Honeycomb Cake (Banh Bo Nuong)

This Honeycomb Cake (Banh Bo Nuong) recipe makes a delicious, fragrant cake infused with Pandan flavor and coconut milk. With its fresh green color, fun chewy texture and unique furrows, this sweet treat is at the top of everyone’s snack cake list. If you’re familiar with this cake, you may know that it can be a bit challenging. The mark of success is achieving the vertical striations, which when cut across, looks like a bee’s honeycomb and hence the name: Honeycomb Cake. The ingredients and directions are very specific, so please follow the Honeycomb Cake (Banh Bo Nuong) recipe exactly and avoid substitutions unless noted. Good Luck!

Honeycomb Cake (Banh Bo Nuong) - Easy, No-Fail Recipe | recipe from runawayrice.com

Notes on the Honeycomb Cake (Banh Bo Nuong) Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Be sure to use single-acting baking powder instead of double-acting baking powder. Single-acting works when wet. Double-acting works with moisture and heat. Most of the baking powders in the grocery stores (ex: Rumford, Royal, Calumet, etc.) are double-acting and will not work with this recipe. The cake rises nicely in the oven, but once removed from the oven, it falls flat (very sad!). For single-acting baking powder, I familiar with two brands: Alsa baking powder and Dr. Oetker. The Alsa brand, sold mainly at Vietnamese grocery stores, is what most people use. Alsa works just fine for this recipe. If using Alsa baking powder, use one entire envelope. I tried Dr. Oetker’s because it’s sold at a store near me. Unfortunately, it did not yield the beautiful honeycombs. Because finding single-acting baking powder can be a frustrating task, I show you how to make your own single-acting baking powder with ingredients readily available in every grocery store: baking soda and cream of tartar.

Be prepared to make this cake a few times before you are successful. Buy extra eggs and tapioca starch. The size of the eggs is important. The recipe calls for extra-large or jumbo eggs.

For richer flavor, replace the water with coconut milk. This cake is mildly sweet. Feel free to adjust the sugar to your taste.

Make sure your baking soda is not expired. We all have a container in our cupboard and have no idea how long it’s been in there. Buy a fresh box for this recipe.

After adding the single-acting baking powder, work quickly to get the cake into the oven as the baking powder is already activated.

Use a 9 inch round springform pan or tube / bundt cake pan. You can go a bit smaller if you want a thicker cake but don’t use anything larger than a 10 inch pan or the cake will be rather flat.

Watch the video for instructions.

If you enjoy this Honeycomb Cake (Banh Bo Nuong) recipe, you may also like:

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Honeycomb Cake / Banh Bo Nuong

Honeycomb Cake (Banh Bo Nuong) - Scrumptious Viet Snack Cake | recipe from runawayrice.com


5.6 oz can coconut milk
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups tapioca starch
2 tsp rice flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Pandan paste
non-stick cooking spray


Place the springform pan in the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 F (163 C).

In a small saucepan over Low heat, add the coconut milk, water and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let the coconut syrup cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together the tapioca starch and rice flour.

In a small bowl, combine the cream of tartar and baking soda to make the single-acting baking powder.

In a large bowl, add the eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Pierce the eggs yolks with a knife. Gently whisk everything together for about 1 minute. Avoid whipping or beating the eggs as this introduces air in the egg mixture.

Add the coconut syrup to the egg mixture and whisk together gently. Add half of the sifted flour mixture and mix together until mostly combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and continue whisking gently. The batter is lumpy at first but continue whisking slowly, approximately 2-3 minutes, to dissolve the lumps. Add the Pandan paste and blend well. (There should be some small lumps in the batter.)

Add the single-acting baking powder and whisk until combined, approximately 1 minute. (Note the batter becomes foamy as it reacts with the baking powder.)

Remove the hot baking pan from the oven and spray with a generous amount of non-stick cooking spray. Strain the batter into the baking pan. Use a whisk to break-down any remaining flour lumps in the strainer.

Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.

Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving.

Cover any remaining Honeycomb Cake and store at room temperature for 1-2 days. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Warm the cake in the microwave to enjoy again.

Yields: 8 servings

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen


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39 Responses to Honeycomb Cake (Banh Bo Nuong)

  1. Thao January 28, 2021 at 3:46 pm #

    Hello! Excellent recipe. Thank you so much!!! ☺️
    Question. Can of coconut is 15-16 ounces. Is that what you mean? Recipe says 5.6 ounces.

    • Trang June 28, 2021 at 1:14 pm #

      Hi Thao,
      I use a smaller can of coconut milk and it’s 5.6 ounces.

  2. Tuyen July 8, 2020 at 9:26 am #

    Hi Trang! Instead of pandan paste, I have pandan leaves – what is the suggested substitution? Thanks!

  3. Theo Nguyen April 29, 2020 at 11:26 pm #


    What would happen to the batter if I whipped too much air into the egg mixture? How would this affect the cake?

  4. Veronica February 13, 2020 at 1:07 pm #

    I have tried your recipe so many times. The cake is a little dense but the honeycomb effect is beautiful.
    My issue is it would rise but once it cools off then is sunk. What am I doing wrong? Please help. I really love this cake and I want to make it regularly.
    Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  5. Mecuteo November 11, 2019 at 8:08 am #

    These days there are many recipes online, but I always go to your source as they are simple to follow and tasty !

  6. Puzzled July 1, 2019 at 7:01 pm #

    Hello chi. My cake always rises only at the sides, the middle never rises so it’s always sunken looking and most importantly, little to no “re tre”. I have tried baking this cake using exact steps and ingredients (including the pink Alsa baking powder) every time (or at least I think so). Any tips? Thank you.

    • Trang July 13, 2019 at 3:46 pm #

      Hi em,
      The cake is rising along the sides because it’s in contact with the hot pan and has walls to cling to and rise. What type and size pan are you using? Have you tried baking this cake in a bundt cake or tube pan? These pans have center cores which help the cake to climb better. Do you have the same problem baking a regular cake?

  7. Dung May 18, 2019 at 10:31 pm #

    Hi Trang,

    It’s my first time making a honeycomb cake. I used the same baking springform pan that you used in your video, but the cake batter leaked right through the baking pan in the oven. How come yours didn’t? Is it the baking pan? What kind do you have? Please let me know so I could get the correct baking pans. Thanks so much for your time!

    Take care,
    Dung 🙂

    • Trang May 20, 2019 at 1:43 pm #

      Hi Dung,
      Sorry to hear you’re having trouble with making Honeycomb Cake. The pan is not keeping a tight seal. The springs loose tension over time and with use. Have you used the pan successfully with other recipes? My springform pan is by Oneida. Here’s a link https://amzn.to/2EofNnj. My other thought is perhaps the batter is too loose. Please double check your measurements and compare the consistency of your batter to mine as shown in the video. Does it look about the same?

  8. Vy November 21, 2018 at 7:56 am #

    Hi Chi Trang,

    Have you ever tried doubling the recipe to make two cakes at once? Thanks.

    • Trang November 25, 2018 at 11:04 am #

      Hi Vy,
      Yes, I’ve doubled the recipe and baked two cakes at once in my oven. I place both baking pans on same oven rack and rotate the cakes for even browning. Good Luck!

  9. Len October 26, 2018 at 5:48 pm #

    hi Trang, can the cake be steamed instead???

    • Trang October 29, 2018 at 9:03 am #

      Hi Len,
      I have not tried steaming but it’s definitely worth a try! If you steam it, please share your results. Good Luck! 🙂

  10. Hong March 23, 2018 at 11:27 am #

    Thank you very much for your recipe. I and my daughters enjoy your blog a lots.

    • Trang March 24, 2018 at 7:46 am #

      Thank you Hong, I am so happy to hear that. Thank you for your support! 🙂

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