Steamed Rice Cakes/Cow Cakes/Steamed Honeycomb Cakes (Banh Bo Hap)

Soft, moist and delicate, these sweet Steamed Rice Cakes (Banh Bo Hap) are the perfect finger food!Growing up my sister always called these “Cow Cakes” because “Bánh” in Vietnamese means “Cake” and “Bò” means “Cow”.  My Mom would laugh and explain to her that “Bò” also means “to crawl”.  That’s what the batter does when it’s steamed–it “crawls” upward rising into a puffy cake.  My sister’s nickname for this cake stuck in our household.  Moving to southern California, I was pleasantly surprised to also hear others call them “Cow Cakes”.  Depending on who you ask, you will definitely get different explanations on the name.  Recently I read on Wikipedia the word “Bò” is intended to mean “Cow” as the cakes resemble a cow’s udder.  Well, that I don’t really see.  Call them what you will, these cakes are scrumptious and pretty easy to recognize.  They are sweet, soft and moist and when cut open have honeycombs throughout which give the cakes their interesting spongy, light texture.  The Viet version of these cakes are small and they are usually enhanced with food coloring (green, pink, yellow).

This Viet sweet treat is a dessert everyone should learn to make and it’s not as difficult as you may think.  There are some key techniques you’ll need to learn but once you get these down, you’ll see how easy it is to make these cakes.  Please watch the video, read the recipe along with the tips and tricks and follow the directions closely.  Good Luck with the recipe!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Use fresh active dry yeast.  If the yeast isn’t frothy after letting it rest for 10 minutes the yeast has expired.  The yeast is a key ingredient in this recipe we cannot compromise.

We activate the yeast using warm water that is approximately 100 degrees.  It doesn’t have to be exactly 100 degrees.  A little higher temperature is just fine–just don’t make it too hot, like 130 degrees or more, as this will surely kill the yeast.

In the colder months, the batter may not rise as quickly.  To encourage the batter to rise, place the bowl in the oven with the light on and close the door.  The light will generate some additional heat and further activate the yeast.  During the summer months (air temperature in the 70’s), letting the batter rest on the kitchen counter is just fine.  You do not need to put the batter in the oven during the summer months.

Wrap a large kitchen towel around the steamer lid to absorb the moisture.  This saves time as you don’t have to continually wipe the lid as the cakes are steaming.  If the moisture from the lid drips down onto the cakes, you’ll see little blisters in the cakes.  Also, water drips from the lid could affect the consistency of the cakes as well, and they may become too wet.

You can use liquid or gel food coloring.  Gel food coloring requires lots of mixing so be sure to work it into the batter evenly so there are no streaks or blotches of color.  When adding food coloring, keep in mind the colors brighten when the cakes are steamed so go easy on the food coloring and don’t add too much.

Consider using your wok to steam the cakes if you don’t have a steamer large enough to hold a mini-muffin pan.  The same steaming rules apply.

As an alternative to using a mini muffin pan, you can use any small dishes or cups.  Try to keep them about the same size so they are done steaming at the same time.  To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the cake and if it comes out clean, it’s done.  The mini-muffins steam for 6 minutes so adjust your steaming time according to the size of your dishes or cups.

Since the batter is near the warm stove, you may notice bubbles forming on top of the batter.  Use a spoon or skimmer to scoop off the bubbles.  These bubbles make the tops of the cakes uneven and bumpy.

As the flour has a tendency to settle, be sure to stir the batter several times before pouring into the pan or dishes.

Having two sets of mini-muffin pans is best.  As one batch is cooling you can start steaming another one.  You’ll be able to make the cakes very quickly.

Be sure to steam the empty muffin pan or dishes before adding the batter.  The hot pan or dishes will help the batter to rise and make the cakes fluffy.

When preparing the steamer, fill the bottom pan with plenty of water,  about 3/4 full.

The steam needs to be strong and steady when cooking these cakes.  The goal is to steam these cakes quickly over High heat.

