Yeasted Huat Kuih (酵母发糕)



This is another Huat Kuih or Fatt Gou (发糕) recipe.. Chinese in general like huat kuih as it is used in religious praying and symbolizes prosperity.. There are many Huat Kuih recipe and this is my 5th huat kuih recipe..


In general, huat kuih recipe have two main variable factors: type of leavening agent and type of flours .. The leavener or rising agent is a type of agent that were used to make the huat kuih flourish or look like a flower.. It can be either yeast, baking powder, double acting powder, eggs or fruit salt (eno or sodium bicarbonate). The flour used is either plain flour, self raising flour, rice flour or a combination of both. With these many type of flours and leavening agents, it will therefore generate a lot of recipes..


One of the reasons that I surfed Facebook is to get inspiration of recipes.. I bumped into a very old recipe that uses yeast and plain flour. Further understanding of the recipe indicated that it is basically a steamed bread.. Yes, bread, the type of bread that we used to bake ..


Or in another perspective, it is a mantou in flower shape.. So for this recipe if you like mantou, you will like this huat kuih..


Immediately  after I read the recipe, I have the urge to try. One is that I like mantou or yeasted bread. Secondly, the procedures seems easy and very logical. Since we can shape a baked bread, why can’t we shape a steamed bread into our desired pattern. Thirdly, as it is a bread dough, it will likely to flourish depending on how we design unless the yeast is dead. Therefore, chances or succeed are great..I stepped into the kitchen and start my adventure and very happy to see the final outcome.. a beautifully crafted huat kuih.. Ha-ha.



Recipe modified from: 面粉发糕

Servings: Prepare a 6”-7” big Huat Kuih weigh about 1 kg


  • 500 grams of plain flour (普通面粉)
  • 125 grams of white sugar (白糖)
  • 11 grams of instant yeast (即时酵母)
  • 260 grams (ml) warm water (温水)
  • 50 grams of vegetable shortening or cooking oil (白油或食用油)
  • One 6” –7” bamboo basket (竹篮) that are 4” deep lined with baking paper




  • Put all the ingredients in a stand mixer bowl and use the knead function to knead until smooth and does not stick to the sides of the mixing bowl. It took me about 15 minutes to do this. Transfer out to a lightly floured surface, shape it round and let it proof until double the size. Proofing time will depend on the weather and it took me about 30 minutes.


  • Meanwhile, line the bamboo basket with some baking paper. When the first proofing is done,  punch the dough and lightly knead for 1-2 minutes. Shape round and transfer the dough to the lined basket. Ideally, the basket shall be about 75% full. Let it proof again until double in size or when it reaches 90% the height of the basket before send for steaming.

  • While the second proofing is done, get ready a steamer with enough water to steam the huat kuih for at least 45 minutes. Timing may be slightly shorter if your huat kuih is of cupcake or smaller size. Bring the water to boil.

  • Once the water is boiling, use a scissor greased with cooking oil and cut some lines into your desired pattern (it can be 3 lines, 4 lines, 5 lines or as many lines as you want). For this size, steam under high heat for at least 45 minutes or when a skewer inserted comes out clean.



This huat kuih tastes like a mantou.. If you prefer, since this is a bread dough unlike other huat kuih of which the batter is quite wet, you can easily design the huat kuih into many shapes and colour.. Close your eyes, imagine this is a mantou that can be used for praying and breakfast, do you think you will give it a try? In addition, in my humble opinion, chances of failure are very low..since this is yeasted. As long as your yeast is still active, it will boom like a bread in your desired pattern when heated…


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



Guaishushu’s Report Card–Top 30 posts For The First Blogging Year From 1-5-2013 t0 30-4-2014

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These posts have squeezed in the top 30 listing. However,bearing in mind that some posts are issued and some posts are issued for a shorter period of time. What shocked me is entry No.14 – Pandan Huat Kuih that was only issued in one day. Please clicked on the blue coloured linked or the pictures to enter individual post if you are interested.

