Gula Melaka Cake

Gula Melaka, which is palm sugar, is widely used in South East Asia. It is particularly fragrant when you add them to your dessert, and a combi of Gula Melaka and Coconut milk always never go wrong.

I tasted an Ondeh-Ondeh cake some time late last year. Ondeh Ondeh is a classic Malay kuih easily found in this region, a little pastry ball filled with gula melaka and coated with shredded coconut and its super delicious! So the Ondeh-Ondeh cake was basically.. well.. a cake version of Ondeh-Ondeh. With Pandan Sponge cake layered with Gula Melaka Butter cream and coated with shredded coconut between the layer of cakes. It was so yummy and the tastes simply brings back memories.

So I have been thinking of attempting to bake an Ondeh-Ondeh cake.. but ended up with a simplified version. Pandan Sponge Cake with Gula Melaka Buttercream.. but missing the shredded coconut. Oh! But the Gula Melaka Buttercream with fragrant Pandan Sponge Cake just marry with each other so well!

The top finished with Gula Melaka syrup!

Again feeding my colleagues for Potlunch! Or actually.. it was me finding guinea pigs!

Pandan Sponge Cake (Source: Jeannie Tay’s recipe)


6 eggs yolks
70g corn oil
100g plain flour
Pinch of salt
50g pandan juice (or 1/4 tsp of pandan paste with 50g of water)
50g coconut milk

6 eggs whites
100g sugar

1. Line the base of an 8″ round pan. Grease sides for easier unmoulding.

2. Preheat oven to 190C.

3. Put oil in a saucepan and heat on low fire until just simmering. If you have a thermometer it should read 70C. Remove and immediately add the flour and stir with a whisk until smooth.

4. Add in the coconut milk and pandan juice and stir to combine. At this stage the batter will become thick and lumpy.

5. Add in egg yolks and whisk with hand whisk until batter is smooth and runny again. Set aside.

6. Beat the egg whites until foamy then gradually add sugar to beat until firm peaks form.

7. Add 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk batter and using the hand whisk to mix until combined. Add the next 1/3 portion and whisk again. Finally, add the last portion, whisk briefly before switching to spatula to scoop the batter from bottom and fold up on to the batter to make sure all are combined and no more yolk batter can be seen.

8. Pour into prepared pan and bake in water bath at 190C for 15 minutes before lowering to 145C for another hour or until the cake bounces back when you lightly press the top.

9. Remove from oven and leave it for a couple of minutes before unmoulding.

Gula Melaka Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Source: The Domestic Goddess Wannabe)


50g Gula Melaka, crushed
2 pandan leaves, torn lengthwise & tied a knot
1/8 cup water

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
110g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Place the gula melaka, pandan leaves and water in a heavy-bottom sauce pan and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until all the gula melaka has melted. Set this aside to cool.

2. Cut the butter into cubes. Set this aside. The butter needs to be cool, but not cold when used later.

3. Add the egg whites and sugar into a heat-proof mixing bowl. Place this over a ban marie and whisk until all the sugar has melted.

4. Once all the sugar has completely dissolved, the mixture is ready for the next step. You can rub some of the mixture between your thumb and finger to check if there is any unmelted sugar.

5. Transfer the bowl to the mixer. Using the WHISK attachment, whisk the egg whites on HIGH speed.

6. Keep whisking until the meringue is thick and glossy and the bottom of the bowl is no longer warm. This is very important and you must not start adding the butter until this happens.

7. Adding the butter 4 cubes at a time, also on HIGH speed.

8. Just keep mixing and adding the butter until all the butter has been used up.

9. Add the vanilla extract and salt, and beat on slow until they are well-incorporated.

10. Add the cooled gula melaka to the buttercream, one teaspoon a time and mix to combine before adding the next teaspoonful. I added in all the syrup to give the buttercream a more distinct taste of gula melaka.

11. Scrape the bowl and give the buttercream one final mix.


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