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Sponge Cake With Coconut Icing

User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (3 Reviews)


Iced sponge cake
Iain Bagwell/Photolibrary/Getty Images
A basic Chinese Steamed Sponge Cake is topped with icing made with coconut milk, in a style similar to Hawaiian Haupia.

Basic Chinese Steamed Sponge Cake - a different recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


  • Sponge Cake
  • 1 cup cake or pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • Coconut Icing:
  • 2 TB plus 1 tsp pineapple juice
  • 1 TB plus 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar


To Make the Cake:
Line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment paper. Prepare a wok for steaming.
  Place the flour in a medium bowl. Sift in the baking powder and salt and set aside.
  In a separate bowl, add the sugar to the eggs and beat until they are frothy (about 3 minutes). Stir in the almond extract.
  Gradually add the flour mix to the egg mixture, stirring. Add the coconut milk. Stir until you have a smooth batter that is thoroughly mixed, but do not beat.
  Pour the batter into the pan (ideally it should only come 2/3 to 3/4 up the side of the pan). Cover and steam for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and remove from the pan, turning the cake over. Cut the cake into squares or diamond shapes.

To Make the Coconut Icing:
In a small bowl, mix the pineapple juice and cornstarch and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk and sugar to a boil, stirring occasionally. Give the the pineapple juice/cornstarch mixture a quick re-stir and then add to the saucepan, stirring. Cook for a few minutes on medium-low heat to thicken. Cook for another minute, then remove and use to ice the cake. Chill the cake until the icing stiffens. Refrigerated in a sealed container, the icing will keep for a few days. It can be used again to ice another sponge cake, or as a simple (but sweet!) dessert for one to two people.

Chinese Sponge Cake and Coconut Icing Recipe Copyright 2003 by Rhonda Parkinson. All rights reserved.

Recipe Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Reader Comments: It was really good. I used it for a class project. Everyone loved it. They said to tell you it was good. Rated by Brookester

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Comment: This was so easy to make. I love how there was no added days except from the coconut milk. This steamed cake was a hit.Rated by Kimbolini

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Comment: Superb. Rated by Jeanne

My Response to Hypogirl80
I'm sorry about the problems; however I've made this recipe several times and stand by it. From the description of the cake not rising, I think the problem may have come with the steaming. You might want to check out my step by step photo instructions for steaming a sponge cake using a wok. Also, if you like, you can use this recipe for sponge cake and top it with the coconut icing. I hope this helps!
Rhonda Parkinson, Your Guide to Chinese Cooking

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
AMAZING!, Member wompalicious

Thanks for the great recipe. I made it for a school project, and it was really neat for a more different dessert!!!

2 out of 2 people found this helpful.

See all 3 reviews

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