Oh, The Joys of Purple Yam Steamed Sponge Cake

If you travel to Indonesia, you’ll find this cupcake almost everywhere you go. I remembered growing up, I used to eat this during recess and I think this is one the most favorite snacks for those who live in South East Asia. They came in so many flavors, from pandan to chocolate marble; and in different shapes, too.

For the past two weekend, mom has been sending us a bag of purple yam. First, I’ve been eating them for almost everyday during tea time. But, after 7 days of having the same thing every day, I was so tired already. But then, we still had plenty of them and I felt guilty of wasting food just like that. Plus, my parents always teach me to be responsible with what we have/ take, and that includes meal portion. Hence, to date, I always plan my menu and try to shop smart, It’s definitely something that I will pass on to my kiddos later.

Anywho, with those leftovers in the kitchen, I suddenly remembered this steamed cake that we call kue bolu. The recipe is so simple and I didn’t use too much sugar because I relied on the purple yam. It gives a different texture and flavors from regular cupcakes (baked) and best served while it is warm. And the best: no food coloring!


  • 3/4 cup purple yam
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup milk powder
  • Optional: 1 tbs chocolate condensed milk or chocolate vermicelli


  1. Prepare steamer and line about 12 tin sponge cake tins with parchment paper.
  2. Steam the purple yam and let it cool for a while. Mash the yam with water until smooth.
  3. In a mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff in high speed.
  4. Sift the flour and milk powder, and add to the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, add the purple yam to the mixture.
  5. Pour the batter into sponge cake tin and chocolate condensed milk or chocolate vermicelli.
  6. Steam in high heat for about 10 minutes.


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