The Easiest Way to Make Yema Cake (Recipe)

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.

yema cake recipe

Think of a 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.

how to make yema cake

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 colour of the cake, but does it matter anyway? What we both want is a great tasting cake.

Yema cake design

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 flavour. You could be adventurous and ditch it for shaved queso de bola and achieve an incredibly delicious cake. So, what do we need?

Yema cake ingredients
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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.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Philippines
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 6


  • 110 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 140 g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 20 g corn starch
  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 60 g all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp calamansi
  • 50 g butter
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup grated cheese
  • 2 cans condensed milk


  • Grab a pan and boil some water in it then melt your cream cheese, milk, and butter. Then, cool the mixture to room temperature. Run for your mixer; add cornstarch, salt, and flour. Lastly, follow up with egg yolks and lemon juice.
  • Pick another bowl; mix the tartar cream and egg white to froth. Pour in the vanilla and gradually add sugar till foam forms. Grab your egg whites and fold them into the cheese mixture.
  • Cover an 8-inch round cake pan with a parchment paper then pour in the butter. The cake should then be baked in a water bath for an hour at 325F.
  • Make the icing by pouring two cans of condensed milk into a pan. Under low heat, add the egg yolks and cook. In it, add the almond extract and vanilla and cook until the mixture is thick enough to spread and then add butter.
  • Cover your yema cake with icing and top with grated cheese.