Mah La Gao (Steamed Cake) 马拉糕

An easy and straightforward recipe that yields a very good result that I had it made twice in a row over 2 weekends for breakfast ! Just combine everything and steam !

The honeycomb texture is soft and fluffy and the brown sugar gives it all the extra fragrance in every bit of this steamed cake. I haven’t been a huge fan of steamed cake all the while as it tends to be too dense for my liking but this one is surprisingly tender and moist whilst keeping its fluffiness.

What’s more, it can be kept in an airtight container which can be easily steamed up again the following days or even the next couple of days and equally enjoy the same level of a soft steamed cake. And yes, just as I am compiling this recipe here, I am craving for it once again.

Mah La Gao (Steamed Cake) 马拉糕

Recipe by Eat What TonightCourse: BreakfastCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 180ml full cream evaporated milk

  • 130g cake flour

  • 80g plain flour

  • 1 tbsp instant custard powder

  • 2 3/4 tsp double acting baking powder

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 130g dark brown sugar

  • 110g castor sugar

  • 60g butter, melted

  • 60g cooking oil

  • 3 eggs


  • Combine and sieve cake flour, plain flour, custard powder & baking powder together to remove lumps & impurities.
  • Combine eggs, sugars & vanilla extract. Use a whisk & beat them manually till light & fluffy with lots of bubbles, approx 4-5 mins by hand.
  • Add in melted butter, cooking oil & evaporated milk to the egg mixture. Stir to incorporate them together.
  • Add in half of the flour mixture & using a manual whisk, stir in flour gently to incorporate. Finish off with balance flour using the same way. The batter at the end should look thick & smooth-flowing.
  • Prepare two 6-inch bamboo steamers by lining them with baking paper & cut off the excess paper hanging over. Pour batter equally into both steamers.
  • Heat up a pot of water on high heat & wrap the cover of the pot with a cloth to prevent water condensation from falling onto the cake.
  • Place bamboo steamer onto a steaming rack & steamed for 35-40 mins. Insert a stick into the cake and if it comes out clean, it’s done.


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