Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ma Lai Ko (Steamed Sponge Cake) 馬拉糕

This is the unyeasted and darker version of  steamed sponge cake  also known as Ma Lai Ko (馬拉糕).  Thanks to my friend Linda, the Wonder-Cook who kindly shared this recipe with me -


110g caster sugar
230ml water
200 butter
1 tsp dark soy

(B) Sift together:
300g plain flour
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda

3 eggs
150g caster sugar
2 tbsp condensed milk
400ml evaporated milk

  • (A)  Heat sugar until dissolves.  Add in water and stir well.  Turn off heat.  Stir in butter and dark soy.  Set aside to cool.
  • (C)  Beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in milks.  Then add the butter mixture and gently fold in the sifted flour mixture.  Pour into a cake pan or individual moulds.  
  • Steam over high heat for about 20 minutes.


  1. Hi Veronica, these mai ko looks moist there!

    1. Jessie, yes the ma lai ko is quite moist and I am quite happy with the results.

  2. i love ma lai Ko very much but can't get the right taste like what the timsum restaurant always serve. May be they are using the traditional method which u have to use 老酵 and lard. But that is a bit 'ma fun'
    Will have a go with ur method who knows I will love it :)
    Like ur photo very much.

    1. Thanks, Jane. I haven't have the ma lai ko from the dimsum restaurant for a long time. So I've forgotten how they are supposed to taste like. However, I quite like this recipe; except maybe reduce a bit of the dark soy. In fact, I am thinking of omitting the dark soy and replace with gula melaka. What do you think?

    2. Haha... If u like it u may have a try. But traditional type with the smell of eggs n lard really taste nice to me though sounds unhealthy. With gula Melaka it will definitely taste Malaysian., I think but sure will be fragrant enough to say NO to this kuih.

  3. This Ma Lai Ko looks soft, just like what we get from the dim sum restaurants!

  4. That looks like a good idea for afternoon tea! Nice pictures.

  5. I am always been like the recipes in steaming methods as it is not 'heaty'. Should I fill up the batter in the mould in full or 2/3 cup only?

  6. Ah...this is the kueh that I like! The soya bean guy near my office sells this. Thanks, Veronica for featuring this!

  7. Would you do a drizzle of icing or treacle on top or just as they are.

  8. Hi Veronica, never thought of using aluminium foil casings to steam Mah Lai Koh. It's a lovely kuih. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Hi Veronica,
    Your ma lai ko looks cute with the round top.
    Love the soft and spongy texture too.

  10. Hi Veronica. Do you heat the sugar till caramel color before adding water,,? Also with 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda in the recipie do you get a strong taste of the soda when youeat how many does this recipie yields and do you need to grease the molds before steaming. Thanks for help as I like this sponge a lot. Chloe.

    1. Hi Chloe, I didn't caramelise the sugar. I didn't detect any taste of soda bicarb and I didn't grease the molds before steaming as there is quite a lot of butter in the batter. Sorry I couldn't remember how many cups I made, but definitely enough for my family of 4. Please let me know how yours turn out, ok? Have a nice day!

  11. Hi veronica. Sorry one more question. Do you need to beat the eggs and sugar till very thick and ribbon stage,?. Just took s look at recipie. There is a whopping 200gm butter in this recipie! Will try and update you . thanks . Chloe


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