No Bake Yema Cake

No bake yema cake with soft and fluffy steamed chiffon cake covered with creamy yema. A delicious Filipino chiffon-custard cake topped with cheese to finish of a hearty meal.

chiffon cake in a plate

I’ll be honest with you guys, this is the first cake that I didn’t bake in the oven and I love it! The chiffon cake turned out light and airy just like my taisan loaf. An ideal recipe if you don’t have an oven or just want to try out a steamed yema cake recipe.

chiffon cake with cheese topping

What is Yema?

I fondly recall yema as candies wrapped in assorted color cellophanes. The candy is made from egg yolks and condensed milk which is then coated either with sugar or caramel. The term yema which is a Spanish word for egg yolks was passed on to Filipinos during the colonial period. Nowadays, yema is not only synonymous to candies but also as a delicate yummy frosting.

ingredients for yema
Ingredients for yema.

Why this recipe works!

You can enjoy this flavorful cake even without an oven by steaming the batter in a steamer. Another simple technique: fill a medium pot with 4-5 cups water and place a metal colander with handle on the pot’s opening, cover the pot, and bring the water to a boil. Turn down the heat and place the llanera filled with batter on the colander and cover with a lid.

Not counting the prep time, It will only take 20 – 30 minutes to make. Make the yema frosting while the cake is steaming to save time.

This no bake yema cake recipe yields 2 molds and you can double or triple the recipe if you want to serve a bigger crowd.

The yema frosting or glazing will have a runny and pourable consistency once done but will be firmer after a couple of minutes or when it gets cooler.

cake ingredients on top of table
Ingredients for chiffon cake.

Some tips when you make this

You can refrigerate leftovers in a tightly sealed container and it will still be good for 2 – 3 days.

Fold the meringue gently into the egg yolk mixture so it will not deflate.

When the cake is done steaming (you can check this by doing a tootpick test). Remove the mold or llanera using tongs then turn it upside-down on a cooling rack so that the middle of the cake won’t sink. Let it sit for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the mold.

cake in a plate on top of table

The secret ingredient is always LOVE

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No Bake Yema Cake

No bake yema cake with soft and fluffy steamed chiffon cake covered with creamy yema. A delicious Filipino chiffon-custard cake topped with cheese to finish of a hearty meal.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Cooling Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: no bake yema cake, yema cake
Servings: 2 cakes
Author: Mia


For the chiffon cake

  • cup cake flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs yolks and white separated (whites for meringue)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 ¼ tbsp fresh milk or evaporated milk
  • 1 ¼ tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar for meringue
  • cup sugar for meringue

For yema frosting

  • 1 cup fresh milk
  • 1 tsp flour
  • cup condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter


  • ½ cup grated cheese
  • 1 salted egg quartered


Making the chiffon cake

  • Prepare llanera/molds by ling them with parchment paper. Set aside. Place 3-4 cups water in the steamer and turn on stove to medium heat to start boiling the water.
  • Take two eggs and separate egg yolks and whites. Take the bowl with the yolks and whisk until pale in color. Add sugar and mix until granules dissolve.
  • Add milk and oil the whisk to incorporate. Tip in the cake flour and baking powder and mix until flour flour is completely dissolved. Set Aside
  • Take the egg whites and beat with a hand mixer until frothy. Add the cream of tartar into the bowl and whisk for 2 minutes then tip-in the sugar continue whisking until stiff peaks form for approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • Transfer 1/3 of the meringue to the egg yolk mix and fold gently. Add the remaining egg whites doing the same folding technique. Transfer batter into the llanera/molds lined with parchment tap the molds on the counter a couple of times to remove air bubbles..
  • Arrange llanera/molds in the steamer and steam for 20 minutes or until an inserted tootpick comes out clean. Remove from steamer and flip the molds upside down on a cooling rack to allow the cake to cool down before removing from the molds.

Making the yema frosting

  • In a pan with no heat. Pour fresh milk, flour, condensed milk, sugar, salt and egg yolks. Whisk until flour and sugar are completely dissolved.
  • Turn on stove to low heat and continue stirring until thick and creamy. Tip in butter and continue stirring until it melts. Remove from heat and let it cool just enough so that it's still pourable.
  • Remove chiffon cake from the molds and peel off parchment paper. Pour half of the yema frosting on top of one cake and the other half on the second cake.
  • Use a spatula or bread knife to evenly distribute the yema on the cake. Sprinkle with cheese on top and place 2-3 slices of salted egg. Bon appetit!


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