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Savoury Steamed Pumpkin Cake Recipe – sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free !

Updated on December 5, 2012
Steamed Pumpkin Cake
Steamed Pumpkin Cake

This traditional Chinese savoury snack is commonly served during breakfast or tea-time with tea or coffee. The cake can be eaten as it is, though some prefer to take it with soy and chili sauce. This steamed cake does not require any sugar, dairy product, wheat flour, margarine and butter. It is great for people looking for gluten free, low fat and low sugar diet.

This sugar-free healthy cake makes you feel fuller longer and prevents overeating. It is great for pot-luck and party. I made this cake for parties and gatherings, and friends often asked me for the recipe.

There are several variants to this cake where the pumpkin can be substituted with yam or white radish. If white radish is used instead of pumpkin, you will be making the famous “Lok Bak Gou” (White Radish Cake) commonly served in Dim Sum restaurants.


500g of pumpkin

250g of rice flour

1000ml of water

100g of chicken meat

70g of dried prawn

3 dried mushrooms

2 tsp of oil

2 cloves garlic

2 shallots

1 red chilli

1 stalk of spring onions

1 tsp Salt

¼ tsp pepper

Preparation :

1) Soak the dried prawn and mushroom for half an hour or until they are soft.

2) Skin and cut the chicken meat into cubes.

3) Mince the garlic.

4) Skin the pumpkin and cut it into small cubes.


1) Add 500ml of water to the shifted rice flour. Stir well.

2) Heat two tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium heat. Fry garlic and dried prawns until crisp and fragrant.

3) Add in chicken meat and stir-fry until it is cooked.

4) Add in pumpkin and 500ml of water to cover the pumpkin. Continue stir-frying.

5) Add the salt and pepper. Simmer the pumpkin until it is soft or can easily cut through.

6) Pour in the rice flour mixture, and stir it till it turns sticky.

7) Pour mixture into a 21cm round cake tin and level the surface with a spatula.

8) Steam it over boiling water at low fire for 35 minutes.

9) Prepare toppings while steaming the cake. Cut shallot into slices and fry it till light brown. Slice the red chillies and spring onions.

10) Remove the cake from the steamer and sprinkle topping ingredients immediately on the hot cake.

11) Wait for the cake to cool down before cutting into slices and serve.

The cake can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week. Before serving, heat it up in the microwave oven or steamer. Alternatively, it can be cut into rectangle and pan-fry until light brown. The pan-fried crisped pumpkin cake is utterly delicious.


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    • profile image

      SJ 6 years ago

      I think I'll make pancakes instead. Interesting that the flour amount is greatly reduced, using 3 tbsp, but I'm probably using 1/3 cup.

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 6 years ago

      Sorry, SJ, I have never tried any substitute for rice flour. If you really like to try, why don't you try the recipe with wheat flour, but with reduced ingredients, to see how it turned out. Let me know the results.

    • profile image

      SJ 6 years ago

      Spoil the flavor? Texture? Or will it fall apart or be too doughy? What can I use instead of rice flour?

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 6 years ago

      Never try that before, but my instinct says wheat flour will spoil the dish.

    • profile image

      SJ 6 years ago

      Can I substitute wheat flour for the rice flour if I don't really care about the texture, or would that not work?

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 7 years ago

      Thanks, Nellieance. I love pumpkin soup too, and it's certainly a good one to take on the chilly wintry days.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      Ingenira - this looks so delicious I can hardly stand to not make some! I wouldn't think of it as "cake" as we're accustomed to the concept, but I love what it IS. I happen to love pumpkin and learned to make pumpkin soup in New England on a trip there. It's a lovely thick, creamy soup which is sooooo good on chilly wintry days. I love soups, by the way. Of course, here a tradition for our winter holiday feasts is pumpkin pie, which is a dessert, sort of a custard filling in a pastry 'shell'. It's spicy with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc. - & it is sweet, but doesn't have to be too sweet. It can be eaten by itself or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for a special treat. I'm not a big dessert eater but for holiday feasts, this is great. Pecan pie is another treat I love at those times.

      I will have to try making the pumpkin cake and see if I can make it as yummy as your picture of it looks! Thanks!

    • Lamme profile image

      Lamme 7 years ago

      This sounds very different. I'm always interested in trying new foods, I think I'll try this. Thanks for an unusual recipe!

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 7 years ago

      thanks Habee, I wish I have the priviledge to taste your cooking too.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      sounds like something I'd enjoy! Thanks!

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 7 years ago

      Thanks, Betty. Steamed cake is something really "Chinese", and no baking powder, soda is required. :) The method is easier than baking a cake, well, no mixer is required, only a frying wok. :)

    • Betty Reid profile image

      Betty Reid 7 years ago from Texas

      This is fascinating. It's a bit complicated for me, since I never steam anything, but it looks delicous. I love to find new pumpkin recipes, and anything with shrimp and mushrooms is bound to taste great.

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

      This looks quite tasty, I may try it.