Store any portions not eaten within the day in an airtight container and refrigerate.  Warm the cakes by popping them in the microwave for 15-30 seconds or steaming for 1 minute.  Consume the cakes within the week.

Watch the video for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Honeycomb Cake (Banh Bo Nuong).

Ingredients

1/2 cup water + 2 tsp active dry yeast + 1 tsp sugar
1 lb or 3 3/4 cups rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 packet vanilla sugar (approximately 8 grams)
1-14 oz can coconut milk
1 cup water
food coloring: green, pink and yellow
1/4 cup vegetable oil (to oil muffin pans)

Directions

Warm 1/2 cup of water to approximately 100 degrees.  Add the active dry yeast and sugar and stir together.  Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes or until it becomes frothy.

In a large bowl, add the rice flour, tapioca starch and 2 cups water.  Whisk together until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.  Add the frothy yeast mixture to the flour mixture and combine well.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest on the counter for 2 hours.  (If making this during the winter months, please see above Notes.)

In a large measuring cup or bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla sugar, coconut milk and water.  Whisk together until the sugar is dissolved.  Microwave the liquid on High for 1 minute.  Let the liquid cool until the temperature is approximately 100 degrees.

Pour the coconut milk mixture into the batter and whisk together combining well.  Strain the batter.  Pour the batter into 4 separate cups or bowls, approximately 1 3/4 cups each.   Add your choice of food coloring to each batch.   Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.

Fill a steamer basin 3/4 of the way with water.  Cover and bring to a rapid boil over High heat.

Using a small brush, lightly oil each of the cups of the muffin pan.  Place the empty muffin pan into the steamer tray and steam for 1 minute.

Stir the batter a few times and then pour the batter into the muffin cups filling each cup almost to the top.  (Leave some room so the cakes can expand and rise.)  Cover and steam the cakes for 3 minutes.  Remove the lid and wipe off the moisture.  Replace the lid and steam for another 3 minutes.

Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.

Enjoy these cakes while they’re fresh.  A simply delicious way to serve these cakes is to drizzle them with a creamy Coconut Sauce and then top with roasted sesame seeds.

Yields:  5 dozen

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

These scrumptious cakes made of rice flour, tapioca starch and coconut milk are soft, spongy and perfectly sweet!

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82 Responses to Steamed Rice Cakes/Cow Cakes/Steamed Honeycomb Cakes (Banh Bo Hap)

  1. Nancy November 17, 2017 at 6:32 pm #

    Hi,
    My steamed banh bo came out dry. Is there a way I can fix it?

    • Trang November 18, 2017 at 11:43 am #

      Hi Nancy, if you have batter left, try steaming it for less time. Also, make sure to stir the batter well before pouring in the pans so the flour mixture is evenly distributed. If the batter seems really thick, add some water to loosen it up a bit. Good Luck!

  2. Cindy August 28, 2017 at 1:10 pm #

    Hi Trang,

    Thank you so much for your recipe! Do you know what happens to make the cake very dense? Mine is a bit hard/mushy and lacks the honeycomb texture.
    Much thanks!

    • Trang September 5, 2017 at 6:49 pm #

      Hi Cindy,

      It sounds like the batter didn’t rise properly if the cakes are dense without the honeycomb texture. Did your batter rise during the resting period?

  3. gb ynnaf March 19, 2017 at 1:23 am #

    Hi, I would like to try with a smaller amount, Could you give me the measurement in cup or grams, And a recipe for 1 cup rice flour? Can I divide your recipe for 1 cup?

    • Trang March 19, 2017 at 4:43 pm #

      Hi, you can use this recipe online recipe converter http://www.mykitchencalculator.com to figure out the measurements. Simply divide my original recipe by 3, which is the smallest portion of rice flour I recommend using. Good Luck!

  4. Elenkw July 8, 2016 at 6:33 am #

    What if is electric steamer? I follow the same procedure? I also want to ask how long it takes the steamer if I make one big cake rather than many small. Thank you very much!

    • Trang July 24, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

      Hi,
      An electric steamer will work well. The recipe is the same. For a single cake, a 9″ round pan takes about 15-20 minutes. Test the cake for doneness using a toothpick. Good Luck!

