Short Recipe: Indonesian Steamed Black Glutinous Rice Cake / Kueh Bolu Ketan Hitam (黒糯米糕)


I love kueh kueh (or kuih or kue or kway whichever way you spell it). Due to my mother’s good (or bad) influence, since young I’d developed a tongue that is deeply appreciative of Malay, Nonya or Indonesian kueh kueh. While I’m not an expert at making kueh because making kueh is so laborious, I’m glad to say that there are still simple enough kueh recipes for amateurs like me to try. This Indonesian Steamed Black Glutinous Rice Cake, or Kueh Bolu Ketan Hitam, is one of them. There are only a few simple steps and steaming involved, yet the result is a rich, moist and delectable kueh with a taste of home. The only downside is that it doesn’t keep long due to the high egg and coconut milk content… But with a kueh this delicious I don’t think its shelf life needs to be taken into consideration, does it? ;)

P.S. It doesn’t look particularly appetising due to its blacker than death appearance, but don’t be deterred by the charcoal appearance!


Ingredients for Steamed Black Glutinous Rice Cake: Serves 7-8

Steamed Black Glutinous Rice Cake
300g Black Glutinous Rice Flour*
300g Caster Sugar^
250ml Vegetable Oil
200ml Coconut Milk
8 eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
Salt, a dash

*This should be readily available in many oriental supermarkets. If not, you may grind your own from the black glutinous rice grains! More on this later.
^Cut down on the sugar written in the original recipe as I found it sweet enough. It was meant to be 350g of sugar!


1. Whisk eggs and sugar until slightly foamy and risen. Then add in the other wet ingredients namely the coconut milk, vegetable oil and vanilla essence and stir well with a large wooden spoon or spatula.

2. Gradually add in black glutinous rice flour in small batches and whisk. You don’t want to pour in too much at one go and whisk – You’ll end up with alot of cake batter flying into your face (speaking from personal experience).

3. Pour mixture into a greased cake tin, loaf pan, bundt pan, or even muffin liners. Anything works, so long as you remember to grease for easier removal of the cake after steaming.

4. Steam for 30-45 minutes depending on how deep your cake tin is. Cover cake tin with cheese cloth to avoid excess moisture dripping onto your cake. The cake should be fully cooked once it feels firm to the touch (don’t bother doing the toothpick test, the cake is meant to be moist and sticky!)


Note: This was adapted from Simplicious’ original recipe here. I didn’t change anything except for the type of sugar (caster instead of granulated white as I thought a finer sugar might render a more even sweetness) and the amount of the sugar used (the original was just a little too sweet for me)!

Just a shout-out to all our kueh-loving readers, do you know what is the difference between Malay, Nonya and Indonesian kueh kueh, or are they all the same except for the localities? I’d love to be enlightened on this as I’d been thinking about this for the longest time! Thank you in advance :)

Posted by #phangchewfat

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