ramadhan baking: kuih bakar

To those who were expecting another cookie recipe for Ramadhan Baking, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but rest assured that while this isn’t exactly your typical Eid / Hari Raya cuisine, it’s perfect for your next Ramadhan iftar (breaking fast) session with your family. To those who were expecting better photographs with perfect lighting and composition, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but truth be told, this is the second time (and year) I’ve made these and attempted photographing them, and I’ve decided that sharing the recipe is much more important than fretting over exposure and white balance. Most importantly, however, having made this traditional Malay delicacy for two Ramadhans now, I hope you’ll believe when I say that this is definitely far from a disappointment.

While kuih bakar literally means ‘baked cake’ in Malay, bakar also means ‘burnt’, which I believe is also appropriate in describing the signature brown ‘burnt’ crust of this sweet treat. It is typically baked in a large scallop-edged pan, or small flower moulds (akin to the size of a madeleine), with a light brown crust sprinkled generously with sesame seeds, enveloping a soft, chewy and dense sweet interior with a rich pandan (screwpine leaves) flavour and colour. With an immense souffle-like rise of the batter in the oven (look ma, no leavening agent!), and its gradual fall upon cooling, the kuih bakar has a rich texture, somewhat like a cross between a pudding and a cake, only that it’s much richer in taste.

Kuih Bakar
(adapted from here)

1 1⁄4 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup pandan juice (6 pandan leaves + 1 cup of water – blended)
2 1⁄4 cups coconut milk
4 eggs
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp pandan paste
green food coloring (optional)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C (325°F) and grease a deep 8-inch square pan, or 9-inch round pan.
  2. Mix all the above ingredients except sesame seeds until well combined.
  3. Pour mixture into baking pan and sprinkle with some sesame seeds and bake for about 1 hour, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. The batter will rise really high, so don’t be alarmed.
  4. Leave aside to cool completely (the surface will fall back down) before cutting.

Recipe Note:
If you can’t get a hold of pandan leaves, just use 1 1⁄2 tsp pandan paste to substitute for the pandan juice.

Previously on Ramadhan Baking:
Brown Butter Buttons


31 thoughts on “ramadhan baking: kuih bakar

  1. the mister

    First thing to pop into my head when I saw the pics was : “Whoa! That’s green!”

    Hehe… 😀

    I’m glad our people didn’t decide to call it ‘Kuih Ijau’ coz then Kuih Lapis will be ‘Kuih Beraneka Warna’ or sumpthin’.

    And pishposh to your laments about the quality of the pics!

    These are of usual, “cantikblehbikinletakdalamresepibook’ Ovenhaven standards! 😀

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Bias seh! Anyway yes, it’s like super green coz I doubted the power of pandan and went to put green colouring 😛 Oh kuih ijau just reminds me of the times I get chided by the makcik2 kedai for asking for ‘kuih kuning’ and ‘lauk kuning’ ~haha!

  2. cookie

    Isn’t it amzing that it stayed in the oven for an hour and yet show no sign of browning!

    Dun bother about the exposure and white balance – it looks good enough for me to have a kuih craving, my dear!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      maameemoomoo: Hehe, well now you know! Tak payah call it kuih ijau 😛

      fuzzygreenlights, Julie, Paula and percicilan: I didn’t know there were so many green fans here! I really thought it would be a shockingly in-your-face green. Glad to hear you like it 🙂

      cookie: Awww, aren’t you sweet! Haha, I think by traditional standards, this would be considered a fail, since I didn’t get much browning 😛

  3. Dimah

    This looks and sounds delicious, and I love the green!
    Thanks for visiting my blog so I could discover yours! and thank you for the kind words 🙂
    Ramadan Mubarak to you and your family ^_^

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Jen: Oh you should! It’s one of my favourite Malay kuihs 🙂

      Mira: Ramadhan Mubarak, Mira 🙂

      maya: No problem 🙂 Just remember to use a deep pan, coz it rises really high!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Nope, the green layer of kuih salat is serikaya, which has a more melt-in-your-mouth texture. Kuih bakar is more firm, and the taste is less creamy than the serikaya. Perhaps you’re more familiar with them in the flower mould, and with sesame seeds like this?

  4. felicia

    i can taste it in my mouth already.
    i’ve only eaten this once before :/
    never knew it was called kuih bakar!
    now i know and i feel like making some now.

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Ah the green’s all thanks to my what-if-it’s-not-green-enough mentality, which prompted me to add in a drop of Wilton’s green. Should’ve known pandan would’ve sufficed in colouring it! Hehe 😛

  5. Shirin

    I’ve never heard this being called ‘Kuih Bakar’ before (am used to just calling it ‘Kueh Bingka’), but it does make perfect sense :).

    I actually find the colour contrast very interesting. Lovely shade of green and, heavens! Is it blue on the inside, or just the lighting?

  6. betty

    ive made this once and loved it!

    i actually forgot to add the flour in AFTER i had it in th oven for abt five minutes lol what a disaster but it still turned out really yummy =]

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Oh wow, glad to hear it still worked out after the late addition of flour! Good thing you remembered; I would’ve probably just baked it without flour and wondered what happened 😛

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