  5. Kim February 7, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    Hello, Trang,
    Another question. Your instructions say to let the batter proof for 2 hours, then add food color and let set another 30 minutes. I plan not to color so do I let the batter set 2 or 2-1/2 hours? Will it be a problem if it sets longer than that? Thank you.

    • Trang February 7, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

      Hi Kim,
      If you’re not adding color, you can steam the cakes after letting the batter rest for 2 hours. Don’t let the batter rest for more than 3 hours as the yeast “eats” all of the sugar and your cake will not be so sweet. Enjoy the recipe!

      • Kim February 8, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

        Hi, Trang,
        Followed the instructions very carefully. Let rest 2 hrs & steamed in 2-8″ cake pans which was perfect for the recipe. in a two tier steamer.
        At 20 minutes it had puffed beautifully but the toothpick came out covered with a gummy, clear coating. It wasn’t “clean”. So I continued to steam and check every 5 min until I got to 45 min and gave up; the toothpick was always gummy. I knew they were overdone.
        The cake in the top basket had good vertical honeycomb on bottom but there was a dense layer on top of it with no honeycombs. The cake in the bottom was totally solid. They were gummy when first taken out and when I cut them when they were slightly warm. BUT fully cooled the texture is amazing, even the dense cake, and love the flavor.
        My questions are:
        1. Was the cake done at 20 min even though the toothpick came out gummy?
        2. How do I keep the cake in the bottom tray from getting dripped on and all wet? Tying a dish towel on the lid is a super idea and kept the top cake totally drip less!!
        3. Can I steam one pan at a time? Will the second cake still be able to rise and honeycomb after waiting 20-30 min before it can be steamed.

        I don’t want to give up! It is a wonderful recipe and process. I feel I just need to get the steaming right. Sorry for the lengthiness. Thank you!

        • Trang February 13, 2016 at 8:42 am #

          Hi Kim,
          I would suggest steaming just one cake at a time for even steaming. The cake will be done faster and have a consistent texture. It should take about 20 minutes for a 8″ pan rather than 45 minutes. Remember the steam needs to be strong and steady.
          1. I think your cake was done after 20 minutes. A bit of gumminess on the toothpick is fine but it should not be completely wet.
          2. Steam just one cake at a time.
          3. The batter for the second cake will be just fine as you steam the first one. Don’t forget to stir it well before pouring into the pan and steaming.

          Give it another try. You are really close. Good Luck!

          • Kim February 14, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

            Thank you, Trang. Can’t wIt to try again. Will let you know results.

          • Trang February 19, 2016 at 7:01 am #

            Awesome! Good Luck Kim!

          • Kim February 24, 2016 at 5:01 am #

            Hi, Trang,
            Cakes so much better this time. Taste & texture very good. So close! My favorite. I am determined!!!
            Bottom layer very good vertical honeycomb. Top much less honeycomb, some parts solid. Made sure to stir well. Wish I could send a pic.

            1. After 2 hr. & mixing in milk mixture, maybe let set 30 min before steaming?
            2. Put less in the pans?
            3.what would happen if mixed everything at once, rest 2 hrs then steam?

            Thank you for your help and patience. Sooooooo close.

          • Trang February 29, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

            Hi Kim,
            I am thrilled to hear about the improvements. You are very close. Regarding the top portion have less honeycomb, make sure the lid is on securely and the steam isn’t escaping. The steam needs to surround the entire cake to get an even honeycomb texture.
            1. Yes, this is what I do
            2. You can try putting in less to see if you get an even honeycomb
            3. I haven’t tried this.
            Good Luck! I want to see pictures one you perfect this recipe! You can share via Facebook, Instagram #runawayrice or via email.

  6. Kim February 7, 2016 at 7:35 am #

    Hi, Trang,
    Can’t wait to use your recipe. Tried others unsuccessfully.
    I want to make single, large cakes. How many 9″ or 8″ or 6″ pans will I need for this recipe yield?
    Can cornstarch or anything else be used as a substitute for the tapioca starch?
    I love that we can contact you with questions and help!

