of sugar?

    2. Can I substitute 1/3 cup tapioca flour with tapioca starch or any other flour?

    Thank you

    • Hi Van,
      Thanks for your kind words. Hmmm..I don’t have a scale in my kitchen right now to figure out the g-to-cup conversion for sugar for you. An online search yielded this site ( which states that 300g of granulated cane sugar is about 1.5 cups, which sounds about right, I think.

      Tapioca flour is tapioca starch.

  5. Vinna Dinh says:

    Also, is tapioca starch the same as tapioca flour? I cannot find tapioca flour, but I found tapioca starch.

    Tapioca starch here comes in a plastic bag & looks as white as liquid paper, except that it comes as small clumps (about the size of the tip of a pinky finger) instead of powdery flour. Can you advise?

    Thank you

    • Hi Vinna,
      Yes, tapioca starch is the same as tapioca flour. They both refer to bột năng. Not sure what you mean by clumps, though. The ones I have seen are powdery. Does the bag say “bột năng” at all?

  6. Vinna Dinh says:

    Hi Bird,

    Thanks for the quick reply. I love your site. The pictures make me drool…

    The bag just says tapioca starch, no VN words at all. It’s white & I see some powder at the bottom, but most of the bag is clumpy. I’ll just grind it down to powder & try this recipe. I have everything except this ingredient.

    I’ll let you know how it turns out. I love this cake & I like your recipe. It’s simple which is what I need. My sister & I weren’t sure about the tapioca flour. But if you say it’s the same thing then we’re good to go.

    Stay tuned….

  7. Vinna Dinh says:

    Hi Bird,

    I made this cake & it turned out delicious! I wonder why bakeries don’t sell this.

    I added 2 cups of sweetened shredded coconut because I like coconut & mung bean together. Other than that, I followed your recipe religiously. It was easy.

    We couldn’t wait until the cake cooled down in the fridge. We ate right after it came out of the oven. The coconut aroma was lovely. This recipe is a keeper for sure.

    Thank you for sharing such a tasty, scrumptious cake! Everyone loved it so much & it’s now one of my favorites VN cakes.

    I look forward to more of your recipes.

    • Hi Vinna,

      Nice! Thanks so much for coming back to tell us how the recipe worked out for you. So glad you liked it. Yeah, it’s definitely a yummy cake and I also love the fact that it’s so easy to make. Shredded coconut is a really cool idea! You really like coconut, huh. Coconut milk AND shredded coconut together in a cake 😀

  8. This was great! I made it with split mung beans with the skins still on and used a slightly smaller amount of palm sugar for the sugar. Also, instead of the regular flour, I added 1/3 cup oatmeal to the blender and left out the milk to make it wheat and dairy free. I used one teaspoon vanilla. I also put it through a mesh strainer to catch any chunks. The color turned out more greenish, but still nice to look at and even better to eat!

    Wondering why the milk is optional. Does it change the texture? Do you prefer with or without?

    • Thanks, Sarah, for stopping by to let me know about all the cool things you did to make the cake :). I guess this recipe is even more flexible than I originally thought. I am glad to know that the skin-on mung beans and oatmeal work!

      The milk doesn’t change the texture. My mom’s original recipe called for milk, but one time I didn’t have milk on hand so I just skipped it and the cake turned out fine. That’s why I wrote optional :D. I think adding milk changes the taste a little bit (makes the cake taste slightly fattier). I prefer it without milk, actually. Coconut milk is plenty fatty already.

  9. Hi Bird,

    Just bumped into this recipe… looks fascinating, given the minimal ingredients. Thanks for sharing. Just one question before I try :
    How much is 300 gm mung beans in cups (where 1 cup = 8 oz) ? You mentioned in one comment that 300 gm sugar ~ 1.5 cup. Did you use the same volume of beans and sugar?? Doesn’t sound right though… that would be a bit too sweet, no? :-/
    Confused, but hopeful!

    • Hi PJ,

      I just checked the mung bean package. It says 400g/14oz, and in the back, the serving size is 1/2 cup (95g). So 300g will be around 1.6 cups. And I just measured 300g of sugar again, too. Also around 1.5 cups. The dessert is actually not very sweet (I don’t like sweet things). There are other ingredients in the cake besides mung beans and sugar. Coconut milk, the different types of flour and water (and milk) should dilute sugar and reduce the sweetness.

      Let us know how you like the cake 🙂


      • Hi Bird,

        Thank you so much for your effort to double check the ingredients for me. Don’t have a weighing scale at home, but do have a measuring cup! Anyway, am happy to report this came out really well. I kept the milk in the recipe for added flavour. Thanks again for the recipe. I am sure I will make it again 🙂

  10. Hi there,
    U mentioned 1/3 cup of flour. What kind of flour is that? Rice or sticky rice flour? Thanks for the recipe… Love the pix of ur cake…

    • Hi Yen,
      I am SO sorry for not replying promptly. We are in the middle of a cross-country move :). The 1/3 cup of flour is just the regular all-purpose flour. Nothing fancy. Thank you for visiting and for your kind words. Let me know how your cake turns out! 🙂

      • Hi bird,
        Wow, cross-country moving sounds exciting!!!
        I did the cake finally. I added an egg comes out really good
        Next time I think I will omit the milk part. Thanks again for the recipe.
        Hope to see more posting of foods from you. Good luck and best wishes…

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