Mah Lai Go | Steamed Malaysian Sponge Cake

I show you how to make Mah Lai Go! This simple dim sum dish is super soft, light and spongy. A perfect side to go with tea!

So Mah Lai Go is a classic dim sum dish. It’s a delicious soft, light, moist, and spongey cake. It’s also not too sweet making it a good pairing for nice black tea. I remember eating this a lot whenever I went to dim sum as a little kid. I mean who wouldn’t want to eat cake for breakfast or lunch?

If you translate the name Mah Lai Go, you’ll get Malaysian steamed cake which is a lie since the cake didn’t originate from Malaysia. It’s actually Cantonese, meaning it’s from Southern China. It can be seen in Hong Kong and the province of Guangdong. This is pretty much all I was able to find about the cake on the internet and from my parents. If you have any more information please message me, I would definitely like to know.

If you have been a lot of dim sum restaurants, you might have noticed that this cake comes in two colours. One is a slightly dark brown colour like the one in this recipe, and the other is a brighter yellow. The only difference between the two is the type of sugar used. The dark brown is mixed with brown sugar, while the lighter one only uses white sugar. They both taste very similar, the only difference I could tell is that the brighter one is a little bit more light and fluffy.

If you do not have a steaming basket you can always use a metal cake pan instead. It works very similar. The only difference is that you might miss out on the flavour the bamboo steam gives to the cake.

That’s all I got to say for this recipe, I hope you give this a try and please leave any comments or suggestions down below or in the YouTube video.



3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
100mL evaporated milk

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl whisk the eggs, brown sugar, and white sugar together. After that slowly whisk in the butter and evaporated milk.

Grab a bamboo steamer (or cake pan) and line the inside with some parchment paper. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and pour the mixture into the basket.

Get a large wok (or a large steamer pot) and place a steaming rack into it. You can also use a heat proof container if you do not have a rack. You do not to use a rack or heat proof container if you have one of those steamer pots. Pour in about 1L of water or until it’s just under the rack.

Get the water to a boil on high heat, then turn it down to a simmer over medium low heat. Place the basket in the wok, and cover with a lid. Steam for 30 minutes.

Once it’s done, take it out and let it cool for about 15 minutes.

IMG_0762 Edited

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