purple cake (taro?) found in Vietname...

purple cake (taro?) found in Vietnamese bakeries

Posted in the Vietnamese Cuisine Forum

Debra Thompson

Indio, CA

#1 Dec 7, 2006
Long ago I was given some purple cake that was similar to western style layer cake except that it tasted 10 times better than any cake I had ever eaten. I asked for the recipe but the cake had been purchased at a Vietnamese bakery many many miles from where I live (deep in the California desert) I asked what was in it, i.e. what caused it to be purple and we hit a language barrier. She didn't know the English word for it, so she called it a Vietnamese sweet potato. I think she may have been taking about taro, not that I have any experience with taro but I ate sine taro ice cream in Japan and it was the same purple color as the cake. Nobody seems to know what I'm taking about when I ask about Vietnamese purple Taro?? cake. Can anybody help me find a recipe or failing that a mail order Vietnamese bakery that sells this cake.
nga

Los Altos, CA

#2 Dec 14, 2006
Is the cake chewy? If it is, I guess the cake is called "banh da lon" in vietnamese. It is made with tapioca flour, sugar, coconut milk and steamed taro in coconut milk. It is usually constructed such as top and bottom layers with the green layer of tapioca flour+sugar+coconut milk + "la dua(vietnamese name for the fragrant green leaf)" mixture, and the middle layer is the taro mixture. The cake is made layer after layer by steaming. There is another version of this cake. It is made with mung bean instead of taro for the middle layer.
Ann

La Jolla, CA

#3 Mar 6, 2007
Hello,
From your comments on the Taro cake, I can see you are a good cook. I was wondering if you know the recipe to making the sweet red beans they serve at Vietnamese restaurants as a part of a dessert. They are firm and nicely red. I've tried it at home, but my beans come out less red and not firm and some are broken. The restaurant's seem like they are baked, yet they are not. Any suggestion is welcome.
HeLLO I KNOW

Las Vegas, NV

#4 Mar 28, 2007
Debra Thompson wrote:
Long ago I was given some purple cake that was similar to western style layer cake except that it tasted 10 times better than any cake I had ever eaten. I asked for the recipe but the cake had been purchased at a Vietnamese bakery many many miles from where I live (deep in the California desert) I asked what was in it, i.e. what caused it to be purple and we hit a language barrier. She didn't know the English word for it, so she called it a Vietnamese sweet potato. I think she may have been taking about taro, not that I have any experience with taro but I ate sine taro ice cream in Japan and it was the same purple color as the cake. Nobody seems to know what I'm taking about when I ask about Vietnamese purple Taro?? cake. Can anybody help me find a recipe or failing that a mail order Vietnamese bakery that sells this cake.
hi Im filipino we also have a purple cake named Ube or Purple yam in english and in Asian terminology Taro.
hello

Selma, AL

#5 Jun 24, 2007
Hello Debra Thompson,

The cake you're talking about is a taro cake. And I know of only one place you can buy it:
at a vietnamese mall called Phuoc Loc Tho in Garden Grove, CA(do a google search). I don't think you can mail order them. It's a popular place and most often runs out of the taro cakes quickly.

If I were to live as close as you are, I'd take the drive to get them. so delicious :-) I live in Alabama and have been trying to search for a way to order them... no luck so far.

The little bakery is located near the back entrance of the mall, near the escalators, if I remember correctly. It's on the first floor, and you'll see lots of baked round bread looking thingies in the shoppe. You might find the purple taro cakes sitting around near the cash register, if not ask the ladies there for some Banh khoai mon (you might want to write this name down and hand it to them). Good luck!
p.s. if you find a way to mail order, please share!
Michelle

Pittsburgh, PA

#6 Dec 17, 2007
HeLLO I KNOW wrote:
<quoted text>
hi Im filipino we also have a purple cake named Ube or Purple yam in english and in Asian terminology Taro.
There are so many taro cakes. I love taro, too. Some taro they do only for holiday ( come out one a year Call banh trung thu taro)(Banh bia taro)(banh bao taro mean taro bun in diem xiem everywhere in Chinese restaurant serve in the moring only.) Ranch 99 Market had Birthday cake taro. and other cake make out taro. I hope it will help find what you want. I live South San Jose. Everybody know all kind of taro cakes.
Brendan

Williamstown, VT

#7 Jan 9, 2008
You can find a similar thing in almost all cantonese-style chinese bakeries (in any chinatown) called taro bun.... mmm soft bread with a crispy yellow top and sweet soft taro center. Love it, wish I could make it.

http://photos10.flickr.com/12071936_19be9ae69...

