Another One Number Baking Ratio Adventures (7).. Sugee Almond Cake



I have not bake this cake for almost one year and start to crave for this cake with unique texture.. I told my friends, I loved this cake, not a bit but a lot. It is slightly chewy and it is not as oily as those normal butter cake. I have decided to change my recipe to substitute plain flour with almond flour or almond meal. Therefore, this cake have no plain flour. Depending on the type of semolina flour that you used, if it is a product from buckwheat, this cake can be considered as gluten free.. If the semolina flour is produced from durum wheat, it will not be gluten free.


I also did not use baking powder for this cake, purely leavened by eggs . I love the dense and chewy unique texture. It is a cake good for festivals and you can use this as a festival cake by gradually infusing alcohol to enhance the moistness and flavour.. For kids consumption, I did not do intend to add in any alcoholic drink..

Please scroll down for the new Recipe 2 (without plain flour version).




In Singapore, usually one package of semolina flour will weigh 500 g and costs less than SGD2 depending on the brands. However, being a Chinese, there are not many cuisines that use semolina flour as the ingredients. I have issued a post of Indian Short Bread Cookies – Nan Khatai that uses semolina flour and ghee, it was quite well received and a number of readers who tried the recipes still have lots of semolina flour left. They are asking what shall they do with the semolina flour? That recipe only called for 50 grams of semolina flour and effectively, they still have 45o grams of semolina flour left in their kitchen shelf. I have promised those readers that I will provide a recipe of SUGEE ALMOND CAKE, a traditional Malaysian Singaporean Eurasian festival cake that also uses semolina flour …



Rather surprisingly, Sugee cake is included in Wikipedia’s explanation of Singapore’s cuisines, it was written:

“Sugee cake, a soft cake made with semolina flour and a high concentration of egg yolks; served in Eurasian, Malay, and Chinese cuisine.” (Source: Http://


Sugee cake is traditionally treated as a festival cake usually served in Kristang families both as a happy occasion cake (Christmas, birthdays, weddings) and sombre occasion such as funerals.  In fact, it is also a type of cake for the Christmas. Kristang are local Portuguese descendent Eurasians in Singapore and West Malaysia. The popularity of this cake however has extended to other races such as Chinese, Malay and Indian households.


Effectively, this is a type of butter cakes made using semolina flour and large quantity of egg yolks. It had a special texture, a big chewy and unlike cakes that uses the normal flour, it is denser. Though dense, it is easy to down the throat and in fact, both my wife and me have concurred that it is another way of appreciating the butter cake. Chewy, buttery, aromatic and moist.

There are many recipes of sugee cakes in the internet, some called for pan frying the semolina flour or soaking of semolina flour in butter, some called for use of brandy or other fruits alcohol, some used less eggs and some used lot of egg yolks.. However, I have adapted the recipe from


Since this recipe do not vary very much from my proposed “one baking number ratio”, I have made slight modifications so that it conform with my believes of using just one number in preparing the ingredients. If you are interested to read more about my “one number baking ratio” adventures, you can refer to the following posts – Basic Pound Cake, Peanut Butter Muffins, Fruits Dates Cakes, Zebra Patterned Pound Cake and Grapefruit Cognac Pound Cake. 


RECIPE 1 (PLAIN FOUR VERSION) – please scroll down for recipe 2 (without plain flour version)


Recipe adapted  from:  AWARD WINNING SUGEE CAKE RECIPE from http;//

Make an 8’ square baking tin


  • 250 grams of semolina flour

  • 250 grams of plain flour (sift and set aside)

  • 250 grams of castor sugar

  • 250 grams of butter (at room temperature)

  • 250 grams of eggs (use 6 eggs – see calculation below) – separated into egg yolks and egg whites)

  • 250 grams of milk or less subject to eggs volume  (balancing – see calculation below)

  • half cups of grounded almond

  • 3 teaspoons of baking power (sift together with plain flour and set aside)

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence OR 1-2 teaspoons of brandy or whisky

Calculation of milks required based actual weight of this illustration:

In this illustration, 6 eggs weighed about 318 grams 

Milk volume = 250 g of milk – Excess volume of eggs = 250 g  – (318g – 250g) = 182 g of milk

Alternatively, you can use 6 eggs and 120ml of milk as in the original recipes. This recipe have about 60 g more milk which it moister.




  • Pre-heat oven to 150 degree Celsius

  • Line a 8” square baking tin with parchment paper

Preparing the meringue (Beating of egg whites)


  • In a big mixing bowl, place your egg whites and beat using the machine whisk to whisk the egg whites until firm peak. Note that the bowl have to be extremely clean, dry and free of any oils.

  • When the volume expands, add in about 5 tablespoons of sugar gradually, beat until thick and glossy and until all the sugars dissolved. Spoon the filling into a clean bowl and set aside for later use.


