Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kueh Bahlu ~ Mini Chinese Sponge Cake

Chinese New Year is fast approaching. This year it falls on Valentine's Day 14th February. Kuih bahlu is one of the many traditional cakes served during the new year period.

We don't restrict ourselves to having kueh bahulu once a year but make it quite often throughout the year for our morning tea. The tiny cake is spongy and light. With not a trace of fat, butter or oil it is a dieter's dream.

Kuih bahulu
Makes 16

1 large egg
30gm sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract

30gm plain flour
1/8 tsp baking powder

Kuih bulu ~ Kai Tan Koe

1. Place a greased kuih balu mould into a preheated 190C oven.

2. Whisk egg at full speed for 1-2 minute until light, pale and frothy.

3. Add sugar and vanilla extract and beat at full speed for another 1-2 minute until thick and creamy.

4. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Fold lightly into the above mixture.

5. Scoop batter into the heated greased mould. Fill to the top of the mould.

6. Bake at 190C for 5 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

7. Remove kuih bahlu from mould with the aid of a skewer and leave to cool on a wire rack. Continue with the the rest of the batter (step 5-7).

8. Store in an airtight container.

Kuih baulu
1. To make a bigger batch the recipe in imperial measure is easy to remember : 5 eggs, 5oz sugar, 5½ oz flour, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ½ tsp baking powder.

2. My kuih bahulu mould is the thick heavy metal type. A thin mould might bake differently with different times to that above.

3. If using a fish mould, 1 fish uses 2x more batter than the round mould. The fish is quite fiddly to fill as you have to try and make sure the batter gets to all corners of the fins.

kuih bahlu fish mould
1. I find that I only need to grease the mould once at start. If you find the cake sticking to the mould, then oil again lightly with a brush.
If your mould is 'newish' you will need to brush it lightly with oil after each bake.

2. Fill the batter to the top and you will end up with a nice 'skirt'.

3. I find filling the mould with this ice cream scoop is the quickest and does not disturb/deflat the 'air' in the batter too much. Scoop, squeeze and drop in one quick motion.

kueh buhulu traditional mould

Update 31/1/2010 : Edited to add a few more tips.


ann low said...

I really like to come here because you always got many nice recipes to share...Thanks for sharing :)
My blogpal Quinn baked this "Trademe Cupcakes" thrice, so last week I also tried this recipe and the response was really good.
The ingredients in this Kueh Bahlu look so simple especially no oil added. I would like to try this one day.

Anonymous said...

Wow Sinner! You make it sound so simple!!! I must go search for my mould when I next go back to Singapore.

Thanks for the recipe.


CoOkInG FoR FuN said...

Hi there,

My husband and I are both Malaysians and we moved to Auckland just 2 months ago. I stumbled across your blogspot today. Your photos make me drool and miss home so badly. Maybe I could learn some tricks of you?


Sinner said...

Anncoo - Your bakes are amazing. Thanks for your review on the 'TradeMe cupcakes'. So glad you liked it. You have an great blog too :)

SD - It is really simple. And you know I don't lie ;)

DC of Sails - Welcome to my blog and to Auckland. It does take a while not to feel so homesick. Only cure I reckon is to cook heaps of Msian food ;)

Tessa K. said...

These sound fabulous and I would love to try them... but where can I get a mould? I live in the US, so an online source might be best. I checked amazon and came up empty, so if you have suggestions I would really appreciate it!

Sinner said...

Sorry Fleur, can't help with the source :(
I bought mine from Malaysia.

Unknown said...

Hi Sinner,

thanks for sharing your amazing recipes. I found your Kueh Bahlu recipe yesterday, so I baked your Kueh Bahlu for breakfast this morning. I don't have a mould, then I use a electric muffin baker. The result is ok, not so nice like yours, coz of electr. baker. The taste is great, THANKS!!!

Tessa K. said...

Thanks anyway! I will keep looking.

tracieMoo said...

Such a classic and delicious kuih. Love these.. I really should get the moulds and try this for CNY!
It's my first time here and I really love your blog!

Sinner said...

Stephanie - Great improvisation ! Glad it tasted great but would taste even greater with a thick kueh bulu mould. You would get that slightly crispy outside. Thanks for the feedback.

tracieMoo - Welcome to our blog. Definitely go get the mould and make this for CNY.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sinner,

I couldn´t resist making this kuih bahulu although I don´t own a mould. I baked it in my mini silicone rose mould (it yielded 10 pieces for me and it took 8 mins to bake) so the little rose kuih came out really quite pretty. My lil daughter polished 5 pieces off immediately :) I will definately have to buy the mould on my next home trip. Am planning to bake more next week for the coming CNY. Thanks a lot again for sharing this wonderful recipe. Btw, I used the golden syrup to bake a coconut caramel custard last week. I really like the taste of the homemade golden syrup.

warm regards

Sinner said...

Hi purplegirl,

Just had some piping hot bahulu for morning tea a few minutes ago. So hard to resist polishing off the rest. haha. Thumbs up for your lil daughter.

When you buy the mould, better to get the thick and heavier ones. And get at least 2.

So glad the golden syrup worked out well. Nowadays I don't need to get a 'heart attack' everytime I need a jar of golden syrup. lol

Anonymous said...

Hi Sinner,

Yeah it´s really hard to stop eating it. Am going to make more kuih bahulu today coz princess already gobbled up the rest this morning for her bfast :)
I noticed there are 2 types of kuih bahulu moulds being sold back home. One is aluminium in color & the other is brass in color. Which one should I get? I suppose the brass mould should be more expensive & maybe better?

