Steamed Sugar Cake – Bai Tang Gao (白糖糕)

20150822_090722Steamed Sugar Cake aka Bai Tang Gao aka Bak Tong Gou aka White Sugar Cake are all essentially the same thing. This popular Hong Kong treat originated in China many years ago and was a staple afternoon snack served cold with a cup of tea on hot summer days or served warm on cold days.

The ingredients for this cake are fairly simple– yeast, rice flour, sugar, salt, and water. The key points to this recipe involve letting the batter sit until bubbles have formed and releases a fermented smell. Then, the batter must be steamed at high heat so the little bubbles of air are formed within the cake, making a honeycomb texture. Measurements for Chinese recipe are usually more “exact” so they tend to use weights instead of cups, hence the use of weighing below.


This cake can be made with white or brown sugar, but the traditional one is a beautiful white cake. Our family traditionally eats this cold for breakfast, but can also be eaten warm. It’s soft, light, and has a wonderful tangy sweet taste.

Note*** This version of the recipe is soley mine. When reposting, please cite me and my website.

Copyright june 2016 ©

Steamed Sugar Cake – Bai Tang Gao (白糖糕)

20150822_090727Popular Chinese classic steamed cake served with a cup of tea
>>> Yields 1 9 inch cake

-Prep: 15 min
-Steam: 20 min


  • 280 g rice flour
  • 210 g white sugar
  • 600 ml water, divided
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 3 tbsp warm water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp oil


1) Grease a 9 inch round pan with butter and set aside.
2) Dissolve the yeast in 3 tbsp warm water and set aside.
3) Mix the rice flour with 300 ml water until smooth.
4) Dissolve the sugar and salt in the remaining 300 ml of water in the microwave. Once slightly cooled, pour into the rice mixture.
5) Add the yeast mix into the flour and stir until smooth. Let the batter sit for 2 hours.
6) Add oil to the batter and mix. Pour into a greased tin.
7) Prepare a water steamer and let come to a boil.
8) Steak the batter for 20 minutes and do not open during this time. Turn off the heat and open the top of the steamer slowly and carefully.
9) After 10 minutes, remove the pan from the steamer and let come to room temperature.
10) Store the cake in the fridge for a cold cake (or skip for a warm cake) and slice and enjoy!

Happy eats!


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