Huat Kuih (发糕) is a common Chinese cupcake-like pastry. This is a very simple Chinese steamed cake recipe using dark brown sugar. The batter is steamed until it splits into beautiful sections at the top which signify good luck.


  • For other colors, replace dark brown sugar with granulated sugar and add few drops of food coloring.
  • Do not open steamer lid before the cake is done.
  • For best result (cake rises and splits into beautiful sections), use straight-sided molds for steaming, fill batter until it is almost full (90%).
  • Ensure enough water for 20 minutes high heat steaming (about 1.5 L of water).
  • Dried fruits such as wolfberries, raisins etc. can be added if desired.

Chinese Version: 发糕(紅糖)-简单不失败做法

Chinese Steamed Cake


Brown Sugar Huat Kuih (发糕) Recipe | MyKitchen101en

Serving: 4 ramekins (6-oz/175-ml)


  • 250 g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 4 tsp. (about 16 g) baking powder
  • 60 g (about 5 tbsps.) fine granulated sugar
  • 60 g (about 5 tbsps.) dark brown sugar
  • 240 ml (1 cup) water
  • 50 g (about 4 tbsp.) cooking oil


1 Line 4 ramekins (6-oz/175-ml) with parchment paper, fix with rubber bands.

Chinese Steamed Cake


2 Add fine granulated sugar and dark brown sugar into water, stir until fully dissolved.

Chinese Steamed Cake

3 Sieve in plain flour and baking powder, mix until blended.

Chinese Steamed Cake

4 Add in sugar syrup and cooking oil, mix well until a batter is formed with no visible lumps.

Chinese Steamed Cake


5 Fill batter into lined ramekins until 90% full, set aside to rest for 10 minutes, boil water for steamer (1.5L).

Chinese Steamed Cake

6 Steamed over high heat for 20 minutes, do not open lid until cakes are fully cooked.

Chinese Steamed Cake

7 Chinese steamed cakes with beautiful blooming.

Chinese Steamed Cake Chinese Steamed Cake