Rose’s Kitchen

Pak Tong Kou (Steamed White Cake)

Pak Tong Kou a


280g rice flour

280g sugar

600ml water

3 pandan leaves, knotted

1 tsp dried yeast

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tbsp cooking oil


1.  Add 300ml water to the rice flour and mix well.

2.  Boil sugar with 300ml water, salt and pandan leaves.  When boiling, pour syrup into rice flour mixture.  Stir well and strain mixture.  Leave aside to cool.

3.  Dissolve 1 tsp yeast in 2 tbsp lukewarm water and add to cooled rice mixture.  Stir well, cover and leave to leaven for 11/2 to 2 hours till small tiny bubbles appear.

4.  Grease and preheat a 30 cm round tray in steamer.

5.  Add 1/2 tbsp oil to leavened mixture, stir well and pour into heated tray.   Steam for 20 minutes.

February 27, 2007 - Posted by | Desserts and Snacks


  1. can i omit the yeast?

    Comment by Anonymous | March 16, 2007 | Reply

  2. You can’t, cause the yeast helps to give the steamed cake a honey comb texture.

    Comment by roseskitchen | March 16, 2007 | Reply

  3. is this pak tong kou the one we can get in dim sum? I love it very much but never tried to make it. I sahll try to do it with your recipe, hope I can measure it with grams, here in Canada we use cups. Please tell me what do you cover it with to leave it to leaven? a cloth or tight lid?
    I am glad to hve discovered your website Take care.

    Comment by evelyn | March 24, 2007 | Reply

  4. Yes, this is the springy type which is made with either white or brown sugar. Normally I’ll cover the pot with a tight lid and leave it in a warm place. Hope you will like it.

    Comment by rose | March 25, 2007 | Reply

  5. Hi,
    Ii’s so great to know your website. It’s fantastic. Thanks very much for sharing your recipes, especially thi cake. I love this cake very much and will make it. Thanks again for all you kindness.

    Comment by LOVE IT | May 17, 2007 | Reply

  6. Hi,

    Yesterday, I was so happy that atlast i found this recipe here, for i’ve been searching through so many sites. I wanted to expressed immediately but i wanted to give a try and so today morning i got a wonderful Pak Tong Kou. It came out well and that its so easy to make, its not at all difficult. Thank you for sharing what u have with everyone here on the net. Its great! And its a honour!

    I wanted to try other new recipes as well, but i dont know how it looks, so if you could post along the recipe with the photo it would be excellent! Thanking you again.

    Comment by Kim | May 18, 2007 | Reply

  7. hi Kim,
    Glad that you got a wonderful Pak Tong Kou. Sometimes I used light brown sugar and it tasted very good too.
    Thank you for your suggestion. I’m looking into it.
    With Regards.

    Comment by rose | May 20, 2007 | Reply

  8. HI Rose,
    Look at your cake, I can tell it tastes great.
    I made this cakes some times but it turned out not as white as yours 😦 WHat kind of rice flour do you use to make this cake Rose?
    Thanks very much

    Comment by LOVE IT | June 20, 2007 | Reply

  9. I use Sunflower brand or Elephant brand from Thailand, the flour is very fine. Maybe you want to try putting a tiny cup of vinegar besides the tray whilst steaming and let’s see if it will prevent the cake from turning yellow.
    All the best!

    Comment by rose | June 20, 2007 | Reply

  10. Thanks Rose. I also used Thailand rice flour but it was not as white as yours. 😦
    Did you mean that putting vinegar in the water of the steamer?

    Comment by LOVE IT | June 22, 2007 | Reply

  11. I was taught to place a tiny cup of vinegar in between the paus (chinese buns) whilst steaming so that they will not turn yellow. Maybe you want to try adding to the water and see what happens.

    Comment by roseskitchen | June 22, 2007 | Reply

  12. Hey! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. It’s one of my childhood favourites. Bought one recently and it did not taste good so am glad to find your recipe so I can make it and share it with my young son.

    Comment by Hungry Ghost | July 2, 2007 | Reply

  13. It is my pleasure. Hope both of you will have a good time making and sharing the Pak Tong Kou.
    God bless!

    Comment by rose | July 4, 2007 | Reply

  14. Can I use multi-purpose flour? thanks

    Comment by Anonymous | July 18, 2007 | Reply

  15. Anonymous,
    You have to use rice flour for this recipe.

    Comment by roseskitchen | July 18, 2007 | Reply

  16. Is there a substitute of Pandan Leaf? I’ve never seen it before.

    Comment by Erica | July 19, 2007 | Reply

  17. I just tried to make it and it taste like the ones I’ve had from the store, but I can’t get it to set. I even steamed it longer than 20 minutes and its still liquidy in the center… is there anything I can do?

