Easy Yema Cake

It’s time to make something sweet with one of the Philippines’ best desserts: Yema cake. Find out everything you need to know to cook up this easy recipe.

Easy Yema Cake

If you’re ever lucky enough to visit Manila, the beautiful capital city of the Philippines, one of the first dishes you’re likely to be served is Yema Cake. It’s a major delicacy among the locals, and one that you won’t be able to get enough of.

Today we’re bring a little taste of Manila to our kitchen with this easy Yema cake recipe.

Think of thick frosting, a sprinkle of cheese, and heavenly sweetness, and you have the Yema Cake. It is a chiffon cake, with Yema as the top coating. Yema is an icing that is rich in butter and milk, two ingredients that make the cake more flavourful.

easy yema cake recipe

The good thing about this cake is that you are free to throw in your own variations. You only have to follow the procedure to avoid destroying its appearance. Among the ingredients, you use to make the cake are eggs. The egg you use could potentially alter the color of the cake, but does it matter anyway? What we both want is a great-tasting cake.

Although sweet and indulgent, yema alone is heavy so it’s important you put your skills and creativity together to make it light and fluffy. To help this, I recommend choosing a sponge or chiffon cake as your base.

Rushing through the process while making the icing will only destroy the good work you began. Don’t force the condensed milk and egg yolk to mingle. Be gentle when stirring the mixture under low heat. Do it for about 15 minutes for the perfect icing. You will notice the frosting thickening as it cools. It is a perfect texture if you plan to use it as a filling between cake layers.

Are you looking to achieve a classic Yema cake? Well, this will need a sprinkle of salty cheddar cheese. It adds an extra layer of flavor. You could be adventurous and ditch it for shaved queso de bola and achieve an incredibly delicious cake. So, what do we need?

easy yema cake recipe
easy yema cake recipe

Easy Yema Cake

It’s time to make something sweet with one of the Philippines’ best desserts: Yema cake. Find out everything you need to know to cook up this easy recipe.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine Philippines
Servings 6


Basic Sponge Cake

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 pinch salt

Yema Frosting

  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • ½ cup grated cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line an 8-inch cake pan with butter and parchment paper.

Basic Sponge

  • In a bowl, whisk the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add each egg one at a time, beating well each time to ensure the egg is incorporated.
  • Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract, flour, salt, milk. Whisk to combine and pour into the cake pan.
  • Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted into the cake and come out clean. Rest for ten minutes before removing from the tin and moving to a cooling rack.

Yema Frosting

  • In a pan over low heat, combine the condensed milk, egg yolks, butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir continuously until smooth and thick. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Spread some frosting between two sponges. Cover top and finish with grated cheese.