    • Trang February 7, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

      Hi Kim,
      You can make two cakes using 8″ round pans with this recipe. I have tried cornstarch in the past but did not think it had the right chewy consistency. Tapioca starch is really the best. Good luck with the recipe!

  7. Mo December 24, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

    Hi Trang, I made your recipe today and l’m here to say you have the BEST recipe out there! The rice cakes were a HUGE success! They were moist, full of honeycombs which made them light and fluffy with the perfect sweetness. Thank you so very much for sharing! To anyone out there looking for the perfect rice cake THIS is the recipe to follow and take note of her “tips and tricks” they are extremely helpful!

    • Trang December 31, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

      Hi Mo,
      I am so happy to hear this recipe was a success for you! Great job to you! Thanks for taking the time to share your results 🙂

    • Kim February 9, 2016 at 5:33 am #

      I did not have vanilla sugar and used 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract as Trang suggested. I thought it made it flavorful and fragrant. Next time I will use coconut extract to amplify the flavor. I love anything coconut!

  8. Mo December 23, 2015 at 10:34 pm #

    Hello! I have just tried “another recipe” that in the end turned out, flat without any honeycomb texture and wasn’t sweet at all! I’m so sad. I’m going to try your recipe tomorrow but will be using a 5×3″ loaf pan, half full and steaming for about 10 minutes. Is there any way to make them sweeter (more sugary) tasting? So it’s not so bland? I’m using Fleishmann’s Rapid Rise instant yeast. I hope mine will turn out better this go round.

    • Trang December 31, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

      Hi Mo,
      You can add as much sugar as you like! Enjoy!

  9. Dianne December 21, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

    Hello, is there a troubleshoot for cakes that rise in the pan while steaming then suddenly sink when taken out of the steamer? So sad, this is the 3rd time trying this with no luck. Does coconut milk vs coconut cream make a difference? I can definitely taste the yeast so they are working, it just simply won’t rise for some reason.

    • Trang December 31, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

      Hi Dianne,
      Sorry to hear that. When steaming make sure there’s lot of water in the basin and the steam is vigorous. This helps to puff up the cakes. If the cakes are shrinking, they may not be fully cooked. Did you test them with a toothpick to make sure they come out clean? Also, what kind of pan are you using? Either coconut milk or coconut cream should be fine.

  10. linda December 8, 2015 at 12:23 am #

    Hi! Trang i would like to know where to buy tapioca flour im in Cebu,philippines.i have not tried buying tapioca flour i would like to cook your recipe.thanks.

    im linda

    • Trang December 8, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

      Hi Linda,

      Sorry, I have not shopped in the Philippines so I asked a friend of mine. She said tapioca starch/flour is very common in the grocery stores. I hope that helps.

  11. Sophia December 1, 2015 at 6:58 pm #

    Thanks for your recipe! I love how it came out so beautifully and yummy. I was wondering if I bake the batter will it be Banh Bo Nuong Chay? I am looking everywhere for how to make that and it seems all the recipes out there are fake.

    • Trang December 4, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

      Hi Sophia,
      Glad to hear you were successful with making these delicious cakes. (They are my favorite!) I have not tried making this recipe as Banh Bo Nuong Chay but it’s worth a try. If you do give it a go, I’d love to hear the results. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  12. Crystal August 14, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    Hi there!
    Would love to try this recipe but wnated to know how to modify it if using instant yeast instead?

    Thanks 🙂
    Crystal

    • Trang August 16, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

      Hi Crystal,
      If using instant yeast, skip the first step where you combine the yeast with water and sugar and let rest for 10 minutes. Simply mix everything together and let the batter rest for 2 hours.
      Good Luck and please stop back and share your results! 🙂

  13. Ann August 4, 2015 at 7:29 am #

    I made this last night and it turned out beautifully! I used silicone mini cherry flower muffin cups and they so cute! I am thinking about making it for my family reunion at the end of the year!

