Malaysian Mini Sponge Cake: Kuih Bahulu, & Kuih Cara Manis

I finally got my Kuih Bahulu mould thanks to my sister, Tiara, for buying, and Alice for importing it to Vancouver!

Kuih Bahulu Mould

Kuih Bahulu is a traditional Malaysian mini sponge cake baked in special moulds of various shapes. It is especially popular in Singapore and Malaysia during traditional festive seasons because it is both delicious and easy to make! Simply putting it, it is the Asian Madeleine leaving out the butter and halving the sugar!

Here is the recipe for the original Kuih Bahulu. As usual, I had to convert it to measuring cups. I halved the recipe as this recipe already makes approximately 30 Kuih Bahulus:

4 large eggs (increased from 3 to 4. On my next attempt, I would use 5 instead)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp corn flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
Optional: 2 tbsp cocoa powder OR 1/4 cup applesauce
I feel that an extra egg would bring the taste closer to the Kuih Bahulu I remember as a child.
Preheat the oven and the mould to 350˚
Use the stiff peak method by whisking the egg whites first, then adding sugar and finally the yolks.
Add the vanilla extract and continue whisking for a couple of minutes. Set aside.
Sift the flours, baking powder and salt twice.
Fold in dry mixture into wet mixture in batches of 3 until well combine.
Fill approximately 1 tablespoon of batter onto each mould and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown in color. Lift the cake out from the corners with a fork and let cool. I think this cake tastes best the day after.
Poof! Fresh outta the oven!
Kuih Bahulu
Delicious Kuih Bahulu!

I packed some into a little box for Jonas’s family! They’ve lived in Singapore for a while and thought it would be a nice little gift.

A little gift for Jonas’s Family!
After making the first batch of Kuih Bahulu, i decided to get creative and try adding chocolate and applesauce flavours into the Kuih Bahulu.
Why applesauce? If you’ve been following my blog, you can see that I sometimes substitute applesauce for butter, as not only is it a healthier replacement, but it also moistens the cake. In Madeleines, butter is heavily employed and I believe that differentiates the taste in our French and Malaysian sponge cakes. I tried mixing in the applesauce (applesauce:flour is 1:4) for 2 batches of the Kuih Bahulus. This indeed did result in a more moist cake on the inside but it completely threw off the taste of traditional Kuih Bahulu! It still tasted good, but definitely not Bahulu-like.
Applesauce and Chocolate Flavoured Kuih Bahulus

Did I mention how exhilarated I got when I found PANDAN PASTE? It was definitely not an easy task here in Vancouver! I literally went into every Chinese / Filipino / Indian grocery store I saw but always walked out disheartened. I even attempted the famous T&T, Osaka Supermarket and strolled the “Asian Foods” section at Superstore and asked many staffs. Nobody knew what I was referring to. I later learned from my colleague that Vietnamese cuisines employ the use of pandan paste / pandan leaves and decided to try a Vietnamese grocery store….. And yes, now I have an abundant source of pandan leaves AND pandan paste!

Kuih Cara Manis

This is a really easy cake to make. I was surprised that the amount of sugar used is absent from all the recipes I’ve seen. “Sugar to fill” was what most of them mentioned. Therefore I had to experiment with my different batches of Kuih Cara Manis and tailored it to my liking. I also thought filling the cake with shredded coconut also added flavour to the cake! Original Recipe


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp pandan paste
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
shredded coconut to fill

Preheat the mould on the stove with medium heat.
Whisk the egg, pandan paste and coconut milk together.
Sift flour and sugar, then fold in with coconut milk mixture.
Grease the mould then fill each mould with 1 tablespoon of batter, followed by approximately 1 teaspoon of shredded coconut in the middle.
Cover the mould with a cooking pan lid. Cook for 3 – 5 minutes or until kuih turns darker green in colour.
Remove with a fork and sandwich two kuihs together. Serve .

Cooking Kuih Cara Manis

Stuffed with shredded sweetened coconut
Kuih Cara Manis

One of the easiest kuihs ever!!! I am submitting both recipes to Aspiring Bakers #12: Traditional Kueh (October 2011) hosted by SSB of Small Small Baker.

Kueh Bahulu Assortment

24 Comments Add yours

  1. Alice* says:

    Sam! You’re very welcome. 🙂 but honestly, you should consider opening an Asian Bakery in Vancouver!!!!!!! You know sooooo muuuucccchhhh!!! ^^

  2. samology says:

    Awww! You’re so sweet! Perhaps one day when I gain the clientele and earn the capital! haha..

  3. Tracy says:

    holy crap make me some … O_O

  4. samology says:

    I will next time!

  5. Samuel says:

    wow variations of kuih bahulu looks great! gonna start a bakery soon? haha

  6. Christy says:

    wot r they? O_O”

  7. samology says:

    Sam: lol. I wish!! but not quite. Ahaha.
    Christy: these are mini sponge cakes originally from Malaysia! You could say its the Asian equivalence of the French Madeleine. (those little butter cakes from Starbucks)

  8. Christy says:

    ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh wow O_O those look so good!

  9. samology says:

    Aww! Thanks Christy!!

  10. natzieee says:

    sam darlin, honestly, these look even better than some of the ones here. you can totally run a bakery here and you’ll give em a run for their money!!

  11. samology says:

    ahaha.. You’re hilarious! Yeah the ones in Singapore are the original ones though. I just decided to take a spin on them. tee hee..

  12. Jade says:

    Hi, I was wondering which Vietnamese market you purchased the pandan paste from in Vancouver? Also.. Was it purchased in Vancouver, B.C or Vancouver, W.A? lol

  13. samology says:

    Hi there! I can’t remember the name of that grocery store but it was on Victoria Drive, somewhere between 47th and 48th E Ave! Just ask the cashier. She’s quite nice! I know another grocery store by Kitsalano that has it too! Around Broadway and MacDonald. It’s a Chinese grocery store 🙂

  14. ad says:

    where did u get the mould from? Vancouver ? Let me know – i want to get one…

  15. samology says:

    Hi Ad,

    I got the mould from Singapore! My sister brought it for me. However, I have an extra one and could sell it to you if you like! Email me for details. Thanks!

  16. A_Boleyn says:

    I visited your blog from a link on Nami’s blog about madeleines. Your kuih bahulu look amazing especially the green pandan ones with coconut.

  17. Sammie says:

    Thanks Dear!! 🙂

  18. Sharon says:

    Hi Sam,
    I was searching on how to make this kuih and ended up on your blog. 🙂 Great to find another Singaporean in Vancouver but too bad, I think you went back. I’m looking to find similar mold like what u have, may I know which shop in singapore your sis got it from? Thks

  19. Susanna says:

    Can u please advise how do u clean your bahulu molds after using it? I have the exact mold and experience great difficulty getting rid of the oil stain inside the holes after baking bahulu in the oven. Please help! Thanks in advance !


  20. Sammie says:

    Hi Susanna. Hmmm! This problem has never happened to me before! But perhaps you could try this? hope it helps!!

  21. Susanna says:

    Thanks for the helpful info, Sammie!:)


  22. Joesis Thiam says:

    Hi. Love your recipes . Wonder where to get this mould from Malaysia…in J.B. n or K.L?
    Appreciate you can update me.
    Thank you.

  23. Sammie says:

    I got it from Singapore actually. Around Chinatown area. Not sure where in JB or KL to get this but I’m sure they’d have it too!

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