Winter Melon Puff or Wife Biscuit or Sweet Heart Cake (老婆饼)




This is  another Chinese traditional puff that is commonly found in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong..


As mentioned in the post of Sugar Puff (Pong Piah) , this is the second biscuits that I prepared yesterday . The puff skin is slightly softer as compared to the sugar puff and horseshoe biscuits as no maltose was added..


As Per Wikipedia

“A sweetheart cake or wife cake is a traditional Cantonese pastry with flaky and thin skin made with winter melon, almond paste, and sesame, and spiced with five spice powder).[1] “Wife cake” is the translation of lou po beng from Cantonese, and although the meaning is “wife,” the literal translation is “old lady cake,” paralleling the colloquial usage of “old lady” for “wife” in American English. The cake is still popular among many in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Many people in Hong Kong, as well as professional chefs, also bake “modern” varieties of this cake.


There are many legends that attempt to explain the origins of the Sweetheart cake. One tells the tale of a couple that lived a very poor life, in imperial China. They loved each other and lived in a small village. Suddenly, a mysterious disease spread. The husband’s father became very sick. The couple spent all of their money in order to treat the man’s father, but he was still sick. The wife sold herself as a slave in exchange for money to buy medicine for her father-in-law.


Once the husband learned about what his wife did, he made a cake filled with sweetened winter melon and almond. He dedicated this pastry to his wife, whom he could never forget, and sold it in the street. His cake became so popular that he was able to earn enough money to buy his wife back “ (Source:


There are many recipes in the internet for the fillings of which some uses fresh winter melon for the puff, however, for this recipe, candied winter melon was used and the taste is not being compromised.



Dough Recipe adapted from: 太阳饼

Filling Recipe adapted from: Winter Melon Puffs / Lou Poh Paeng 老婆餅

Servings: 8 Biscuits


Water Dough

  • 120 grams of plain flour (普通面粉)
  • 15 grams of castor sugar (细砂糖)
  • 40 grams of lard or cooking oil or vegetable shortening (猪油或食用油或白油)
  • 50 grams of plain water (水)

Please disregard the spoon above. It was subsequently not used.


  • 80 grams of plain flour (普通面粉)
  • 40 grams of lard or cooking oil or vegetable shortening (猪油或食用油或白油)


Winter Melon Filling

  • 100 grams of candied winter melon (糖冬瓜条)
  • 20 grams of cooked glutinous rice flour or gao fen (糕粉)
  • 15 grams of sesame seeds (白芝麻)
  • 15 grams of castor sugar (细砂糖)
  • 1 teaspoon of cooking oil (食用油)
  • 50-60 grams or ml of water (水)
  • Pinches of salt (盐巴)


  • One egg yolk for egg brushing



  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius


  • Put all the water dough ingredients in a bowl, stir and knead until it form a smooth pliable dough. Let it rest for 15 minutes.. Weigh the dough and divide into 8 equal portions. Set aside.
  • Put all the oil dough ingredients in a bowl, stir until well combine and smooth. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Weigh the dough and divide into 8 equal portions. Set aside.


  • In a food processor, put all the filling ingredients and blend until fine. Divide into 8 equal balls and set aside for later use. If the dough is too sticky, add  plain flour or gao fen teaspoon by teaspoon. If it is too dry, add water teaspoon by teaspoon.


  • Take one portion of water dough, shape round, flatten it , put a portion of oil  dough on top of the water dough, seal it and shape it round. Use a rolling pin to roll the ball into a rectangular shape as evenly and as thin as possible. Roll it up like you are preparing Swiss roll. Turn the “Swiss roll” direction with the shorter side pointing at you. Use a rolling pin to roll it again in a rectangular shape as evenly and as thin as possible. Roll it up again like you are preparing Swiss roll.


  • Use the rolling pin to flatten it. Put a filling on top of the rolled dough, seal the edges, shape it round and use the rolling pin to lightly flatten it so that it looks like a disc shape with about 7.5 mm thick. Use some fork to make holes in the dough and use a sharp knife to cut two parallel lines on the cake.


  • Egg wash the cake thoroughly before baking in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for 12-15 minutes. For egg washing, crack one egg yolk,beat thoroughly before application to the cake.



Which do you prefer? This sweetheart cake  or the sugar puff yesterday? Or you are waiting to try the Horseshoe Biscuits (ma teh soh) that i am going to share soon?


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