Preparing the batters and folding of flours


  • Change your whisk to a K beater (look at the second picture for the shape). Place your remaining sugar and butter, beat until light and creamy. Add in the vanilla essence and eggs yolks and use slow speed to “mix” until well mixed. Eggs yolk should be added one by one and scrap the bottom of the bowl to ensure no unmixed egg yolk settled at the bottom of the mixing bowl.

  • Once well mixed, put 1/3 of plain flours, semolina flours, ground almonds and fresh milk and use the slowest speed to let it “stir” for 2-3 cycles.


  • Repeat the same for the remaining two third dry ingredients and milks. Once well mixed, take the mixing bowl out.


Folding of egg whites


  • Once well mixed, use a big spoon or spatula and  fold in the egg white swiftly and lightly until the batter are smooth.


Baking the Cake


  • Bake in the oven at 180 degree Celsius for the first 15 minutes and turn down the temperature to 150 degree Celsius for the remaining 45-60 minutes or when the skewer inserted come out clean. When you note signs of burnt, just use some metal to cover the cake tin.


Recipe 2 (Without Plain Flour Version)


  • 250 grams of melted butter
  • 250 grams of semolina flour
  • 250 grams of almond meal or almond flour
  • 250 grams of castor sugar
  • 50 grams of milk (optional)
  • 6 eggs (separated into egg white and egg yolks)
  • 2-3 teaspoons of brandy or whisky (optional)



  • Mixed the semolina flour with the melted butter. Let it soaked for at least 4 hours .

  • Pre-heat the oven to 150 degree Celsius.

  • In a whisking bowl, whisk the sugar (leave 2 tablespoons for egg white) and egg yolk until light and pale. Add the brandy, milk, soaked semolina flour followed by almond meal. Stir until well combine and resemble a sticky paste.

  • Beat the egg white until soft peak with the 2 tablespoons of sugar.

  • Fold the egg white to the thick yolk batter in 3 phases. Transfer the batter to a greased 8” inches square tin and bake in the pre-heated oven of 150 degree Celsius for about 45 minutes or when a skewer inserted comes out clean.

  • Best serve after resting one night as the cake will start to get moister. If preferred, can further infuse more alcohol and can be used as a festival cake.




As it is a very dense cake (about 1.8 kg), a crack may be inevitable… Some international members have commented that a crack signifies that it is a “cake” with character…. It is such a consolation statement to me. The crack do become smaller after 8 hours of resting. Personally, to me that is rather irrelevant to me since the cake is very tasty. It is moist because semolina can better absorb more liquids and butters than plain flour. It goes well with icing or cream or just plain with  a cup of coffee.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  



14 thoughts on “Another One Number Baking Ratio Adventures (7).. Sugee Almond Cake

  1. Another brilliant post, Ken!!! I just posted my attempt on Nan Khatai in my blog two hrs ago. Exactly, I do not what to do with my balance semolina. Tis post came in so timely! Thank you so much!! Hv a nice week ahead!

    • Thanks for trying. Glad you like it. You can post in my Facebook group called food bloggers and foodies united to increase your readership. Will visit your blog later when at home,

  2. Pingback: Simple And Humble But Aromatic And Tasty–Almond Butter Cake (杏仁牛油蛋糕) | GUAI SHU SHU

  3. Can i use 500g of semolina flour instead of 250g semolina flour + 250g of plain flour? Will it affect the cake texture become too dry?

  4. Hi Kenneth I made yr almond sugee cake n it turned out a bit dry. Could u advise what cd hv gone wrong as I followed exactly. Also can U pls share how to make the icing for the cake . Thks

    • Possibly is over baked and may be it did not suit your tastebuds. If you are trying for the next time, try increase butter by additional 5%. It should be less dry. As for the icing, just have some icing sugar, gradually add milk until it form a paste. I did not measure. May be 1 cup of icing sugar a few tablespoons of milk.

  5. Hi Kenneth, thank you so much for sharing this recipe. This is now “the” recipe I will use for sujee cake. I did a durian sujee cake for hubs bday last nite, Turned out so good! Everyone loved it. My hub grew up eating sujee cake as his mom is Eurasian.. so you can imagine his high standard and expectation of sujee cakes. The cake did turn out drier than the original version w/out durian – possible problem could be the amount of eggs – I used organic eggs which are smaller, I have added 7 eggs in total, maybe should try 8 nxt time. Also because the durian flesh were thick and creamy, the amount of milk could have been more. I already added more than 50gm milk but maybe not quite enough. Another reason for dryness could the the over baking. Was too busy washing that I left it over 40min before testing for doneness! Anyway since it’s the durian season and for the durian lovers out there.. do give durian sujee cake a try!

    • Thanks.. Theoretically, without altering the recipe, adding durian will made it moister as all fruits are good moisture retainer.. I am puzzling and thanks for your suggestion.

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