1    Another Singapore Malaysia Hawker Food–Chwee Kueh or Steamed Rice Cake With Preserved Radish

2   Creams and Milk Make These Buns Worth To Try –Hokkaido Soft Milk Buns

3   Huat Kueh- Chinese Steamed Rice Flour Cake–A Cake That Brings You Luck And Prosperity

4    The Plights of Kuey Neng Ko…The Traditional Chinese Steamed Sponge Cake…


5   Easy Peasy Muah Chee(花生芝麻糍粑)

6   Extra Large Chinese Barbecue Pork Buns–Char Siu Bao (蜜汁叉烧包)

7   Another Alternative To Butter Cake–Cream Cheese Butter Cake (奶酪牛油蛋糕)

8   My Childhood Cake–Bee Hive Cake/Malaysian Honey Comb Cake or Kueh Sarang Semut (蜂巢蛋糕)


10  What A Golf Ball Have To Do With A Pineapple? Well, It Is The Famous South East Asian Pineapple Tarts

11  Baked or Steamed,You Decide Yourself–Glutinous Rice Cake, Nian Gao (年糕)

12  Condensed Milk That Are Not Sweet? Home Made Condensed Milk

13  One, Two, Three…….Let’s Start Making Traditional Short Bread Biscuits.


14  An Auspicious Steamed Cake To Celebrate My Blog Anniversary–Pandan Huat Kuih (香兰发糕)

15  Yoghurt + Condensed Milk + Cream + Grapefruit = Grapefruit Yoghurt Ice Cream

16  This Is Different From Kek Lapis, This is Kueh Lapis–Nonya Kueh Lapis


17  Eggs, Eggs, Eggs….. Join Me To Cook Eggs….

18  Old Man Like Old Cuisines–Traditional Butterfly Cupcakes    

19  Not A Lapis Legit But A Rich Dense Lapis–Lapis Horlicks (Horlicks Layered Cake)

20  Another Uniquely Chinese Cuisine–Chinese Style Barbecue Pork–Char Siu (蜜汁叉烧)

21  I Have Decided To Make My Own Japanese Curry Roux–Japanese Curry Chicken Rice

22  A Noodle Dish That Chinese Sarawakian Would Not Be Able To Let Go… Sarawak Kolo Mee

23  Another Lapis For Your Consideration–Cream Cheese Chocolate Lapis Cake

24  Nothing To Shout About–A Simple Walnut Butter Cake

25  Out Of Gift Ideas This Christmas? Try Some Homemade Marshmallows

26  Hey, This is not Italian Meat Rolls, It Is Chinese Meat Rolls Called Ngoh Hiang

27 My Mum’s Tapioca Cake–Steamed Tapioca Cake Or Kuih Ubi Kayu (木薯蒸糕)

28 Homesick Buns? Yes, I am homesick of Sarawak Style Butter Buns..

29 My Steamed Sponge Cake (Kuey Neng Ko) Is Full Of Gas。。。。 (汽水鸡蛋糕)

30 Lets Have Something Different–Steamed Cream Cheese Layered Cake


These are posts that I believed should squeeze in the top 30 listing but probably not because of their late issuance or lack of promotion of the posts.

“40 Minutes Bread Roll” with Sarawak Butter Bun’s Filling (四十分钟快速面包和特有牛油馅)

A Cuisine With A Long Chinese History– Dongpo Meat (东波肉)

Hey, I have invented my own Sarawak Laksa Paste Recipe !!!……… An In Depth Analysis and Pictorial Procedural Description Of The Famous Sarawak Laksa (PART II)

Back To Basics–Modified Traditional Butter Pound Cake

Back To Traditional Recipe of 1egg:1sugar:1flour- Traditional Steamed Sponge Cake (古早味鸡蛋糕)


Guaishushushu have issued slightly more than 300 recipes last year and the above accounted for about 10% of the recipes. If you are interested to get more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX  here. 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 this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE .  


