Cassava cake with grated coconut

Dessert and snacks made from cassava are very popular. It could be because it is easily grown all over the country. Just drop a couple of tuber of cassava in an empty plot of land, when you come back in three months time, it will grow and duplicate and there is nothing you can do to stop it. That is also why they are very cheap, and they are very important staple ingredients for many traditional dessert and snacks.

The same goes with coconut. They simply will not stop growing. In this snacks, we only use the grated flesh of the coconut for toppings, but it is a very integral part of the snacks. I have never seen these made or sold without their soulmate, the grated coconut.

Again, sold in every corner of any markets across town, it is very easy to make. Only three ingredients used. Cassava, gula melaka / palm sugar and grated coconut. Popularly known as “getuk” in Indonesian, it is the great grandmother of all desserts in our country.

You will need some cassava roots. They are turbular in shape, and you might want to wash them as they are always covered with earth.

To peel the cassava, press your knife about 0.25cm down the skin and pull the skin away by twisting the knife. Once you get the outer skin, all you need to do is to quickly pull the skin using the knife in one hand and turning the cassava with the other hand. You will end up with super white and smooth cassava

Halve (and quarter, if necessary) the cassava and get rid off the fiber in the middle. You will need to get rid off all of them, because they will give nasty textures to the cake. These are quite inedible, not that you will die or anything, but it is as hard as leather boots.

Steam them in a double steamer pot until soft. The end result will be something like mashed potatoes, very buttery.

This is the laborious part. We made this the traditional way (I might need sometime to try the other modern way, using electrical kitchen appliances), which requires a big wooden mortar and pestle.

Start pounding mercilessly until you end up with smooth paste. Coarse and lumpy textured is also nice in my opinion, but I will get sneered by my family. So I pounded and pounded and pounded.

When you have reached the desired textured, add the palm sugar into the mortar. It would really help if I have shaved it before adding, that would really be the smart move. But no, I just dropped the whole thing and tried to kill it with the pestle. Add some salt on this stage too.

Half way through working on the cassava mixture, the sugar will melt and mix with the cassava pulp.

Keep working on it until they are all mixed well.

Lightly butter plate. Place the cake in it. Not a pretty sight? Wait for it.

Shape them into a rectangular shape (or round) with thickness of 2.5 cm by using your hand, lined with plastic. Cut them into squares with plastic knife or plastic cutter. A knife covered with plastic sheet can also do. It sticks mercilessly to stainless steel surfaces or metal surfaces.

And freshly grated coconut for toppings.

Generously sprinkle the coconut on top of the cake and serve with ice tea. Or bubble tea. Or ice coffee.

Since the grated coconut is not cooked, this cake has to be consumed within 6 hours of making. If you want to refrigerate, leave the toppings off them. Uncooked grated coconut can go stale longer than that.


Indonesian Cassava Cake with Grated Coconut, Getuk

Makes 40 3cm-squares


1 kg cassava
200 g palm sugar (gula melaka or gula merah), shaved
1/2 tsp salt
100 g grated coconut


Steam cassava for 30 minutes until soft.
Process them in a mortar and pestle, to desired consistency. Add palm sugar and salt, continue working on it until everything is mixed well.
Prepare a plate or pan, butter generously. Place the cake mixture on the buttered pan and shape it into square or round, flat top.
Generously sprinkle with grated coconut on top and cut into squares.

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21 Responses to “Cassava Cake with Grated Coconut”

  1. 1

    Pepy @Indonesia Eats — November 24, 2010 @ 11:06 am

    It was my breakfast and snack food. Well Jun. You are so rajin.

    • Jun replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 8:07 am

      Haha! I will not make it anytime soon, if that’s what you meant. I wonder if I can use a potato masher.

  2. 2

    Vegolicious — November 25, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

    I’ve never tried cassava, but this looks delicious.

    I’d love for you to submit some of your beautiful photos, and a link to your posts, to my vegetarian food photo gallery showcasing the best vegetarian/vegan dishes on the web.

    • Jun replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 8:07 am

      Definitely will do that! Thank you so much for your visit!

