Huat kue – Vegan steam cake

huat kue chocolate

This steam cake is very easy to make. In 20 minutes you’ll have 6 steaming snacks on the table. This is a huat kue, traditionally eaten with Chinese New Year. I have enriched the recipe with coconut milk and chocolate, to make it taste more creamy. Use quality chocolate with a high cocoa percentage (73% or more).

Bolu kukus

This kue is similar to bolu kukus. I have experimented endlessly with that recipe, which succeeded as often as it failed. This Indonesian steam cake can easily collapse. I am still tinkering with the ultimate recipe, so stay tuned.

This huat kue (or fat koh in Cantonese) is made without eggs nor butter; it is completely vegan. Want to see how I make them in a video? Watch below or read on for the recipe in text and photos.


This recipe is ready in 20 minutes and enough for 6 cakes.

Ingredients Huat Kue

  • 70 grams of rice flour
  • 50 grams of caster sugar
  • 20 grams of cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 30 grams of chocolate chips
  • 130 milliliters of coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  1. Dilute the coconut milk with water until it is as thin as regular milk; make sure it is 130 milliliters of liquid in total. Mix the rice flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the coconut milk while stirring with a whisk and make sure all the lumps dissolve. Add the chocolate chips.
  2. Spoon the batter into small cake moulds with a cupcake liner and fill them almost to the rim.
  3. Steam over high heat for 12 minutes until cooked and burst like a flower (do not lift the lit to check in between, otherwise the cakes will collapse).

Ingredients steam cakes

Rice flour is super light which makes this steam cake work so well. They grow big fast and will bloom like flowers after 12 minutes. The batter is easy, just whisk by hand. 

First mix the dry ingredients: sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt and rice flour together. Then add the coconut milk. I have diluted the coconut milk until it has the thickness of regular milk.

Batter for chocolate snack with rice flour

Rice flour does not easily become lumpy but add the coconut milk in (2) parts. Add the chocolate chips when the batter is done. I use a high quality dark chocolate and chop it in chips. I like a high cacao percentage.

Chopped dark chocolate

I put cupcake liners in my original aluminum bolu kukus molds and fill them almost to the rim with the batter. You can also use other small containers, made of plastic or pottery. Steam for 12 minutes.

Steam for 12 minutes

Steam the huat kue over high heat for 12 minutes! If you put the cakes in the pan, the water should already steam fiercely. After 12 minutes they are done, moisty and look like flowers.

Huat kue in rice steamer

These huat kue are best still warm with the melted chocolate pieces still visible. Add a late macchiato to the mix and your dessert can’t go wrong.

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