Recipe tutorial: steamed sponge cake

What about a dim sum series? I’m thinking of making some “healthified” dim sum recipes since traditional dim sum recipes uses 100% white flour and it is usually high in white sugar.  Any one interested?  😉 Let me know if there is any particular dim sum you’d like to see. I’ll do my best.

So, let me present the steamed sponge cake. I am not sure if you can find these in US, but it is a common breakfast dim sum in shanghai.



  • 4 oz. white flour
  • 2 oz. corn meal (extra fine)
  • 1 oz. barley powder
  • 1 oz. soy bean powder
  • 0.1 oz. active yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 oz. brown sugar
  • raisins for topping




1. Mix the dry ingredients


2. Dilute active yeast in 8 oz. of warm water (about 100F)


3. Add it to the flour and add more warm water (about 1 cup) to get this consistency, semi-watery


4. Let it ferment for an hour in a warm place. It looks like this


5. Add the baking soda diluted in warm water to the mix


6. Put in the recipient that you’ll use to steam it and let it sit for another hour.


7. Add toppings


8. Steam for 35 min and ready to serve! 😉


Note: It might not work if you use all whole grains, it won’t fermented well, so keep the proportion of whole grain to <50% of total flour.

It’s soft, spongy and slightly sweet! I really like it! 😀

Q: What’s your favorite chinese dim sum?



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15 responses to “Recipe tutorial: steamed sponge cake

  1. kim

    i love red bean buns, glutinous black sesame balls and tofu fa and all the desserts 🙂

  2. The steamed sponge cake sounds great! I don’t think I have ever had it. Thanks for sharing!

    My favorite dim sum dish is sticky rice in lotus leaves. I so want some dim sum right now!!!! 🙂

  3. My mom made steamed sponge cakes in smaller pieces when I was younger. This looks good!

  4. Yeah, keeping yourself busy in the kitchen! This sounds so good. I’ve never heard of it, nor have I seen it, but I would LOVE to taste it! I would add peanuts on top, instead of raisins…random, but I’m not a fan of raisins.

    Have a nice day Coco 🙂

  5. It looks delicious! I love barley and would like to try using the barley powder in some recipes, as well.

  6. That looks yummy! I like that there’s raisins on top for some sweetness.

    Can you believe I’ve never tried dim sum? To be 100% honest, I’m not even sure what it is!!! YIKES! *blush*

  7. Thanks for the recipe! That looks great!

  8. LEM

    it looks loveley!! but how do you steam it?

  9. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
    I would love a dim sum series! I’m a fan of steamed buns pretty much stuffed with anything 🙂

    How did you steam this?

  10. Anita

    They do have steamed sponge cakes (ma la gao) at American dim sums; they’re really good!

    I like egg tarts (dan tat).

  11. is this Fa gao??? Looks really yummy!!
    I want to see the dim sum called shao mai, haha 😀

  12. Yum, I love anything that resembles bread! 🙂

    I’m not sure what dim sum is, but I LOVE Asian flavors of all kinds. Deeeeeelish.


  13. That cake does indeed look spongey! 🙂

  14. I am TOTALLY on board with a dim sum series! My mom and I have tried making cha siu bao, shu mai, and lo mai gai, but not the sponge cakes yet! I don’t think there’s a healthy version of a dantat, though. 😦

  15. Oh yes I’ve been searching for ages for a good, healthy & vegetarian dim sum recipe! I would love it if you could post one :).
    That sponge cake looks fantastic!!

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