If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 1800 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.

You can also join the Food Bloggers and Foodies United Group Facebook Group to see more recipes. Currently there are about 4500 members sharing various food photos . I would be more than happy if you can  post in Groups for the recipes that you tried from Guaishushu’s blog.

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Huat Kueh- Chinese Steamed Rice Flour Cake–A Cake That Brings You Luck And Prosperity







For other Pandan Huat kuih prepared using self raising flour, please refer to: An Auspicious Steamed Cake To Celebrate My Blog Anniversary–Pandan Huat Kuih (香兰发糕)



For Gula Melaka Huat Kuih prepared using self raising flour, please refer to: Palm Sugar or Gula Melaka or Gula Apong Huat Kuih (椰糖发糕)


Original Post


I am writing this post with due respect to my late mom and Chinese traditions. The name of this steamed is Chinese steamed rice flour cake (hereinafter to refer to as Huat Kueh) or in Mandarin Fagao (发糕). There are two types of Huat Kueh, one type is using wheat flour and another type is using rice flour. This post is the rice flour version of Huat Kueh. It is a very simple cake basically using only 4 ingredients – flour, water, sugar and leavener (either natural yeast or baking powder or baking soda). Since this cake is pure vegetarian (and in fact gluten free), it was usually used as an offering in both the Buddhist and Taoist temples. In addition, it is a common offering item to the ancestors. Practically, the steamed rice flour cake was offered because the cake can be kept longer and not turning bad due to its simple ingredients used.


As similar with the Chinese steamed sponge cake (kuey neng ko), Chinese hoped that the cake will crack or smile beautifully. Cracking signifies joy, prosperity, resembling a flower that are full of hopes and looking forward for a brighter tomorrow. Therefore, in the olden days, there are lots of taboos associated with the preparation of this cake, including no quarrelling in the kitchen, no unlucky words said, no peeping into the steamers etc.… etc.Even until today, I still have this pressure when I am preparing the cake, fearing that the cake may turn out “bald headed” which to me, is a sign of unluckiness. Well, may be I am overly superstitious.


After I steamed the cake, I feel rather sentimental and I wrote down in my Facebook personal timeline as follows:


It was written in a rush and I do not wish to amend it today, so there are a number of grammatical mistakes above. Basically, I am recalling how my mom prepared this cake. In the 1960’s-1970’s, my mom usually prepared these cakes for offering to the ancestors or Gods. She soaked the rice, ground them using a big stone mortar assisted by my brothers. She then proofed the batter using the leavener (natural yeast) obtained from the bakery shop. There were no written recipe and she learned the preparation from words of mouth.  She prepared based on her observations and experiences.  I still remember that she used the traditional weighing scales or balance to weigh the sugar and used bowls to measure the water. My brothers and I will help her to put white papers onto the bamboo basket and throughout the steaming process, we were not allowed to talk non-sense and the best were out of the kitchen. Therefore, preparing this cake really bring fond memories and have a significant meaning to me.


Unlike my mom’s version, this is a super easy version. I reached home at 6:45pm and I have my cakes ready by 7:30pm. I was happy to find this recipe from a Chinese blog: 粘米粉发糕 and I have to thank her for her sharing. If you know Mandarin, you may want to support her by clicking the link above. The wonderful ingredient in this recipe is Eno, a type of fruit salt to relieve stomach gases and indigestions. Though most readers may know what is Eno, however, it is still fun to understand what Wikipedia had written about this famous household item:

“Eno is the most global of GlaxoSmithKline‘s (GSK) gastrointestinal products. The fast-acting effervescent fruit salts, used as an antacid and reliever of bloatedness, was invented in the 1850s by James Crossley Eno (1827-1915). It has sales of nearly £30 million; its major markets are Spain, India, Brazil, South Africa, Malaysia and Thailand. It is frequently used as a substitute for baking powder.”