    Comment by Erica | July 20, 2007 | Reply

  18. hi Erica,
    You can substitute pandan leaf with pandan paste. As for your Pak Tong Kou, probably it is not well leavened and you have to steam it over very high heat.

    Comment by roseskitchen | July 23, 2007 | Reply

  19. If you don’t have pandan leave or paste, try real vanilla extract. It taste pretty good too, but not as good as the pandan leave.

    Comment by Anonymous | July 24, 2007 | Reply

  20. Can you covert to cups and teaspoon/tablespoon
    from gram and ml please? So much easier to follow
    in the U.S. – Thanks

    Comment by Jean | August 1, 2007 | Reply

  21. hi Anonymous,
    Thanks for sharing. I’ve tried using rose syrup and it tastes pretty good too.
    God Bless!

    Comment by roseskitchen | August 3, 2007 | Reply

  22. hi Jean,
    Most of my recipes are in ozs and I’m so used to. Now that I’ve to convert them to gram and ml. Maybe you can refer to for the Standard Conversion Tables.
    Thanks and Regards.

    Comment by roseskitchen | August 3, 2007 | Reply

  23. I tried making this today, but mine didn’t turn out well,it is kind of hard in the centre and soft at the outside. Basically didn’t turn out springy. what could have gone wrong? What i did diffferent was only using instant yeast rather than fresh yeast. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Jee Hao | August 20, 2007 | Reply

  24. hi Jee,
    If the dried yeast doesn’t turn frothy when dissolved in the tepid water, discard. Secondly, I think the mixture has not been leavened enough. Wish u success in your next attempt.

    Comment by roseskitchen | August 21, 2007 | Reply

  25. Rose,
    Thanks so much for this recipe. It’s so simple and easy and the best thing is that the results are fantistic. All my friends loved it eventhough I didn’t use the pandan leaves.

    Comment by Sally (Brisbane) | September 24, 2007 | Reply

  26. Hi Rose
    Great recipe you have there! love the outcome; 95 % success rate. Thank you

    Comment by DOROTHY | November 27, 2007 | Reply

  27. can i omit the salt?

    Comment by mei kuen | December 21, 2007 | Reply

  28. I tried this recipe,but it turns yellow and hard,do I need a bamboo steamer for this?Is vinegar will help to maintain white color?

    Comment by gillian | December 21, 2007 | Reply

  29. Hi Rose,
    Thanks for this Pak Tong Kou.
    Could I use some cake flour (about 20%) instead of rice flour(80%)???
    If not, how do i make the rice cake rise better/higher with more pronounce holes?
    Is Pak Tong Kou the same as Bok Tong Go???
    Your recipe looks a lot easier…no fermenting for 2-3 days!
    Where do i find your conversion table from grams to lbs and/or tesapoon, tablespoon measure???
    I will be trying this recipe today!
    Very nice website…your son does a good job…thanks for sharing your recipes.
    bryan a

    Comment by bryan a | December 27, 2007 | Reply

  30. I made this cake and it is wonderful. Thank you Rose. God bless you!

    Comment by yohannes | January 5, 2008 | Reply

  31. Hi Rose, I want to make this cake again,can I replace a half of water with coconut milk?Do you have apem cukit recipe, a cake from Indonesia?Thank you.

    Comment by yohannes | January 6, 2008 | Reply

  32. You can only use rice flour and should let it sit for 8 hours to let the yeast work into the rice.

    Comment by singaporean | February 5, 2008 | Reply

  33. can i have a try to make it a small portion?? for e.g. all the ingredients divided by 2! (means only make a half portion)

    Comment by Momoko | April 7, 2008 | Reply

  34. Hi Rose,
    I was wondering if you can you the Mochiko brand SWEET rice flour instead of rice flour for this recipe… will it turn out the same, you think? Thanks

    Comment by mama | April 21, 2008 | Reply

  35. Hi Rose, thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes. My youngest daughter loves Pak Tong Kou. Since we moved to NZ, it’s impossible to buy so I tried your recipe and it turned out to be yummy. Also tried your banana cake recipe. My friens loved it. May God continue to strengthen you.

    Comment by Adele Koh | May 4, 2008 | Reply

  36. Dear Rose,

    Thank you so much for your recipes. I love to bake & cook. I have tried some of your recipes. They are so yummy, & easy to make. You are so kind to share. May God bless you forever.
    Hope you will continue to update.