Is the vietnamese version a lot different? I'll have to try it.
smyersmonger

Las Vegas, NV

#8 Feb 7, 2008
Debra Thompson wrote:
Long ago I was given some purple cake that was similar to western style layer cake except that it tasted 10 times better than any cake I had ever eaten. I asked for the recipe but the cake had been purchased at a Vietnamese bakery many many miles from where I live (deep in the California desert) I asked what was in it, i.e. what caused it to be purple and we hit a language barrier. She didn't know the English word for it, so she called it a Vietnamese sweet potato. I think she may have been taking about taro, not that I have any experience with taro but I ate sine taro ice cream in Japan and it was the same purple color as the cake. Nobody seems to know what I'm taking about when I ask about Vietnamese purple Taro?? cake. Can anybody help me find a recipe or failing that a mail order Vietnamese bakery that sells this cake.
If you are ever in Las Vegas, there is a Chinese Bakery on Jones and Spring Mountain Rd. called L'elysee that makes thr BEST purple Taro cake with a purple cream filling/icing and Strawberrys. It's expensive but worth it! They sell a box of Taro cakes that are delicious!
Tiana

Vader, WA

#10 Jun 6, 2008
she actually talkiing about ube which is like the same thing as taro u can get it at an asian market anywhere. Its really good =] and ube is purple yams which are sweet potatoes =D
clc115

Tempe, AZ

#11 Jun 9, 2008
I have a friend who requested a taro cake for his birthday. He seemed to think you could only get it in Taiwan (where he grew up) and I have tried looking for recipes online, but all I've found are savory cakes, with bacon, scallops, and mushrooms. I can't imagine this is what he would have requested for his birthday, as I was picturing something more sweet. Where can I find a recipe, and is there a difference in the English translation between savory and sweet taro cakes?
agg

New York, NY

#12 Dec 26, 2008
there is a sweet taro coconut cake recipe here:
http://www.hawaii.edu/hga/Lessons/maui98/TARO...
Taro and Coconut Cake
2 cups. hot peeled and cooked mashed taro 2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup melted butter 1/4 tsp. each ground nutmeg and cinnamon
1 cup freshly grated coconut 1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup milk 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Butter a shallow 8 inch. cake pan. Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine the hot taro with the melted butter, mashing again as you work in the butter. Add the coconut, sugar and beaten eggs, and mix in well. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, milk and vanilla, and beat all together by hand or with an electric beater for 1 minute. Pour into cake pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour (or until firm). Remove from oven and cool completely. Sprinkle top with sifted icing sugar if desired.(Flame Tree Cookbook by Sue Carruthers)
BBM

Santa Ana, CA

#13 Jan 6, 2009
Anne

Irvine, CA

#14 Oct 28, 2010
I found the taro roll cake at 99 Ranch Market for $4.99. It tastes good.
There are many 99 Ranch Markets in LA and Orange county.
Joyce

Long Beach, CA

#15 Mar 10, 2011
my mother told me i could find it at the goldilocks bakery in west covina, ca
kbridge

Gentofte, Denmark

#16 Oct 17, 2011
My friend just brought me a box of taro cakes from Taipei, Taiwan. He said that taro is the same thing as poi (Hawaiian). They are flaky little lilac colored, round cakes. The consistency is like really soft tortillas. The inside reminds me of cookie dough - like that of sugar cookies. Is this what you are talking about? I am trying to find them for sale on the internet b/c my kids love them and we want more, but I haven't had any luck.
frank

Corona, CA

#17 Apr 13, 2013
You might want to check out ube or purple yam cake..very popular in filipino desserts and often sold at 99 ranch markets
Debra Thompson wrote:
Long ago I was given some purple cake that was similar to western style layer cake except that it tasted 10 times better than any cake I had ever eaten. I asked for the recipe but the cake had been purchased at a Vietnamese bakery many many miles from where I live (deep in the California desert) I asked what was in it, i.e. what caused it to be purple and we hit a language barrier. She didn't know the English word for it, so she called it a Vietnamese sweet potato. I think she may have been taking about taro, not that I have any experience with taro but I ate sine taro ice cream in Japan and it was the same purple color as the cake. Nobody seems to know what I'm taking about when I ask about Vietnamese purple Taro?? cake. Can anybody help me find a recipe or failing that a mail order Vietnamese bakery that sells this cake.

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