Palm Sugar or Gula Melaka or Gula Apong Huat Kuih (椰糖发糕)



When I issued the pandan Huat kuih post, readers and members of Facebook  are asking for Gula Melaka (Coconut Sugar) Huat kuih.

This trip when I was back to my hometown Sarawak, I managed to get some Gula Apong or nipah palm sugar and I thought it is the time to share with all pure vegetarian palm sugar Huat kuih.


I have used Gula Apong or nipah palm sugar instead of coconut sugar.  Gula Apong is another type of palm sugar and is a good substitute for coconut sugar or Gula Melaka.


Unlike Gula Melaka of which the sugar were obtained from the coconut palm, Gula Apong is made by collecting juices from a type of mangrove palm called nipah palm or colloquially as “Atap”. For Sarawakian, Gula Melaka is never common and Gula Apong is commonly sold in the market.


The recipe is adapted from my screw pine or pandan Huat Kuih recipe. However, instead of using eggs and butter, to make it pure vegetarian for religious praying ceremony, I have omitted the eggs and use vegetable cooking oil instead of the butter. The result is satisfactory and I am rather happy that the rice cake smile rather happily though I have hope that it “laugh with the mouth wide open” as in my Pandan Huat Kuih.




Servings: Prepare 6 Huat Kuihs


  • 250 grams of self raising flour (自发面粉)
  • 150 grams of Gula Apong or Gula Melaka (椰糖或其他棕榈糖)
  • 1 teaspoon of double acting baking powder or baking powder (双重发粉或发粉)
  • 1 packet or 200 ml of coconut milk (椰奶)
  • 50 grams of plain water (白水)
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil(食用油)



  • Get ready a steamer with water capable of steaming the Kuih for at least 20 minutes.


  • Put the water, palm sugar and coconut milk in a microwavable bowl. Heat for 0.5-1 minute. Stir in between until all the sugar have dissolved. If you do not have a microwavable oven, just heat up the mixture on a stove using medium to low heat until all the palm sugar have dissolved. Sift in the flour and baking powder, add in the cooking oil, stir until well mixed.


  • Transfer it to some cupcake cups and fill the cups with the batter until at least 95% full. Prior to steaming, lightly grease a scissor or a knife and cut a criss-cross on top of the batter. Steam in the steamer for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre come out clean. It is best that the cupcakes cups be pre-steamed before filling of the batter. You shall use high heat in the entire process of steaming. Best served hot as a snack .



Do give this simple recipe a try. I am happy with this adventure and I believe by preparing this, it will also bring additional fortunes to you and your closed ones.


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 21 March 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  



23 thoughts on “Palm Sugar or Gula Melaka or Gula Apong Huat Kuih (椰糖发糕)

  1. Hi Kenneth

    May I know if its possible to steam them in batches? Cos my wok is too small. Will the second batch be flat ? Thks much.

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  4. Hi Kenneth,

    Just tried your recipe, my huat kueh didn’t laugh happily lei :(….not sure which part I did wrong. I did grease the scissor cut cross and steam on high heat but still cannot huat.

    For your advise please.

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  7. Thank you for the recipe. I have tried it using all purpose flour today. I did not let the melted coconut sugar and santan cool down before adding in the flour when making it for the first time. It turned out that the kuih still “open” but the texture is dense. After redo It turned out very nicely on second trial; huat, soft and fluffly! 😛

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  10. Hi Kenneth,

    I had been tried this palm sugar huat kue- 3 times but always couldn’t “smile” .. 😦 what’s the trick?
    Water boiling hot enough.. Cover it tightly – coconut let it cold – already tried – anyelse then I missed? Thanks

    • Many have try and successful and i have no doubt on the recipe. The only thing I can think off is the steamer heat. For the same recipe, one of the readers’ huat kuih always smiling much better than other readers. Whatever type of huat kuih recipe she tried, always smile and some are better than mine. i can only conclude is the steamer problem. The heat flow have very good and the steamer lid has to be as tall as possible.

  11. May i know where can i buy original gula melaka, normally bought in the melaka town is not that original

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