Brown Sugar Sponge Cake

Brown Sugar Sponge Cake

Brown Sugar Sponge Cake excerpted from Bao: Asian-style buns, dim sum and more from your bamboo steamer by Loretta Liu. Photography by Clare Winfield.

bao: Asian-style buns, dim sum and more from your bamboo steamer Hardcover by Loretta Liu

Bamboo steamers are at the heart of simple Asian cooking, producing everything from fluffy pork bao buns to steamed Chinese chicken.

This collection of recipes will help you use this simple and effective cooking tool from ancient China to produce vibrant and tasty treats. Whip up ‘pillows of joy’ in delicious bao bun recipes and make fluffy, edible clouds of doughy yumminess that pack a sweet and savoury punch in one hit, alongside a range of other dumplings and Asian street foods. Steamed chicken, fish, vegetables and sticky rice have never been easier to whip up.

Unlock a whole new world of Asian cooking with these recipes, and discover the incredible flavours and textures that can be created in your bamboo steamer.

Bao: Asian-style buns, dim sum and more from your bamboo steamer by Loretta Liu is available at, and   

Brown Sugar Sponge Cake

Sweet and treacly, this steamed sponge makes a lovely dessert, or is just as nice served with some tea – green or black, whatever you prefer! You will need two steamer baskets for this recipe; a larger one with a lid, and a smaller one to sit inside it.

Serves 8

3 UK large/US extra-large eggs, at room temperature

120 g/scant 2⁄3 cup soft brown sugar

160 g/scant 1¼ cups soft white flour

1 tablespoon cornflour/ cornstarch

20 g/1⁄6 cup custard powder/ instant vanilla pudding

1 teaspoon easy-bake/rapid-rise dried yeast

150 ml/2⁄3 cup milk

60 ml/4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/ baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla paste

30 g/1½ tablespoons black treacle/molasses salt

23-cm/9-in. bamboo steamer basket, lined with parchment paper

30-cm/12-in. bamboo steamer basket with a lid

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until fluffy, then add the soft brown sugar in three parts, whisking it well between each addition. Fold in the soft flour, cornflour/cornstarch, custard powder/instant vanilla pudding and yeast. Lastly, whisk in the milk.

Cover and leave the mixture in a warm room to rest for 2 hours until you see little bubbles at the top.

After 2 hours, fold in the vegetable oil, bicarbonate of soda/baking soda, baking powder, vanilla paste, black treacle/molasses and ½ teaspoon salt. Pour the mixture into the 23-cm/9-in. lined bamboo steamer basket.

Place the 30-cm/12-in bamboo basket over a big pot of boiling water and place the 23-cm/9-in. basket containing the cake mixture inside it. Cover with the lid and steam for 40 minutes until well risen. Do not remove the lid to check it before this time, as the mixture may collapse.

Allow to cool before serving.

Recipe reprinted with permisson from Ryland Peters & Small.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.