    Comment by helen lee | May 6, 2008 | Reply

  37. steam this over low heat or medium low?
    also, can i halve this recipe?
    I wanna steam this in a wok and can’t seem to find any 30cm tray here in australia and even id I do find them, can’t possibly fit that in a wok.
    Please help, thanks a million!

    Comment by Quinn | May 25, 2008 | Reply

  38. Hello Rose,

    My son loves pandan cake and it is not easy to find them in Norway. I have been looking all over the website for recipe and finally with the help from my sister found your website. My kids will be so happy that mommy can bake Pandan Cake for them. Millions of thanks to you!

    Comment by Diana Ang | May 29, 2008 | Reply

  39. Hi Rose,

    I’m glad to have found this website. I’ve been looking for the recipe for this white sponge cake for years now. My 4 years old son loves to eat them and everytime we go shopping down at the asian place in Charlotte, we had to stop by to get some but lately, they haven’t made them at the market. Anyways, I tried making your recipe twice and it just wouldn’t come out right. I followed your instructions but somehow, I feel I’m doing something wrong or missing something.

    I’m about to give up!!!! HELP!!

    Comment by Martia | August 3, 2008 | Reply

  40. Hey does this recipe work if I omit the pandan leaves and use instant yeast instead of dry active yeast? If so, how do I make the conversion between dry active yeast to instant yeast? Thanks in advance!

    Comment by Helen | August 21, 2008 | Reply

  41. Hello Rose,
    I love the recipes that I just discovered on your site. They are wonderful.The Pak Tong Kau as our family’s favourit turns out very well. I was wondering if you have the recipe of Bak pau ( steamed buns with pork fillings). If so please can you email it to me?
    Thank you for your generosity and may God always bless you.

    Comment by Evie Gunawan | January 26, 2009 | Reply

  42. Hi,
    I like this cake, but I don’t how to make it.
    Where can I get the yeast?
    What is the name of the yeast?



    Comment by jenny | February 21, 2009 | Reply

  43. Thanks for all the receipes, tried hainanese chicken, lovely. There is so many recipes for this dish, but like yours the best. Where do you learn to be such a good cook.
    I am from the UK. good wishes x Choy

    Comment by choy | March 28, 2009 | Reply

  44. thanks for all the receipes. where did you learn to be
    such a good cook. Choy x

    Comment by choy | March 28, 2009 | Reply

  45. Thanks Choy,
    Glad you like the chicken rice recipe. I learnt it from a chef at one of the top hotels a long time ago. It would be a waste not to share! Happy cooking!

    Comment by rose | April 1, 2009 | Reply

  46. Hi Rose!

    Your blog is lovely and I absolutely love pak tong goh..

    however, I tried making it today and it turned out to be very sour, like very sour. Do you think it would be something wrong with my yeast?

    Comment by smay | September 23, 2009 | Reply

  47. Hi Rose,thank you so much for your simple and easy recipe.Can i less the sugar instead of using the same amount with the rice flour,i found it is too sweet.I am very happy with your recipe and i am going to try every each one of your recipes again in future.May God Bless you Rose.

    Comment by Jen | December 31, 2009 | Reply

  48. Hi Jen,
    You can adjust the sugar to suit your taste.
    Hope your Pak Tong Kou turns out well.
    Wish you a Blessed New Year 2010!

    Comment by rose | January 3, 2010 | Reply

  49. Hi Rose

    I tried making your Pak Tong Kou for the lst time today and it turned out good except I still find it a bit ‘nuah’ nuah’ (sticky)still and not q q altho the honeycomb texture was well formed. Could it be due to the rice flour? Also I find the amount of sugar used is too sweet for our family taste buds. Will reducing the sugar affects the texture?

    Comment by donna | April 20, 2010 | Reply

  50. Tried this recipe too. And it turned out nice but as mentioned by Donna, it a bit ‘nuah’. Y ah? otherwise, it is perfect. And the sugar, I only put 200g, but still we find it sweet. Might reduce it again nex time. Thanks for the great n simple recipe!

    Comment by pp | May 2, 2010 | Reply

  51. Dear Donna and PP,
    Thanks for your feed back. Of course you can reduce the amount of sugar according to your taste. As for the texture of the kueh, I think it is due to the rice flour. I have encountered a few times using rice flour for making steamed yam cake which turned out gooey also. Try a different brand and see if it works. Regards.

    Comment by rose | May 3, 2010 | Reply

  52. Blogwalking, find out new knowledges, experience and friend. I was visited your site, so i’m waiting your visit. Nice day. Regard

    Comment by Yayuk Sri | July 19, 2010 | Reply

  53. Thanks for deciding to share your recipes. I found your site while searching for Pak Tong Koh. I’ll let you know how it turns out! — God Bless you and keep you well.