  3. 3

    pigpigscorner — November 26, 2010 @ 7:56 am

    There’s a similar dessert in Malaysia made with casava too. Love that, this looks so good with the coconut topping!

    • Jun replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 8:08 am

      Oh really? The two countries are like twin, if you asked me.

  4. 4

    Pepy @Indonesia Eats — November 26, 2010 @ 8:32 am

    I probably will go for a food processor instead of a potato masher. Here, we can buy grated cassava ready to use, but frozen. :)

    • Jun replied: — November 27th, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

      Grated cassava would be so convenient! Without the dirt and tree-like skin!

  5. 5

    thoma — November 29, 2010 @ 10:45 am

    cassava is terribly common in India too. but it should be fine if we run the tapioca in the grinder once right, or food processor? why didn you try it? because your family made it?

    i thought it would go in for a bake finally. how come the final photo shows a brighter color?

    • Jun replied: — November 30th, 2010 @ 5:10 am

      Hi Thoma, No the cake was not baked. When mashed to desired texture, shape them on a buttered pan and ready to be served.

      I didn’t use any electronic appliances because I was trying to learn it the authentic way. One of these days I would try to simplify it. I am sure the grinder or food processor would work just fine. Thank you for the tip!

  6. 6

    thoma — November 29, 2010 @ 10:50 am

    i should say the new look of your blog is perfect. i didn notice when you changed it. it’s really so classy. how did you do the blog title with that logo and all?

    • Jun replied: — November 30th, 2010 @ 5:11 am

      The blog design is done by They did a great job!

  7. 7

    nora — November 30, 2010 @ 7:14 am

    omg, this is one of my fav desserts ever! my mom makes them of course but she steams it instead. she also adds coconut flakes to the mixture prior steaming hence we do not put coconut shavings on top after its done. To be honest i love this way better! plus it doesn’t go bad as fast :p love yr blog and pics BTW! will try making the satay sauce soon :)

    • Jun replied: — December 1st, 2010 @ 7:28 am

      Steaming is a great idea too! It would give the cake time to rest and bind together in a more “cakey” kinda way. Thank you so much for your visit! You are too kind!

  8. 8

    Emm — December 4, 2010 @ 6:51 pm

    Wow, thats looks so yum, albiet very labour intensive! Thanks for stopping by my blog :-)
    I’m really excited to read more of your lovely blog, my brother has just come home from travelling all around Indonesia and is so excited about all the lovely food he ate. I have been to Bali a few times as a kid, but hope to one day get back there….and eat!!!

    • Jun replied: — December 5th, 2010 @ 3:56 am

      The pleasure is all mine! You got one of the sweetest gluten free blogs out there and I totally love it!

      Thank you for stopping by and for the lovely comment!

  9. 9

    Ecky — January 6, 2011 @ 4:48 am

    Oh I remember this dessert, I love it.. But it will be a challenge to make it here as I haven’t seen any market sold casava, but I’ve seen the trees over grown on the side of the street, I might have to try find the land owner and buy it.

  10. 10

    venus — October 12, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    omg, i never know that this is so easy to make..
    maybe because it is so easy to be purchased in the market in indonesia, and my dad always purchased it for me.. i like it like it like it very much.. hehehe…

    and i fell in love with your blog.. for someone that has zero knowledge in cooking like me, you are really an angel with all those clear steps and instructions and PHOTOs….
    will try to find similar substitutes item here (in States) and start cooking with your recipe..

    thanks a bunch, Jun.. and keep on blogging okay.. you are doing a great job and help me a lot..

  11. 11

    sudha — April 17, 2014 @ 2:14 am

    This is a healthy dessert! I am going to try it and surprise my family.we never know that wecan make dessert with it, this looks yummy! How do you grate the coconut it looks so pretty! When I grate I get the brown skin in it, but in yours I don’t find even a single piece of it!

    • Jun replied: — May 1st, 2014 @ 11:10 pm

      The grated coconut is market bought. They use a coconut grater machine to grate the meat. :)

  12. 12

    Eat Pray Love film matched with an exotic menu | Film and Food — November 9, 2014 @ 5:27 am

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