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How to Make a Traditional Malay Cake

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I grew up in Malaysia, where I enjoyed cooking and eating local dishes every day.

I love the exterior of the cake because it's crispy!

I love the exterior of the cake because it's crispy!

A Traditional Malay Cake

I love this cake because it reminds me of my childhood. I remember when I was growing up, my mother used to bake this cake during the Eid Festival. She would use traditional firewood with a slow burn; hence, the cake would be fresh and warm for our family and guests.

The texture of this cake is denser than a regular cake—it's more like a bread texture. Also, the exterior of the cake is darker because of the caramelized sugar.

In my home today, I don't have a traditional wood stove, so I have to use my conventional oven. The resulting cake wasn't exactly like my mother's, but it was still very good.

Margarine vs. Butter

One of the main ingredients in this cake is margarine. Margarine was often used as a substitute for butter back in the 1980s. I remember watching my mother and my elder sister use margarine when baking cakes and cookies. I never saw them use butter.

The modern types of margarine are made from vegetable oils, which contain polyunsaturated fats. They can lower the low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol when used in cooking instead of saturated fat. I'm sure you can use butter in this recipe, but I decided to use my mother's original recipe.

A Perfect Treat for Your Family

This cake is very easy to make, but the one challenge is caramelizing the sugar. If you follow the directions closely, you should be fine. I baked this old-fashioned cake not just because it reminds me of my childhood, but also because I love baking! I hope you will try this recipe and will love the cake as much as we do. It's a perfect dessert for your family for the weekend.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup condensed milk
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons margarine (I used palm-oil-based)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix together with a spatula or whisk. Set aside.
  2. Combine the sugar in the pan and place on the stove over medium heat.
  3. The sugar will dissolve slowly like wet sand, and the mixture will begin to simmer. At this stage, please make sure to stir it slowly.
  4. After the sugar dissolves and the syrup is simmering, pour in the hot water. Please be careful as the hot water and sugar syrup combination will create a reaction.
  5. Add the margarine into the mixture and keep stirring until everything is well-combined.
  6. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  7. In the meantime, heat the oven to 350°F.
  8. In a larger bowl, combine the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Beat them together with a mixer at medium speed until creamy.
  9. Pour the mixture into a prepared baking pan.
  10. Bake for 50 minutes or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool slightly.
  11. Slice the cake and enjoy with your favorite cup of coffee or tea.

Photo Tutorial

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix it all together with a spatula or whisk. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix it all together with a spatula or whisk. Set aside.

Place the sugar in a pan over medium heat.

Place the sugar in a pan over medium heat.

Slowly stir the sugar with a wooden spoon.

Slowly stir the sugar with a wooden spoon.

Once the sugar is caramelized, add the hot water slowly.

Once the sugar is caramelized, add the hot water slowly.

Add the margarine into the caramelized sugar mixture.

Add the margarine into the caramelized sugar mixture.

In the meantime, add the condensed milk and vanilla extract into the lightly beaten egg mixture.

In the meantime, add the condensed milk and vanilla extract into the lightly beaten egg mixture.

Pour the batter into a baking pan that is lined with parchment paper.

Pour the batter into a baking pan that is lined with parchment paper.

Let the cake cool before cutting and serving. Enjoy with coffee or tea.

Let the cake cool before cutting and serving. Enjoy with coffee or tea.

The exterior of the cake.

The exterior of the cake.

© 2019 Liza

Comments

Liza (author) from USA on August 23, 2019:

The cake was delicious. My husband and I enjoyed it so much with coffee. Thank you for commenting, Linda :)

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 23, 2019:

This sounds like a lovely cake. I like the idea of a cake that contains condensed milk and caramelized sugar very much.

Liza (author) from USA on August 23, 2019:

Indeed, Liz :) Thank you for commenting. Have a nice weekend!

Liz Westwood from UK on August 23, 2019:

This looks like a tasty treat.