    Comment by blylz | October 19, 2010 | Reply

  54. This sounds amazing. I can’t find the pandan leaves at my local store so I’ll look at a Korean grocery by me. Can’t wait to try it as as seems like a unique taste.

    Comment by Stephanie | October 31, 2010 | Reply

  55. Greetings Rose Thank you so much for this recipe. I looked for it amd finally found it on your site. Thanks for sharing, I am lucky that I can find all the ingredients in Southern California,

    Comment by bellagatta | February 6, 2011 | Reply

  56. “Hi Rose”

    Happy New Year”~ Year of the Golden Rabbit


    Comment by bellagatta | February 7, 2011 | Reply

  57. Rose,
    First of all Happy Mothers Day. What kind of syrup will be poured? Can I do away the pandan? Is this the rice cake that is a little sour, salty and sweet?

    Thanks a lot.


    Comment by Cris | May 9, 2011 | Reply

  58. can i use a metal steamer?

    Comment by Manuel | June 19, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi Manuel, I have tried using a metal container and it came out fine. All the best.

      Comment by rose | June 27, 2011 | Reply

  59. i love this rice cake too. thanks for sharing this recipe. may God bless u always.

    Comment by mary | June 26, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you Mary. God bless you too.

      Comment by rose | June 27, 2011 | Reply

      • Hi Rose, was so happy to find yr site as I was looking for good Pak Tong Gou recipe. Thanks for sharing. I tried this today but the texture still a bit sticky and not springy. A bit on the dense side. Color wise is more to beige instead of white. Mine does not look like yours at all. Where do I go wrong. Seek yr expertise here. Thank you

        Comment by Anonymous | June 1, 2014

  60. hellò Rose, i’m a foodblogger italian and i think that you’re recipe are very very good!!!
    I follow you!!!
    If you want, visit my blog.

    Comment by Lunanerazzurra | July 9, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi Luna,
      Thanks for your support and feedback. Lately, I have been very busy so have not posted new recipes. I will visit your blog.

      Comment by rose | July 10, 2011 | Reply

      • Hi Rose,
        Thanks so much for the recipe,
        I love this cake!
        When the sugar finishes melting in the boiling pot,
        do you add the flour mixture?
        How long do u continue boiling it for once the flour is added?
        Is it meant to turn into a thick mixture with little lumps?

        Comment by annie | October 6, 2011

  61. I had tried your resepi, but sorry to tell you that it is too soggy, I believe the amount of water should be much lesser.

    Comment by Anonymous | February 23, 2012 | Reply

  62. I just made your recipe today…it actually worked for once. The only change I made was reduce the sugar. I had tried 3 previous recipes and they didn’t even come close. Thanks!!!

    Comment by Anonymous | April 21, 2012 | Reply

  63. Rosie, Can I extra a bit baking soda powders? I made it yesterday but I got extra a little soda powder, and my ‘white honeycomb cake’ become ‘brown colour’ (-_-‘)

    Comment by vb | May 3, 2012 | Reply

  64. Looking for kitchen furniture is often a daunting task. In much of the same way that it is made traditionally,
    dollhouse wicker furniture is made with wire or really small wood strips.

    Comment by our website | August 17, 2012 | Reply

  65. hi is there supposed to be a puddle
    in the middle when it’s done?!

    Comment by daley | November 4, 2012 | Reply

  66. I made this today. Flavor was right, but it felt dry and less bouncy as compared to Chinese restaurants. Could it be not enough oil? Also, do you think the restaurants use rice flour or actual rice and grind it? Thanks so much!

    Comment by daisukiflwrs | March 20, 2013 | Reply

  67. I have tried so many different web on this sweet but none came out as good as yours. Thanks Rose really enjoy it.

    Comment by Anonymous | June 30, 2013 | Reply

  68. Hihi…May I know What type n brand of yeast are you using? Any pic to show?
    Thank u very much for the advice

    Comment by Anonymous | August 22, 2014 | Reply

  69. Hi Rose.

    How do you get that flat glossy top like that? Mine is never like that, it always looks risen and bubbly. Also what kind of yeast do you use? All recipes I have tried use regular active dry yeast but they have a weird flavor compared to when I get it in Chinatown it has more wine yeast flavor.

    Comment by Michael | May 3, 2016 | Reply

  70. If I use a smaller pan so I can get higher cake, do I adjust the steaming time? Like by how much? Thank you!!

    Comment by Mae | March 31, 2019 | Reply

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