Green Tea-Chocolate Steamed Cupcakes

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Category: Desserts & Sweets | Blog URL:

This recipe was entered in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, a compilation of the world’s best food blogs which was published in Fall 2010.


1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon green tea powder
2 tablespoons cocoa powder


Sift together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Do this step one more time and set aside.
Have ready 9 tall, individual paper baking molds. Alternately, you could use sturdy muffin pan liner. If you are using the muffin pan liner, the batter might fill 12 of those.
With an electric mixer, mix together sugar and eggs until batter is thick, ribbony and very pale in color. This may take about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add flour mixture and coconut milk alternately. Mix the mixture until they are well combined.
Divide the batter into two batches, one-third will be mixed with green tea powder and two-third will be mixed with cocoa powder.
Using rubber spatula, mix these powder separately in two bowls until well combined.
Prepare a steamer by filling it halfway full with water, and also have ready a clean kitchen towel to line the inside to the steamer lid.
Heat the steamer in high heat until the water boils very rapidly. Turn the heat to medium heat while you fill the cups with batters.
Using a medium-sized ice cream scooper for the cocoa batter, drop a scoop into the cup, filling until about three-quarter high.
Using a small-sized ice cream scooper or a tablespoon for the green tea batter, drop a scoop or a tablespoon of batter on top of the chocolate batter.
Tap the cup to the surface to let the batter settle.
Do the same for the rest of the batter.
Place several molds or liner inside the steamer, line the lid with towel and close the lid carefully. Don't crowd the steamer, make sure there are several inches around the molds or liner for the batter to get proper steam. If needed, steam in batches.
Increase the heat again to high and once the water return to boil, set the timer for 10 minutes. Do not open the steamer to check batter because it may drop.
At the end of the timer, open the lid carefully while holding the towel altogether.
Makes sure the water drops don’t come into contact with the cakes.
Cool the cakes in a wire rack right away.




Sheri Wetherell's picture

Note: all photos are from Eliza, but uploaded by Foodista.


Steamed cakes are very popular amongst the Asians and there are various recipes of making steamed cakes. This technique may originate from the time when an oven was not readily available in Asian countries but a steamer was always available and a cheaper alternative means to an oven. The Chinese has been making all different sweet and savory cakes by using a steamer and the technique spread to various Asian countries. Indonesians also make steamed cupcakes, which is called "Bolu Kukus", using various ingredients like coconut milk or flavored sodas for flavor or pandan leaves juice for color and flavor. I have tried making steamed cakes before but it was a long time ago I don’t even remember when it was. After looking at my friend’s picture of steamed cakes, I decided last Sunday was the time to do it.

The original recipe calls for coconut milk for the liquid ingredient and a pandan or chocolate or mocha paste for flavor. I made a first batch using a mocha paste which I bought in Indonesia, but it turned out that I didn’t particularly care for it in my cakes. I decided to try combining green tea and cocoa powder, which is a popular choice nowadays. I kept the coconut milk in it and the cakes turned out very good indeed. Now, the success of steamed cupcakes is measured by how big the cakes will puff up. They have to bloom like flowers from the hot steam to produce what Indonesians calls a successful steamed cupcakes. The first time I opened my steamer lid, they puffed very big, I was afraid that they bloomed too much. But once they cooled down, the puffiness came down a bit and they were perfect.

So here is the recipe for the cakes, may the bloom force be with you!


9 individual tall cupcakes or about 12 regular muffin-size cake


Monday, December 7, 2009 - 10:01pm


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