Yes, this quick version of Huat Kueh is using Eno (baking powder) as the rising agent as contrasted to what my mom had used – Natural yeast that have higher chances of failure.  If you examined the ingredient composition of Eno, it was written that Eno was made up of citric acid, sodium bicarbonate (in fact it is baking soda), sodium carbonate and some permitted colouring and flavouring.. Therefore, logically speaking, if Eno was not used, baking powder and/or baking soda will definitely be able to provide a happy smiling face for this cake.


Just like what my mom had done, I have used the traditional bamboo basket to steam the cake. There is a reason of doing so. It is easier for the heat to penetrate and cook the cake. Personal experiences of steaming Chinese cakes shows that the use of bamboo basket had a better chances of getting a smiling cake then using the aluminium baking tin due to stronger heat absorbed.

It is getting rather long winded and do try this recipe if you need to prepare this cake in a hurry. I would think, chances of failure are rather low.



Recipe adapted from: 粘米粉发糕

Servings: 2  9cm diameter Huat Kueh


  • 200 grams of rice flour
  • 100 grams of icing sugar
  • 175 ml of water
  • 1 packet of Eno fruit salt (about 4.3 grams as per packaging)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • Some permitted food colouring (optional)


  • A steamer
  • Two 9 cm diameter bamboo basket – or one 12 cm diameter bamboo basket
  • Some cellophane sheets (for cooking purposes, not in picture). Waterproof baking paper can be used.



  • Get ready a steamer, put water and bring to boil under high heat.


  • For the bamboo basket, put a piece of cellophane sheet on top. Push down the cellophane sheet into the bamboo basket as deeply and as close to the sides as possible. Use a rubber band to tighten the side.


  • Sift the rice flour, baking powder and icing sugar into a big mixing bowl. Add water and permitted food colouring, stir well . Scrape the sides of the bowl.


  • Meanwhile, steamed the bamboo basket in the steamer for at least 3-5 minutes.  Just before transferring the rice flour batter to the bamboo basket, add Eno fruit salt. Use the balloon whisk to stir until well mixed. Transfer the batter to the bamboo basket. Steam in the steamer (using high heat) for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. When out of the steamer, take the rice cake out of the bamboo basket and let it cool completely.


  • For serving, cut into slices either eating it plain or with any of the breakfast spread. It can also be coated with eggs and pan fry with butter. Steamed the cake on the next day if it becomes dry and hard.




Preparing this recipe brings fond memories. I am happy with the outcome that it smile though I have hoped that they had “laugh happily with their mouth wide open” (refer to the image of original recipe above). Lastly, I am going to end my post with this unusual sentence :”Don’t throw away food, this cake is edible be it for gods, ancestors or human beings”. I have said this because a lot of people throw away offering item as it is considered as tasteless or other reasons… But as this cake is only made up of rice flour, it will taste like rice, how you make it tasty will depend on your creativeness, may be pan fried with butter or spread with coconut jam… Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.



Updated on 17-June 2014



As some of the readers residing overseas are telling me that they do not have assess to Eno or fruit salt, what can they substitute with. I told them since Eno is made up of critic acid and sodium bicarbonate, I believe baking soda can be used to substitute. However, that had never been confirmed. Today, I have prepared some rice flour Huat Kuih without the use of Eno.


I am very happy with the outcome and the recipes for rice flour Huat Kuih without Eno are as follow:


Servings: about 6 cupcake size of Huat Kuih


  • 200 grams of rice flour (粘米粉)
  • 100 grams of icing sugar (糖粉)
  • 160 ml of water (清水)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda (苏打粉)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder (发粉)
  • Some permitted food colouring (optional) (可食用色素)


  • All procedures shall be the same as the above. It is advisable that pre-heat of cupcake mould is necessary. In addition, add the baking soda and baking powder at the last stage just minutes before you pour to the pre-heated cupcake mould.


  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.