MA LAI GO/ CANTONESE-STYLE STEAMED CAKE


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MA LAI GO / CANTONESE STYLE STEAMED CAKE
Ma Lai Go is one of my favorite steamed cakes. I had this very often for breakfast when I lived in Singapore. I stopped by this little shop on my way to work to get this steamed cake. This sponge cake is light and springy almost like angel food cake, but I think angel food cake is much lighter as it has only egg whites and this cake uses whole eggs. You will see this cake at dim sum restaurants as well.

This cake is very easy to make with only 3 ingredients: eggs, sugar and flour. I made this while my 5-month old is taking her 30-minute nap.
The Chinese likes to steam this cake in a round pan. Round is being interpreted as “smooth” – Everything will go smoothly for everyone.
And so here it is… Ma Lai Go.

MA LAI GO/ CANTONESE-STYLE STEAMED CAKE (one 8-inch round cake)
 

What you will need:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour/plain flour

Instructions:
  1. Prepare your steamer. Fill the steamer pan half full of water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium until you are ready to steam. Please take a note that the steamer must be ready when the batter is ready. Don’t let the batter sits around waiting for the steamer
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with a mixer until the sugar dissolves. Add the flour gradually and beat until fluffy for around 5 minutes. Pour the batter into an 8-inch round glass casserole or souffle dish
  3. Bring the water in the steamer back to a rolling boil and set the batter in the steamer and steam over medium heat for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. The surface of the cake will be bumpy and that’s normal
  4. The cake will puff up. Turn off the heat and wait for the steam to subside before opening the lid. Be careful with the steam released from the steamer. Remove the cake from the steamer and cool completely before cutting into slices

COMMON MISTAKES WHILE MAKING MA LAI GO:

1. Did not beat the mixture for at least 5 minutes or until slightly light and fluffy. It won’t be as light as angel food cake, however, it should turn pale and slightly light

2. The water in the steamer is not on rolling boil while steaming the cake and the cake won’t rise

3. Greasing the sides of the pan with oil and the cake won’t rise

MA LAI GO / CANTONESE STYLE STEAMED CAKEMA LAI GO / CANTONESE STYLE STEAMED CAKE

I’ve already eaten one before taking this photo. Another slice was on the plate and another slice was in the souffle dish. Those two were gone the seconds after I took this photo. Uh-oh!

MA LAI GO / CANTONESE STYLE STEAMED CAKE

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8 Responses to “MA LAI GO/ CANTONESE-STYLE STEAMED CAKE”

  • daniella

    Hi there,
    Thanks a lot for sharing & i’m a newbie here.
    May I know “1c” sugar refers to 1 cup of sugar?

    Thank you.
    Daniella

  • What To Cook Today

    Hi Daniella, Thank you for stopping by. Yes, 1 C is 1 Cup of sugar. Sorry if I didn’t make it clear enough. Hope you enjoy the steamed cake if you do decide to make it :)

  • Ling

    Hi how big is the cup, can i use an ordinary mug to measure? Could you give me the measurements in grams ? Also is ”all purpose” flour the same as self rising flour?

    Thanks,
    Ling

  • What To Cook Today

    Hi Ling,

    The cup is the standard measuring cup used for baking/cooking. This is the example of measuring cups I refer to throughout the recipes on this site http://www.amazon.com/Progressive-GT-3520-International-19-Piece-Measuring/dp/B0014Y4X3G/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1327976631&sr=8-5

    1 cup is about 227 grams. Sorry I didn’t include the measurements in grams. This is a link you can refer to if you need a quick conversion http://www.worldwidemetric.com/measurements.html

    All purpose flour is not the same with self-rising flour. Self-rising flour is all purpose flour with baking powder and salt added, so I won’t use self-rising flour to substitute for all purpose flour in this recipe. I think in Asia they call all-purpose flour as just plain flour ?
    Hope this helps..

  • Louisa

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I JUST took it out of the steamer and it is GREAT!! So soft and fluffy and delicious. Couldn’t have done it without your tips. Thank you!!

  • What To Cook Today

    Hi Louisa,

    I’m very happy to know that the Ma Lai Go recipe worked for you. I love this recipe too. Thank you for trying and letting me know :)

  • Jessica

    oh no! How I wish I stumble upon your website a bit earlier! Right at this minute I have my second batch of ma lai go in the steamer. My first batch didn’t rise properly and now maybe I know why. Weirdly the recipe I read said to grease the pan :\

    Next time ( tomorrow ) I’ll be using this recipe, Thank you for sharing ^_^!

  • What To Cook Today

    Hi Jessica, I hope you have a better luck with this recipe (tomorrow) :) Let me know how it turns out. I love ma lai go a lot!! :)

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