Friday, 15 August 2008


Now I know why I don’t make this cake often; because it took me nearly 4.5 hours to prepare and cook! But the taste is divine and it is worth the effort but not something you’d want to do too often.

When I was growing up, mum used to make this once a year, during Diwali and we were not allowed to eat big slices, only petit pieces. She got this recipe from our Malay neighbours when we were living in the Sungei Petani army camp in the early 1980’s. If you have the endurance, give it a go. You won’t be disappointed. And thank you Mr G for helping out in the kitchen (he was my dish washer and water boy – he had the job of topping the steamer with hot water!) and the kids for separating the Haw Flakes. Unfortunately, the Haw Flakes separation process caused a fatality to the amounts – half of it was consumed by the kids. Thank god I had extra! So a word of warning – if you have children helping, make sure you have plenty of the haw flakes at home!

10 eggs – yolks and whites separated carefully
3 cups caster sugar
3 cups (about 300g) of plain cream cracker biscuits – I could not find any Hup Seng or Jacob’s Brand (made in Malaysia) so I used a brand from Sri Lanka called Maliban. Worked out great!
1 tin (400g) sweetened condensed milk
250g butter – softened
10 packets Haw Flakes (Chinese fruit lolly) – available at most Chinese grocery shops and some supermarkets
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 scant tsp each of green and yellow food colourings

Lightly grease cake tin with butter. If lining the tin, make sure that you only line the bottom and no paper is touching the side. This will spoil your layers.

Grind the biscuits to resemble a course whole meal flour texture. Add in the baking powder. Mix well and set aside.

Beat egg whites with sugar till light and fluffy (see picture). I used a Kenwood cake mixer with the whisk gadget throughout this cake making process.

In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks with the butter till fluffy. Gradually add in the condensed milk, whilst still beating the mixture.

Turn the Kenwood setting to low and add in large spoonfuls of the egg white into the bowl. Mix well but not for too long – you don’t want the ingredients to curdle.

Next, using a wooden spoon, add in the biscuit flour, followed by the vanilla extract.

Now pour half the mixture into a separate bowl (make sure you get this spot on or you will have uneven batter quantities) and colour each batter with the green and yellow colours.

Spread ½ an inch of the batter in a tin (I used a 22 inch spring form tin) and top with haw flakes (see picture). Steam for about 10 to 12 mins per layer (skewer should come out clean when inserted). Repeat the process with alternating colours until the batter is all used up. Do not top with the Haw Flakes at the last layer. Also, on the last layer, steam the cake for about 20 mins (instead of the normal 10 mins). Remove from the steamer; wipe the cake tin dry and now finish off the cake in a 170°C preheated oven for 10 to 15 mins.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before taking it out of the tin. Make yourself a good cuppa tea (or coffee) and enjoy your cake! Oh, and make sure that you take good pictures….you would not be making this in a hurry!


Jun said...

fuyooo..Vin, i like to eat this cake..nak buat? i dont have enuff patience la...i have to skip cooking either lunch or dinner to make, i'm sure hbby n kids will ask me to buy sedap kan?

Jun said...

opps, forgot la..nnti ambik bear kat rumah jun..boleh hug masa tgk tv weekend ni..hehhee

VG said...

Hi Jun

Unfortunately this is not Malaysia...can't go out and buy or order this cake; so I had to make it myself. As I said on my blog, I ain't making this anytime soon, that's for sure. I started making after dinner at around 5.30pm and only finished around 10.

Thank you so much for my bear hug...muahhh. I will definately be 'pelukking' the bear in this cold weather.

ICook4Fun said...

VG, that cake is so beautiful. I would love to have a slice or two but making it that is another story :) Steaming it layer by layer is ok with me but arranging the haw flakes each layer is the killer. No wonder you make this once a year :) :) Have a good weekend. Will reply your e.mail this weekend.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

VG, this is so pretty. I love your cake. Thanks for coming by my site. I've got to come by your's a little more often. I'm going to have to try this. I said try. I love to bake, but this looks intricate, but classy and beautiful. Thanks for the post. Good job.

VG said...

Tks Gert...yes the flake arrangement is a no brainer. Look forward to your e-mail.

Hi Teresa

The cake is time consuming but the taste is divine. Not something you make everyday. I believe it costs around the $100 mark to buy it in Malaysia...not cheap. Let me know how you go when and if you make it! You should be able to get the ingredients in the Chinatown precint where you live. Goodluck.

Anonymous said...

OMG - that looks awesome - VG you are amazing! ST

VG said...


Thank you. I'll drop some by your work tomorrow.

PS: It's been weird walking pass your bldg!

Usha said...

Hi my first visit to your blog.You have a very nice one with some great bakes.This cake seems so labor intensive but looks awesome,so pretty:)

VG said...

Thanks Usha. You have some pretty yummy food at your blog too. I gotta check out some of the recipes. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Somi said...

This cake looks delicious!!! Im gonna try this sometime soon.. :)

VG said...

Hi Somi

You wrote to my blog! Yay.
Make sure you post some to me when you do. Regards to your mum


Anonymous said...

Hi VG,

Can u advise the amt of baking powder used in this recipe? Cant seem to find it?!


Anonymous said...

hi VG,

1) is this cake very sweet? can i reduce the sugar amt to 1 1/2 cups?

2) Can u advise whether the butter amt is only 250g?


VG said...

Hi Aquariusgal

Good pick up - I must have forgotten to write that. It is 1 tsp baking powder. I have updated the recipe.

Yes butter is 250g. The cake is sweet and sour because of the Haw Flakes. I am a bit hesistant to omit the amount of sugar you are suggesting - the sugar contributes o the 'liquid' in the cake. Without it, I think the cake would be too hard and also might not steam properly.

The most I would go down in volume is 1/2 cup.

Being such a fiddly (but absolutely yummy) cake to make, I'd suggest you follow the recipe this time and should you decide to attempt it again, experiment then.

Hope I haven't put you off!!! VG

Anonymous said...

Hi VG,

Thks for the info and tips! Ur steamed layered haw flakes cake looks really beautiful. Im so very tempted to try but the amt of sugar and effort involved is quite daunting!!

aquariusgal :)