Mama’s Not so Secret Kuih Bakar Recipe

Picture these pretty flower shaped dessert still piping hot from the oven with edges slightly burnt and a centre that is a soft creamy custard. I’m salivating just thinking about it! If you love the flavour of creamy custard, coconut and pandan, you’re going to love Kuih Bakar and there is no better version than my mom’s recipe.

Worth the Expanding Waistlines

Everyone knows that one aunty that is a fantastic cook. This aunty is usually known for several amazing dishes and will get countless recipe requests from family and friends. This aunty also happens to be the cause of many a heavy waistlines.

Lucky for me, my own mother is such an aunty, affectionately known as Aunty Zah. Unlucky for me, I’m on a forever diet that only lasts until lunch time. Lucky for everyone else, I’ve got her famous Kuih Bakar recipe to share!

Kuih Bakar By Any Other Name Would Taste as Good

Some may know this dessert as Bingka Bakar or Kuih Kemboja but in my house, it’s Kuih Bakar. Kuih Bakar is easy to make and a sure hit on any occasion. Following my mother’s method, you’ll need the traditional flower shaped moulds but if don’t have them on hand, you can use other baking pans.

So, let’s get to the recipe!



Serving size: Makes 4 cakes in the traditional flower shaped mould


  • 1 cup water
  • 7 pandan leaves
  • 4 large eggs (Tip: should fill 1 cup)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups coconut milk (santan)
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Oil for pans


  1. First, make the pandan mixture. Blend the pandan leaves with 1 cup of water then strain.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and two cups of coconut milk together until just incorporated before adding in the pandan mixture.
  3. Stir in the flour and salt.
  4. Strain the entire batter into a large jug. This makes it easier for you to pour into the moulds.
  5. Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  6. Grease the mould with a little bit of oil and heat it over the stove top. This method gives you those yummy brunt edges. Note: If you don’t have these traditional moulds, you can use other baking pans. See my tip below.
  7. Once it’s hot, pour in the batter.
  8. Give it about 30 seconds before sprinkling sesame seeds over the top.
  9. Carefully, using oven mitts or kitchen towel, remove the moulds from the stove and shift it over to your oven.
  10. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes depending on how brown you like your kuih bakar.


Tip: If you don’t have the traditional mould, not to worry. You can also opt to use other baking pans. Grease the pans and place them into the heated oven for 5 minutes. Once the pans are hot, pour in the batter. Quantity-wise, about 2 inches from the bottom should do it. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top and bake. You won’t get the amazing burnt edges like you would in a traditional mould but it’s still be a fantastically yummy dessert.


They say that nothing beats your own mother’s cooking. That is definitely true in my household. Is it because we grew up eating mom’s food so our taste buds have just been trained to love it? Or is it due to the many years of cooking that has just made our mom such a pro? I choose to believe that she sprinkles some magic love dust in all her recipes. Knowing she’s feeding her own family and friends, my mom cooks with great care and love.

So remember that the final ingredient to making this dessert as amazing as my mom’s recipe is to put some love in it. Happy cooking!


Learn Essential Malay Cooking

For those wanting to learn how to cook some essential Malaysian dishes, including Kuih Bakar, you can do so with my mom! She has classes ranging from how to make roti jala to nasi tomato to roti canai.

Come on over and cook with Aunty Zah at her home. You’ll have tea, coffee, learn to cook, enjoy the fruits of your labour and get to know one amazing big-hearted lady. Mari makan. Click here to register!

Elina Jasmi

Elina aspires to eat well always, make healthy choices occasionally (hey, what is life without dessert), laugh as often as possible and discover more sinful eats to rave about.

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