Roti Kukus recipe: tested and proven
I am quite proud of my own roti kukus recipe. This Indonesian steam cake is not difficult to make, but you have to follow the preparation exactly, otherwise, a kukus may fail.
Do you also want a steam cake on the table within 40 minutes? Watch my video or read on for the recipe in text and photos.
Cracked open or not
I’ve made this recipe many, many times, and so far I always get a beautifully risen cake; fluffier than any sponge cake. I have heard that a kukus must have to burst open from above; “Only then it is a real roti kukus”. Maybe that is true, I can’t prove it :-). Everyone makes a different steam cake. For me, a great roti kukus is light, fluffy and not extremely sweet.
If you really want a cake that is cracked open at the top, make sure that the colander in which you steam the cake is a bit narrow, then the cake can only rise upwards and will crack. I also got a tip through my Dutch comment section from Petrus: “The solution to a cracked open cake (I think) is to use a mold or colander that is smaller than the steamer, so the steam can also reach the top of the batter”.
Done in 40 minutes
This recipe is based on an old recipe from my grandmother. But her recipe was not always successful (cake sometimes collapsed) so I experimented with it. I found that if I use a sieve or colander that has many cavities my cake always works.
You can use gula Jawa or dark sugar in stead of the regular caster sugar. If the sugar is super dark, mix the dark sugar with the regular caster sugar (75 grams of dark sugar, 75 grams regular).
Roti kukus à la Pisang Susu is enough for 4 people, total preparation time: 40 minutes
- 4 eggs
- 150 grams of caster sugar
- 150 grams of self-raising flour
- 2 sachets of vanilla sugar
- a pinch of salt
Tip: if you want your cake even fluffier than it already is: add 80 ml soda, 7-up or sprite to the batter.
Tip: for a beautiful marble in the cake add pandan or chocolate to the batter and don’t over mix.
Place a large pan on the stove with enough water to steam for more than 25 minutes. The water should not touch the colander. Provide a colander with many cavities that fits perfectly in the pan (that is important) and a thin handkerchief or tea towel in which you will pour the batter.
- Mix the eggs and all the sugar on high speed. Mix on high speed until the batter it is fluffy and light yellow in color (mix for about 5 minutes).
- Sieve the flour.
- Spoon the flour into the batter with a spatula (do not use a mixer).
- Bring water to the boil in the pan, put the colander on top and place the handkerchief in it.
- Gently pour the batter into the handkerchief.
- Tie a tea towel around the lid and place it on the pan.
- Steam the roti kukus for 25 minutes.
A roti kukus is steamed in a piece of cloth. I also tie a tea towel around the edge so that the steam cannot escape and I also tie a tea towel around the lid to catch drops. That way they don’t make craters in your kukus. The water should boil a lot when the batter is poured into the colander.
For the batter, I mix the eggs and all the sugar together on high speed for about 5 minutes.
I sift the flour and scoop it gently through the batter.
I use a spatula for this and not the mixer, otherwise, you will whisk the air out of the batter. Fold in the flour gently until everything is well incorporated.
When the water boils fiercely pour the batter into the cloth, which is in the colander. Then place the (wrapped) lid on it and do not open it (otherwise it will collapse).
Let your cake steam for 25 minutes.
Now for the reveal: take the colander of the pan and see: a beautifully risen cake!
Carefully lift the kukus with the cloth out of the pan. Let it cool for a minute or so and remove the tea towel that sticks to it (that’s normal).
Roti kukus is often eaten with a bit of butter on top. Warm it is best, but the next day as a slice at breakfast is alsodelicious.
You can also mix pandan or chocolate through the cake batter.
Want to see more ideas? Check out my Pinterest board with all kinds of steam cake options :-).
Need more sweet recipes? Check out this link.
Want to see more sweet Indonesian recipes explained in video? Watch my ‘sweet’ youtube playlist. I hope you enjoy it!