Food, Recipes from the Heart

Ondeh-Ondeh Cupcakes

Lately, there has been a craze for kampung cupcakes in Singapore. Furthermore, since Halalfoodhunt has been running for the past six months, people have been coming to me to ask for such kampung cupcake recipes. Alright, let pause for a while and allow me to explain what kampung cupcakes are.

Kampung cupcakes are cupcakes inspired by flavours of traditional Malay kuih such as ondeh-ondeh, kuih talam, putri salad and many more.

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When I first discovered about kampung cupcakes, I was apprehensive about making them. As much as I appear to be modern and all, I still love my traditional Malay kuih the way they are. Then, I succumbed to peer pressure and relented. I had to try making this ondeh-ondeh cupcake, especially since Fluffbakery keeps having their sold out. I totally winged this recipe. I made minor adjustments to a vanilla cupcake recipe, and basically followed my gut. So before I forget the recipe (I have a habit of not taking note of my recipes), here it is.

Feedback from my friends is that the taste of coconut is not overpowering, and the infusion of gula melaka and real pandan extract makes you forget you’re eating a cupcake. I hope this recipe will work fine for you!

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Ondeh-Ondeh Cupcake

makes 12 cupcakes

Real Pandan Extract

1 huge bunch of pandan leaves, cut into smaller pieces

1/2 cup water

  • Blend the pandan leaves and water together in a blender.
  • Strain the pandan juice through a fine sieve, or a cheesecloth if you prefer.
  • Squeeze out as much juice as you possibly can.

Pandan Cupcake

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cups caster sugar

125g unsalted butter at room temperature

2 tablespoons real pandan extract

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg.
  2. Sieve flour, baking powder and salt through a fine sieve. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugar together until white and fluffy.
  4. Add in eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add flour mixture, alternating with milk and the pandan extract.
  6. Scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl and beat for another minute or two until the batter is well incorporated.
  7. Divide the batter equally into a muffin tin that has been lined with cupcake liners.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 to 17 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  9. Ensure that the cupcakes are cooled down to room temperature before you core and fill them.

Pandan gula melaka filling

200g gula melaka, cut into smaller pieces

150ml water

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

  1. In a pan, add the water to the gula melaka and let it simmer on the stove for about 10 minutes, or until all the sugar has been dissolved and the sugar solution thickens.
  2. Let cool to room temperature before adding the desiccated coconut and mix it well.

Coconut Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 cup desiccated coconut

  1. Beat whipping cream with sugar and vanilla on medium high until stiff peaks.
  2. Gently fold in the desiccated coconut into the cream.
  3. To assemble, core the cupcakes, then fill in with the filling and pipe the coconut whip cream on top as desired.
Food, Recipes from the Heart

There’s Always Room for Cake

Last Thursday, I turned 24 years young. The week leading up to my birthday was a bit crazy because I was busy with my 24hourselfie project. If you haven’t seen it already, do drop by and take a look. It’s my interpretation of what self-portraits are.


Of course, I squeezed in time to bake my birthday cake. This year, I decided on Pick Yin’s Ombre Pandan Cake with Gula Melaka Frosting, although I decided on a cream cheese based frosting. Meringues still scare me. Sigh. Anyways, the cake is best eaten at room temperature, or heat it up in the microwave for about 30 seconds if you’ve placed it in the fridge for a while. I still have difficulty in convincing my family to eat it because they are hardcore chocolate lovers, and they were expecting a Red Velvet Cake (which is so 2012). Another sigh. But trust me, I’m a true PBG at heart. This is for you non-chocolate lovers.


Pandan Ombre Cake with Gula Melaka Frosting

For the extract

  • 15-20 pieces mature pandan leaves, washed and snipped into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 tablespoons water

Whiz everything up in a blender. If you’re feeling rajin, you may use a pestle and mortar. Sieve the liquid and let the extract settle for a an hour. The dark green extract should settle at the bottom of the bottle and that’s what you need.

