One of the dishes I remember eating while I was growing up was my Grandma’s Kankanen.  Her Kankanen was sweet, coconutty and her rice was never soggy.  The edges were chewy and the topping was almost too sweet. 

I remember stories from my mom about Grandma’s baked goods.  Mom said she used to get up early in the morning to prepare for the cock fights that afternoon.  Grandma sold her goods at the cock fights, and they were always a huge hit.

Although Grandma passed away before Mom could preserve her recipe (which I believe involved fresh coconut milk and fresh grated coconuts), I believe I got as close to my memory of Grandma’s Kankanen without asking her myself…

KANKANEN (aka Bibingka Malagkit- Bev’s recipe)

4 ½  c. sweet rice (malagkit)
2  (16 oz) bags frozen coconut milk (equals to 4 cups); thawed
1 cup frozen grated coconut (thawed)
1 c. Dark brown sugar plus extra cane sugar to sweeten as desired
banana leaves (wiped clean)

In a rice pot, rinse sweet rice.  Drain and leave aside. Preheat oven for 350 degrees.

Heat 4 cups coconut milk, brown sugar and grated coconut in a large pot and heat(don’t burn), stirring constantly until the brown sugar is dissolved.  Add more sugar to desired tatse if necessary.Add the rinsed sweet rice to the coconut milk mixture and cook until the mixture becomes the consistency of “mush.”  It must be runny, not completely dried out.  The rice should not be fully cooked.

Pour mixture into a banana leaf lined 9 x 13 cake pan. Cover mixture in the pan with a moistened, cleaned banana leaf.  Bake for 35 minutes.
During the last 15 minutes of baking, prepare the topping.


1 c. canned coconut milk
1/2 cup brown sugar (add more as desired)
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup thawed grated coconut

In a small saucepan, combine coconut milk, brown sugar and grated coconut.  Cook until mixture is slightly thickened; sweeten as desired.

When the rice cake is finished baking, remove the pan from oven and increase heat to 400 degrees.  Remove banana leaf from the top of the rice mixture. Pour topping evenly over the rice cake.  When the oven is ready, place rice cake uncovered back into the oven.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Cool; cut with plastic knife.


~ by hawaiianized on April 3, 2010.

One Response to “Kankanen”

  1. Oh, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I will have to try this recipe, but will have to cut very very small pieces. Bev, I think this one is as sweet as my Mom’s Xmas candy recipes. I do love brown sugar and coconut though.

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