    • Trang August 6, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

      Hi Ann,

      Your cakes sounds beautiful! If you have any pics, I’d love to see it. (You can post to my FB page.) Your family will definitely love these cakes!!

  14. Dekdee July 13, 2015 at 8:56 am #

    Hi Trang,
    When I mixed in the 1lb flour, 2 cups water and 1/3 cups of tapioca flour my batter is thick it’s not like yours. Did I do something wrong? Please help.

    • Trang July 13, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

      Hi Dekdee,

      Those are the right proportions. Would you please confirm you are using rice flour? Does your rice flour come in a 1 lb package or do you have to weigh it?

    • Dekdee August 28, 2015 at 8:05 pm #

      Yes the rice flour come in a 1 Ib package. I’ve been trying to make this recipe again and i still got the same consistency of having a thick batter on that step. please help me

      • Trang September 14, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

        Hi Dekdee,

        I am sorry to hear you’re not having much success. May I ask what brand of rice flour you’re using?

        • Anitra November 17, 2015 at 4:13 am #

          I am making this right now and also have a very thick batter instead of the batter in your video. I am using Shah brand rice four. I am going toforge ahead and see how they come out in the end!

          • Anitra November 17, 2015 at 4:42 am #

            I mixed water, tapioca starch and yeast in the same proportions and added slowly until I got a batter that looks about the same consistency as in your video. It took one cup.

          • Trang November 17, 2015 at 9:05 pm #

            Hi Anitra,

            So you added an additional 1 cup of water? How did the cakes turn out?

          • Trang November 17, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

            Hi Anitra,

            At first the batter looks really thick but if you keep mixing, it will start to loosen up. Keep going with the recipe 🙂

          • Anitra November 18, 2015 at 12:51 am #

            I had doubled the recipe, so 1 cup additional liquid wasn’t as much as it sounds. But I discovered that over time the batter did keep getting thinner, until at the end I had to add more rice flour. Then it was perfect.

            It was an interesting evening. 🙂 I learned a lot, including that Indian rice flour has a coarser texture than Japanese rice flour and takes longer to liquify. I would have been fine if I had just given it time and not panicked.

          • Trang November 18, 2015 at 8:42 pm #

            Hi Anitra,

            That’s good to know about the texture of the Indian rice flour. I am glad to hear it all turned out well. Thanks for stopping back to share your results 🙂

  15. Aimy July 13, 2015 at 3:08 am #

    Hi Trang

    What can I used instead of vanilla sugar?

    Many thanks
    Aimy

    • Trang July 13, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

      Hi Aimy,

      You can use 1/2 tsp of clear vanilla extract with 2 tsp sugar. Hope that helps.

      • Aimy July 14, 2015 at 1:27 am #

        Yes, thanks for your help

  16. Ann July 10, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will definitely try to make it soon.

    • Trang July 13, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

      Hi Ann,

      Glad to hear you’ll give it a try. Good Luck with the recipe and let me know if you have any questions.

  17. Ngoc April 1, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

    You made it looks so easy. I will definitely try this recipe. My question is, where can I buy the grabber that you used to grab the muffin pan?

  18. Stephany February 27, 2015 at 4:59 am #

    Hi Trang
    If i use a coconut milk how many ml i should use??
    Thank you

    • Trang February 27, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

      Hi Stephany,

      14 oz is approximately 415 ml. Good luck with the recipe!

      • Stephany February 27, 2015 at 7:51 pm #

        Thnks a lot for ur info Trang

        • Trang February 27, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

          My pleasure Stephany. I am happy to help 🙂

  19. Van January 19, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    OMG, this looks amazing and will definitely try it soon. Can I cook this in a big pan ? or do I need to find muffin pan that will fit in my steamer .

    • Trang January 20, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

      Hi Van,

      Yes, you can just make in one cake pan. Often I’ll make it in a 9″ round cake pan to save time. I steam the cakes for 15-20 minutes. Hope that helps!

