What Is Vietnamese Mung Bean Cake? What Does It Taste Like?

By Alex Au Yeung

5/5 - (6 votes)

Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its rich and diverse flavors, and among its many delectable offerings, Vietnamese Mung Bean Cake stands out as a beloved traditional dessert. This delightful sweet treat, showcases the culinary ingenuity and cultural heritage of Vietnam.

What is mung bean cake?

What Is Vietnamese Mung Bean Cake? What Does It Taste Like?

Vietnamese Mung Bean Cake (or Mung Bean Pastry) also known as Bánh Đậu Xanh, is a traditional Vietnamese dessert made from mung beans. This delectable dessert is particularly famous in the Hải Dương province of Vietnam.

The mung bean cake is appreciated for its soft and smooth texture, as well as its comforting and mildly sweet taste. It is a delightful dessert that showcases the use of mung beans, which are a common ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine.

What does mung bean cake taste like?

The cake consists of a smooth and creamy mung bean paste that is combined with glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar. The mixture is steamed until it sets into a firm and slightly sticky cake. The cake has a subtle sweetness and a delicate mung bean flavor.

Vietnamese mung bean cake recipe

Cooking note

  • Yield: 8 servings.
  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese
  • Equipment: Steamer


What Is Vietnamese Mung Bean Cake? What Does It Taste Like?

  • 1 cup peeled split mung beans
  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Banana leaves (for lining the cake mold)
  • Cooking oil (for greasing)


Steam the mung beans: Place the peeled split mung beans in a steamer and steam them until they are fully cooked and soft, about 20-30 minutes.

What Is Vietnamese Mung Bean Cake? What Does It Taste Like?

Blend the mung beans: Transfer the steamed mung beans to a blender and blend until you achieve a smooth and fine paste. The finer the paste, the smoother the texture of the cake.

Cook the mung bean paste: Take a suitable-sized saucepan and add a little cooking oil. Place the pan over low heat and add the blended mung bean paste. Stir continuously to prevent sticking.

What Is Vietnamese Mung Bean Cake? What Does It Taste Like?

Sweeten the mixture: Once the mung bean paste becomes smooth, add sugar, coconut milk, and salt to the pan. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens. If the paste becomes too runny, you can add a small amount of toasted glutinous rice flour to thicken it. Note that the addition should be minimal to preserve the flavor of the mung beans.

Shape the cake: When the mung bean mixture has thickened and no longer sticks to your hands, turn off the heat and let it cool slightly. Then, shape the mixture into small round balls. Grease the cake mold with some cooking oil to prevent sticking. Place each ball into the mold and press it down firmly. Repeat until you have used all the mixture.

What Is Vietnamese Mung Bean Cake? What Does It Taste Like?

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

  • Vietnamese mung bean cake calories: 200
  • Total Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 100mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 34g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3g
  • Sugars: 14g
  • Protein: 3g

How to serve Vietnamese mung bean cake?

Vietnamese Mung Bean Cake is often served as a dessert or snack. It is typically cut into small rectangular or diamond-shaped pieces and enjoyed on its own or with a cup of hot tea such as artichoke tea. The cake is also sometimes wrapped in banana leaves for added aroma and presentation.


Can I use canned mung beans instead of dried ones?

It’s best to use dried mung beans for making mung bean cake. Canned mung beans may have a different texture and consistency, which can affect the outcome of the cake.

Can I substitute glutinous rice flour?

Glutinous rice flour provides the desired texture for the cake. Substituting it with regular rice flour or other types of flour may alter the texture and result in a different consistency.

How should I store mung bean cake?

Mung bean cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you want to extend its shelf life, you can refrigerate it for up to a week.

Can I freeze mung bean cake?

Yes, mung bean cake can be frozen. Wrap individual slices tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw them in the refrigerator before serving.

Can I omit coconut milk?

Coconut milk adds flavor and richness to the cake, but if you prefer, you can substitute it with another type of milk or water. However, it will affect the taste and texture of the final result.


Gather the ingredients, get ready to blend flavors, and embrace the joy of creating a traditional Vietnamese dessert. Let the aroma of mung beans and coconut fill your kitchen as you embark on this culinary journey. Enjoy the process, and delight in the rewarding taste of Vietnamese Mung Bean Cake!

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