For the cake

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup/2 sticks/227 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated/castor sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk (if using canned/boxed coconut cream, thin out slightly with milk to make 1 cup)

Heat oven to 180 deg C. Grease and line 3 8-inch round baking tins with greaseproof paper. Sieve flours, baking powder and salt, set aside.

Beat butter and sugar till creamy. Add eggs, one at a time. Then add coconut milk and dry ingredients alternately into the batter. Roughly divide batter into three different bowls. I added 4 teaspoons of green extract PLUS a teaspoon of green coloring (I wasn’t happy with the intensity) into the darkest layer, then 2 and a half teaspoons into the middle layer, and finally 1 and a half teaspoons into the lightest layer. Make sure all batter is well combined.

Pour batter into the prepared tins and knock the tins on your countertop to knock out all the air. This will help you to get a flat cake. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, no more, no less.

For the frosting

  • 2 blocks Philly cream cheese (softened at room temperature, cut into cubes)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (I used Red Man)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 100g Gula Melaka
  • 1/4 cup water

In a heavy-based saucepan over medium low heat, melt the gula Melaka with the water. Stir till all the sugar has melted, then let it reduce slightly, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely to room temperature. The caramel will thicken more as it cools.

Beat cream cheese till fluffy, add in vanilla essence and cream. Whip until stiff peaks. Add in gula melaka and whip till well combined.

Food, Recipes from the Heart

Ibu’s Black Forest Gateau


Last week, my family and I celebrated my mum’s 59th birthday. Ever since I embarked on a baking journey, my mother has been bugging me to bake her favorite cake – The Black Forest. We used to buy them from neighborhood bakeries, not bothering about the contents of the cake. Learning to cook and bake has made me a more conscious eater – both in terms of what I put in my mouth, and in terms of halal ingredients used. I know some bakers might disagree with me, but I am still reluctant to use vanilla extract, or anything that contains alcohol.

So upon learning that most Black Forest recipes use Kirsch, a kind of brandy, I stayed clear of them. My mother has been deprived of her favorite cake because of this although the durian cake I made last year was quite a hit with the family.

Finally, this year, I mustered the courage to make her favorite cake. I was intimidated because I thought it would be very difficult. Little did I know I just needed a good recipe, and patience to make the cake.

I got the chocolate sponge recipe from Sailu’s Kitchen, and adapted it to make it extra tasty. The whipped cream frosting is my own, and I got the maraschino cherries from Phoon Huat.


Black Forest Gateau

For the cake:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 and a half cups caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup Valhorna cocoa powder
  • 1 and a half tspn baking soda
  • 1 tspn baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup full cream milk
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 tspn vanilla essence
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 and half tbspn instant coffee powder
  • 2 eggs

For layering:

  • 2 cups whipping cream (I used Red Man)
  • 1 tbspn of vanilla essence
  • 2 tbspn caster sugar
  • 1 jar of maraschino cherries
  • Shaved chocolate
  1. Heat oven to 175 deg centigrade. Grease and flour two round 8-inch pans. (I’d recommend lining the base with greaseproof paper)
  2. Mix the coffee and hot water together and set aside.
  3. Beat melted butter, sugar and vanilla essence till well combined and sugar has dissolved. Beat in eggs slowly until well incorporated.
  4. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and powder and salt. Add into the batter slowly.
  5. Gradually add in the milk and coffee into the batter until well combined. The batter will be very watery, DO NOT WORRY.
  6. Divide the batter into the two tins. Bake in the oven for 35-40 mins, or until skewer comes out clean.
  7. Leave the cake to cool for at least two hours before layering.
  8. Meanwhile, beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla on a medium speed for about 5-6 minutes. I realised 7-8 minutes may be a bit too long, so do watch out for the cream before it becomes butter.
  9. Chop about 10 cherries into small pieces. When cake has cooled down, cut the cake into layers. You would want to layer the cake, followed by the cream, then cherries.
  10. Finish layering and then frost the cake as desired. Decorate with whole cherries and shaved chocolate. (I used crushed Kit Kat because I forgot to get dark chocolate heh)
  11. Cool in the fridge for about 2 hours before serving.