  20. Kate December 28, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    My husband is so excited that I’m learning to make these. I’m having trouble finding the right cooking time – they’re not getting done in the middle even after 10 minutes. Is it OK to cook even longer? I’m scared to make the whole thing too chewy!

    • Trang December 29, 2014 at 10:18 am #

      Hi Kate,
      I am glad to hear you’re giving this recipes a try. Are your cakes thicker and bigger than the ones I made in my video? If so, you’ll need to steam longer. Make sure the water is boiling rapidly and plenty of steam is being generated to cook the cakes. If you have various size steamer trays, use the one with the larger holes. Check the cakes using a toothpick. The cakes are moist but no batter should cling to the toothpick if they are done. Let me know if you have further questions.

  21. jesica November 15, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    Hi, I love your recipes. With that I can replace the coconut milk? I’m from Argentina, here is very expensive.
      This recipe is suitable for coeliacs?
    Truth ..
      Thank you

    • Trang November 16, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

      Hi Jesica,

      You can replace the coconut milk with any kind of milk. I’ve used almond milk in the past and like the taste.
      Certain types of yeast are not gluten-free so please make sure you use baker’s yeast. Good Luck with the recipe 🙂

  22. Kim August 27, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    Dear Trang,
    This is a keeper. My old recipes use VN men or cơm rượu. I have to go to Asian groceries to get it, they do not have expiration date, sometimes my cakes do not rise at all. Your recipe use dry yeast, I can get it anywhere, there is expiration date, so there is better chance for success. I tried your recipe today, my cakes look exactly like yours, they taste like the best cake found at a good VN deli.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Trang August 28, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

      Hi Kim,
      I am glad to you like this updated recipe. I can never find men and always had to make a special trip to the Viet grocery store. Like you said, sometimes it didn’t work. Active dry yeast is so much easier to use. Enjoy your delicious and fluffy cakes and have some for me 🙂

  23. cindy August 17, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Hi chi,
    My mom made banh bo hap last week and it did not turn out too well. The cakes were harden on the bottom of the bowl. We did not know why. We followed the instructions carefully and did as we were told. Please advice. I look forward to your reply. Thanks for sharing your recipes.
    Cindy

    • Trang August 18, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

      Hi Cindy,
      I am sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. Is there anywhere in the recipe that you may have deviated? When you described the cakes as “hardened on the bottom of the bowl” do you mean after steaming? How long did you allow the batter to rest before steaming?

      • cindy August 19, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

        Hi Chi,
        The cakes were harden on the bottom of the bowl after steaming. It looked like callous (perhaps the flour mixture did not rise). We allowed the mixtures to rest for 2 hrs. I am not sure what went wrong. Would 1/2 cup of warm water to dissolve yeast is too much? According to the yeast direction, it is called for 1/4 cup of water? I really like the cake but can’t make fluffy like yours. Please help!
        Thanks so much !!!!!

        Cindy

        • Trang August 20, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

          Hi Cindy, I think perhaps you’re experiencing some settling of the flour in the batter. You should stir the batter a few times before pouring them into the dishes for steaming. Did you by chance pour the batter into the dishes and then let them sit for awhile before steaming? If so, this would cause the flour to settle to the bottom of the dishes and make the cake hard. 1/2 cup of water is not too much. Was the yeast frothy indicating it was active? That’s what makes the cakes fluffy. Don’t give up. This cake can be a bit tricky. 🙂

          • cindy August 20, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

            Hi chi Trang,
            I appreciated your reply. The yeast was extremely active. The cups were steamed for several minutes before the batter was added. We followed the direction carefully. For some reason there were not much honeycombs in the cakes. I will try to do it again when I have the chance. I hope It will turn out like yours. I will let you know. Thanks again for trying to help me.

            Bye Chi,
            Cindy

          • Trang August 20, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

            Hi Cindy,
            It sounds like you followed the directions. The next time you make this if you’d like more help, let me know. I’d like to see the ingredients and the batter just before steaming. This cake is so yummy so don’t give up on trying to make it. Take Care!

          • Amy August 20, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

            I have the same problem as Cindy. My yeast foamed up to 1 cup after 10 minutes. The batter rested for 2 hours then 30 minutes as instructed. The batter doesn’t show any bubbles after the 2 hours rest However, bubbles appeared after the 30 minutes and while waiting to be steam. Yet, my cakes show no honeycomb and appear as a dense mass (but chewy). Wonder if the steaming time should be longer than 6 minutes (I use the condiment dishes). Wonder what went wrong?

          • Trang August 26, 2014 at 7:38 am #

            Hi Amy,
            It sounds like the batter isn’t rising as it should and this can vary depending on air temperature. Here’s something to try the next time: after making the batter, cover and place in the oven with the light on. The heat will encourage the yeast to froth yielding the honeycomb texture. Also, as I mentioned to Cindy, please stir the batter just before pouring them into the small dishes. Any settled flour may cause the cakes to be dense. Avoid over-steaming as this will cause the cakes to fall flat and also be dense. If your dishes are about the size of mine 6-8 minutes is enough time in a hot steamer. Don’t give up and good luck next time!

  24. Raven August 9, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    I have a question, a couple actually. May I use sweet rice flour for this mixture, or does it strictly have to be regular rice flour? Also, can I skip on the tapioca starch, or is it necessary? I live in North Dakota, a long shot from Japan where I used to live lol. Its a bit harder to find all the ingredients that I like haha.

    • Trang August 10, 2014 at 9:47 am #

      Hi Raven,
      Unfortunately, sweet rice flour is too sticky and your cakes with be really gooey. You really need to use rice flour to achieve the right consistency and texture. The tapioca starch makes the cake chewy but you can skip it if you’d like. I’ve not been to North Dakota and but have been to parts of the US where it’s tough to find Asian ingredients. Thank you goodness for the online shopping. Good Luck and let me know if there’s anything else I can help with.

  25. PC August 8, 2014 at 12:16 am #

    Hi Trang!
    Your steamed cake looks delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’ll have to give it a try when I get a chance. However, if i want to make this steam cake without coconut milk, how much water do I need to replace the coconut milk. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you. 🙂

    • Trang August 8, 2014 at 10:01 am #

      Hi Christyn,
      When using all water, replace the coconut milk with 1 1/2 cups of water. I’ve used milk in this recipe too if you’re looking for a substitute for the coconut milk.
      Good Luck!

  26. Quyen August 4, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    Thank you chi Trang. Your recipe is awesome and so easy to follow direction. I love it and will make it one day to impress my mom who’s the queen of Viet bakery…:)))

    • Trang August 5, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

      Hi Quyen,
      I am glad to hear you like the recipe. Definitely practice it once before making it for the “queen” 🙂 Enjoy the recipe and let me know if you have any questions!

  27. Amy August 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    Hi Trang,
    Love your mini muffin idea. Will definitely give this recipe a try soon. Have you ever try the “com ruou” method with this cake? Some said it is better. Also is there an option for print version for your recipe. So far I have been using the cut and paste technique. Keep up the great work. Hope to see more of the Vietnamese dishes on your site . Amy

    • Trang August 5, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

      Hi Amy,
      Thanks for stopping by. My original recipe uses com ruou but I thought it would be difficult to explain and make the video too long so I use yeast as a shortcut. I think both versions of the recipe are good but the com ruou recipe definitely takes more time. Regarding printing out the recipes, I am looking into a few widgets so let me ask you: Do you like how some websites give the option of printing recipe cards or would you rather print the recipe without the pictures, ads? Thanks for your feedback!

      • Quyen August 6, 2014 at 4:34 am #

        Hi chi Trang,
        I would love to have recipe w/ picture attached. Thanks!

        • Trang August 6, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

          Thanks Quyen! I’ll keep your request in mind 🙂

      • Amy August 6, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

        Hi Trang
        The website that I usually visit (350 degree oven) give the option of print with image or without image. I always choose print without image, ad, mainly as a mean to save ink

        • Trang August 6, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

          Hi Amy,
          Appreciate the feedback. I’ll see what I can do to enhance my website further. 🙂

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