Alternative namesPol cake, Sri Lankan coconut cake
Place of originSri Lanka
Serving temperatureCooled
Main ingredientsCoconut, Jaggery, Semolina, Spices
VariationsBrown sugar, rice flour

Bibikkan (Sinhala: බිබික්කන්) is a traditional Sri Lankan coconut cake.[1][2] It is a dark moist cake made of shredded coconut, jaggery (from the sap of the toddy palm) and semolina combined with a mixture of spices.[3] Bibikkan is commonly prepared and consumed in celebration of festive and religious occasions, including Christmas, New Year's Eve, Sinhala and Tamil New Year.[4][5]

Origins and history

Bibikkan is believed to have been introduced to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese, who colonised the coastal areas of the island in 1505 and remained until 1658.[5] Goan Catholics serve a similar dish called Bebinca,[6] which is almost identical to Bibingka, a traditional Filipino rice flour cake made with coconut milk, which is served on Christmas Day.[7] Historically the Mount Lavinia area has been associated with the production of Bibikkan,[8] known locally as Poranu appa.[5]


The main ingredients of bibikan are jaggery, an unrefined syrup from the sap of the Kithul palm tree; dry roasted semolina (Uppama) or rice flour; and grated or shredded coconut.

See also


  1. ^ Bullis, Douglas; Hutton, Wendy (2001). Food of Sri Lanka. Tuttle Publishing. p. 104. ISBN 9781462907182.
  2. ^ Ratnapāla, Nandasēna (1991). Folklore of Sri Lanka. State Print Corporation. p. 166. ISBN 9789556100891.
  3. ^ Jayasekera, Indra (1982). Stevens, Gillian (ed.). A Taste of Sri Lanka. Oracle Book Distributors. p. 39. ISBN 9789622240100.
  4. ^ de Silva, Pramod (11 April 2020). "Avurudu – A tribute to Nature". The Daily News. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Samara, Daleena (November 2011). "Sweet Tropical Christmas". Serendib. Sri Lankan Airlines. Archived from the original on 25 June 2021. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  6. ^ Rajah, Carol Selva (2004). Seafood Sensation. Times Editions. p. 153. ISBN 9789812325457.
  7. ^ Collingham, Elizabeth M. (2005). Curry: A Biography. Chatto & Windus. p. 62.
  8. ^ Alles, Doreen (1997). Traditional Foods & Cookery Down the Ages: Volume 2 - Facets of Sri Lanka. D. Alles. p. 6. ISBN 9789559601814.