Oh yes, I´m so glad I can make my own golden syrup at home. I used to substitute with maple syrup and it´s kinda expensive if you use a lot.

warm regards,

LittleHands said...

Hi Sinner

I'm not a fan of Kuih Bahlu but your Kuih Bahlu really looks very good! Tempted me to go and buy the heavy mould. Just nice to bake for the coming CNY. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

Will let you know the outcome once I tried it.

Sinner said...

purplegirl - I have added 2 photos of my kueh moulds to the blog. I bought mine from Bake with Yen in PJ. It looks like thick aluminium (that was what hubby said!). Bakes really well.

Hi LittleHands - Long time no see. How come you are no fan of Kuih Bahlu? One of my fave CNY cake :) Even Mr Redneck likes it.
Would love to hear back when you bake some. Btw what happen to your blog - I just got a blank page ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Sinner,

Thanks for posting up the pics of the mould. I shall ask my friend in KL if she can buy it for me & post it over. This yr when I was home, my friend took me to the Bake With Yen outlet in Puchong - WOW! Much bigger than the outlet in PJ and very well stocked. You should check them out next time. I find the PJ outlet very cramp, messy & small. Btw, I baked 2 batches of the kuih bahulu today but I added 2 tbsp melted butter to the batter. The result is a moister, softer kuih :) I know traditionally they don´t use any oil/melted butter but I came across this tip from another blog so I decided to try it out.


Sinner said...

Hi purplegirl,

It was only by fluke that we were even at Bake W Yen. Was inside for less than 5 minutes when they switched off all their lights. Alamak they were closing for the day. So I just grabbed what I could - no thinking time !

Most food with some form of oil/butter is always nicer. But hubby still need to loose some weight so anything that is still yummy without oil is always preferred ! If given the choice hubby will always go for oily food ! lol

Deana Sidney said...

Those molds are gorgeous...and they came out perfectly... how great is that?

Baking Fiend said...


Thanks for posting this recipe. I tried it on the light aluminum molds I had and it all got stuck even when I had greased them. So 2 days ago, I went into JB, Ng Ming Huat, and bought 2 of the same molds u have(they are selling this at RM9.80 each. the copper-coloured ones are RM145!). gonna give this recipe a try again this coming weekends!

Mrs Ergül said...

I am thinking of attempting this for Chinese New Year this year! But let me get the molds first!

Sinner said...

Hi BakingFiend,

Initially the new moulds might stick a wee bit but with constant use it comes right. Don't wash with soap or detergent after using.
After you have used your new moulds, would love to know whether the kuih comes out more easily than the aluminium ones ?

Baking Fiend said...

opps too late, i've washed them in detergent! LOLz. so u mean i shd just wipe them clean and that's it? there's no need to even run it under water?

These molds definately worked better that the aluminium ones.

Sinner said...

Hi Baking Fiend,

Your kuih bahlu looks great in your blog.

I just wash mine with hot water and a brush to scrub off any caked on crumbs. With regular use the mould will get well seasoned.

Baking Fiend said...

Thanks for the tip!



Very Good

Tricia said...

Hi Sinner!

Finally got a chance to try out this recipe! I made a huge batch (5 eggs ...) to give away for CNY!

I am so glad I bought the moulds when I was in M'sia last year! I should have bought 2 instead of 1!!! Too me a longer time to finish.

My last batch I added pandan paste (just for kick) and it tasted great too.

As always, love your recipes!

Wishing your family and you all the best in the year of the Tiger!!! Gong Xi Fa Chai!!!

p/s: Can you recommend any CNY Soups??

Sinner said...

Hi Tricia,

I am sure your friends will jump with joy when you give them your CNY gift. Yes, 2 moulds would definitely help speed things up. So glad you liked the kuih bulu.

I have been thinking back to when we celebrate CNY with the grandparents. I don't seem to recall them having soup with the CNY meal. They were quite traditional with their dishes - everything has a tie with a good auspicious word. I don't do a lot of soups here as I can't get most of the ingredients. Sorry can't help with that one.

Kong Hei Fatt Choy to you and your family too.

Jeanna said...

Hi sinner I tried out this kuih bolu recipe but its not crispy and fragrant. First I beat egg and sugar till thick and creamy then add in vanilla essence and fold in flour mixture with a spectular. I took quite long time to blend it well cause the flour seem to be quite diffcult to mix in the batter so I use a sifter to sift the batter. May I know which step did I go wrong, its not crispy at all. Thank you very much.

Unknown said...

Hi Sinner, I tried making it today however, the kuih buhulu keep on sticking to the mould after each baked even though I have greased it well before putting the batter. How can I prevent it from sticking? cos I ended up with no shape or pattern kuih buhulu.

Sinner said...

Hi Susan, are you using the light aluminium mould?

Unknown said...

Can I make this using an aluminum muffin tin and get the same results?


Samantha Neubronner said...


JUST MADE THESE! i added some salt and orange zest and would reduce the sugar, but all in all, it was a great first attempt! thanks for the recipe! will be making more of them in the future!


annapang said...

I need to take 20min to bake in a conventional oven. I used 60gm of flour and only get 17 of it.I don't know how you can get 16 out of 30gm.After adjusting the calculations I finally got a perfect one.Thanks anyway.

yeong.yasmin@gmail.com said...

I luv reading your recipes. I have a slight problem here, I greased the kueh bahulu mold with cooking oil and it turned out very light color baked at a temperature of 200 degree! What is wrong as many pictures on this kueh turned out darker color which looked so much better instead of the paler color. Does using butter makes it darker ? I hope you can answer me with your expertise in cooking. SKY

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs