Roti Kukus recipe: tested and proven
I am quite proud of my own roti kukus recipe. This Indonesian steam cake, without butter, is not difficult to make, but you have to follow the directions exactly. I’ve often made this roti kukus and so far I always get a beautiful raised cake, much lighter than any sponge cake.
Some say a great kukus has bursted open from the top, but others say the taste and sponginess is the most important part of a great roti kukus. I love the fact I use a recipe that always works!
Do you really want a roti kukus that has bursted open on to, use a smaller colander to steam it in; during rising it can only rise to the top and will burst open.
Would you like to taste a roti kukus in 40 minutes? Then take a look at the video or the recipe in text and pictures below.
The recipe is based on an old recipe from my Indonesian grandmother. She used 6 eggs and I want to make a lighter and more spongy cake. I told my mother about it and before I knew it we were experimenting with the old recipe together in the kitchen. ;-).
We discovered that the old recipe sometimes succeeded and sometimes not. The solution: use a steam basket or colander with lots of cavities to get the steam through. Also, use a thin cloth (napkin or tea towel) to pour the batter in.
Do you want to try?
Roti Kukus à la Pisang Susu for 4 people, total prep time: 40 minutes, steaming time 25 minutes.
150 grams caster sugar (white but brown is nice too)
150 grams of self-rising flour (cake flour)
2 sachets of vanilla sugar
pinch of salt
If you cannot buy self -rising flour or cake flour mix 2 teaspoons of baking powder for each 150g/6oz/1 cup of plain flour.
Tip: if you want to make your cake even fluffier: mix 80 – 100 ml of 7-up through the batter.
Place a pretty big pan over the fire with enough water to steam for at least 25 minutes. The water should not touch the colander. Use a colander with lots of cavities that fits perfectly in there (that’s important). Or tie a towel around the rim of the colander so it fits in tightly.
I use a thin handkerchief (but you can also use a thin tea towel) to place in the colander. You can put the handkerchief in just before you pour the batter or immediately when you put the pan on the fire. While this is on the stove, I can start my batter.
Mix the eggs and sugar on a high setting until it’s fluffy and light yellow in color (about 5 minutes of mixing). Sift the flour and stir it in little by little.
I do not use my hand mixer for mixing in the flower. I use a spatula to gently mix it in. That way the cake remains as spongy as possible.
When the water comes to the boil, I pour the batter into the napkin that is already in the colander and place it on top of the steaming water. Then I put the lit on and leave it there for 25 minutes. Do not peek to see how your roti kukus is doing; it will collapse.
Then the most exciting part: let’s see how it turned out. Open it and see how beautifully it has risen. It is spongy and looks done. If you want to be sure test it like you would with a cake coming out of the oven (with a needle: stick it in, if anything sticks to it, it is not done yet). But believe me, it will not be necessary. This recipe works great! Raise the cloth with the roti kukus inside carefully out of the pan and let it cool for a minute. Take it off and cut nice even slices. You can eat it when it is still warm.
Eat your roti kukus with salty butter or chocolate paste. If you want something different, add pandan paste to the batter for a green color and pandan flavor. Or mix cacao through the batter for a marbled chocolate kukus. You can even pour melted chocolate over it for a hard crust. I love that idea ;-).