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Chinese Steamed Pumpkin Cake 蒸金瓜糕

by Angie Liew
Chinese Steamed Pumpkin Cake

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Chinese Steamed Pumpkin Cake Recipe 蒸金瓜糕食谱 - Feature Photo 1

If there is just one traditional Chinese snack  you want to pass down to your family, it has to be this scrumptious Chinese Steamed Pumpkin Cake (金瓜糕, Kuih Labu or known as Pumpkin Kuih or Pumpkin Kueh). This is a typical and popular Chinese savoury snack enjoyed by those who yearn for traditional steamed cakes. Pumpkin adds a natural sweetness and gives this steamed pumpkin cake such a beautiful and vibrant golden colour. Hence, they do not just taste good, they look great and auspicious too.

Chinese Steamed Pumpkin Cake Recipe 蒸金瓜糕食谱 - Feature Photo 2

To make the pumpkin cake, you will need to first peel and shred the pumpkin into thin pieces. Then fry the pumpkin cake filling. Prepare a flour batter, add to the cooked filling and stir the flour mixture till it turns sticky. Then transfer the mixture into a greased pan and steamed until set. And we’re done! Garnish with some fried shallots, green onions and red chillies before serving with sweet chilli sauce.

Chinese Steamed Pumpkin Cake Recipe 蒸金瓜糕食谱 - Feature Photo 3

Chinese Steamed Pumpkin Cake 金瓜糕

This absolutely delicious homemade Chinese Steamed Pumpkin Cake makes a perfect breakfast, high tea, afternoon snack or even light lunch. It is also everyone’s favourite when served in parties and gatherings. Definitely, it’s a recipe to keep! So, ENJOY!

Chinese Steamed Pumpkin Cake Recipe 蒸金瓜糕食谱 - Prepare ingredients

Chinese Steamed Pumpkin Cake Ingredients 蒸金瓜糕食材

Chinese Steamed Pumpkin Cake Recipe 蒸金瓜糕食谱 - Ingredients List

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Chinese Steamed Pumpkin Cake 金瓜糕

Recipe by Huang Kitchen, Angie Liew
If there is just one traditional Chinese snack you want to pass down to your family, it has to be this scrumptious Chinese Steamed Pumpkin cake (金瓜糕). This is a typical and popular Chinese savoury snack enjoyed by many people who like traditional and steamed cakes.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes

Tap or Hover to Adjust Servings

Servings: 1 tray



  • 500 gram pumpkin, shredded
  • 200 gram meat, diced, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 100 gram dried shrimp, blended coarsely
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, blended coarsely
  • 150 gram preserved turnip, tai tau choy, blended coarsely
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp shallot, minced
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil


  • 500 gram rice flour, sifted
  • 75 gram Tapioca flour, sifted
  • 1000 ml water, 4 bowls
  • ½ tsp alkaline water


  • 1 tbsp salt, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp chicken stock granules
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper


  • 10 shallots, or more, peeled, sliced and deep fried
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped


    • Shred pumpkin.
      First, skin and coarsely grate the pumpkin.
    • Season diced meat.
      Dice some meat and season with salt and pepper.
    • Coarsely blend soaked shiitake mushrooms
      Soak dried shiitake mushrooms till soften. Drain and chop or blend coarsely using a blender.
    • Coarsely blend soaked dried shrimp
      Soak dried shrimps till soften and blend or roughly chop.
    • Coarsely blend soaked tai tau choi
      Also, soak the preserved turnip (tai tau choy) to remove excess salt. Rinse and mince finely.
    • Prepare ingredients for batter.
      Then prepare the ingredients to make the batter.
    • Form batter.
      In a mixing bowl, add in rice flour and tapioca flour. Add in water slowly while stirring at the same time. Stir till a watery batter is formed.
    • Add alkaline water into batter.
      Then add in alkaline water and stir to mix well.
    • Add in seasonings.
      Mix in salt, chicken stock granules and ground white pepper into the flour mixtures. Stir to mix well. And we're ready to make the pumpkin cake.
    • Fry shallots till crisp.
      First, fry some sliced shallots till crispy. Set aside to use for garnish later.
    • Saute garlic,shallot,dried shrimp.
      Using the same wok, heat up some shallot infused oil in wok and saute chopped garlic and minced shallot till golden brown. Add in chopped dried shrimps and fry till fragrant.
    • Add dice meat and fry till cook.
      Then add in the diced meat and fry till all the meat is cooked.
    • Add all blended ingredients.
      Add chopped preserved turnips and diced shiitake mushrooms. Fry to mix well.
    • Add shredded pumpkin.
      Next, add in the grated pumpkin and continue to stir fry to mix it well with the rest of the ingredients.
    • Mix in batter.
      Using a strainer, pour the watery flour batter over the mixed pumpkin mixture.
    • Cook until mixture turns to a thick paste.
      Over medium heat, continue to cook and stir until the mixture thickens.
    • Pour paste onto oiled pan.
      Transfer the cooked mixture into a lightly greased steaming tray. Even out the top of mixture with a spatula.
    • Steamed for 40 minutes.
      Steam it over high heat in a steamer for 40 minutes until the pumpkin cake is totally cooked through.
    • Chinese Steamed Pumpkin Cake
      Remove the tray from steamer and immediately garnish with fried shallot crisps, chopped spring onions and red chillies. Leave to cool completely before cutting the cake.
    • Chinese Steamed Pumpkin Cake
      Serve with sweet chilli sauce and ENJOY!


Tried this recipe?Mention @HuangKitchen or tag #huangkitchen!


You can reserve some of the fried dried shrimps to garnish the top of the steamed pumpkin cake together with the fried shallot crisps.
If adding chopped spring onions and red chillies, it is advisable to garnish it on the day of serving and these can turn soggy if left too long.
Try to make this cake the night before so that the cake has ample time to cool completely before cutting. This will allow cutting of the cake to be neat and easy.
This steamed pumpkin cake can be kept frozen for up to a month. Just thaw and pan-fried with a little oil before serving.
The texture of the pumpkin cake ideally should be neither too soft nor too hard.
Course: Appetizer, Snacks
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Malaysian
Keyword: Chinese, dim sum, kuih, snack, steamed, steamed cake

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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GC November 23, 2021 - 12:08 pm

Hi, can I omit the alkaline water?

Angie Liew December 11, 2021 - 2:12 pm

Yes, you can omit the alkaline water. Its to give the cake a more chewy texture.

Rosalind Chan July 1, 2021 - 4:35 pm

I have an organic pumpkin and wanted to try out our recipe.
Can I do this without any meat? Ok to keep the shrimp. And no chicken stock granules. What I can substitute with? Thanks!

Angie Liew July 3, 2021 - 6:41 pm

Yes, you can just leave out the meat. The mushroom and dried shrimp are already very flavourful. Thanks

Khim Yang November 2, 2020 - 10:39 am

I’m so excited to find this recipe! Was given a pumpkin by my friend that I don’t know what to do with, and then I remembered this delicious, hard to find Kim Gue Kuih! Can you pls tell me how to make alcaline water? Thanks in advance!

Angie Liew November 2, 2020 - 10:44 am

Hi, alkaline water is readily available in most Asian grocery stores. Too much hassle to make. Thanks

Yap June 18, 2020 - 6:50 pm

Hi would like to know if I can use a steam oven instead of the conventional steaming method ? What can I replace with rice flour ? Is all purpose flour the same. Or wheat flour ?

Angie Liew June 26, 2020 - 11:59 pm

I think you can use a steam oven to steam the cake as it serves the same purpose. Don’t think you can replace rice flour with any other type of flour in this recipe as they are totally different.

Sandra April 18, 2020 - 8:17 am

Hi Angie,

Was wondering if you can help. I tried the recipe but mine turns out a bit soggy. Would you know why?

Angie Liew April 22, 2020 - 10:44 pm

Hi Sandra. Perhaps the liquid is too much. You can cut down on the water used. Sometimes the pumpkin will have a higher fluid content, hence reduce the water when making the batter. Otherwise, you can add a bit more rice flour when stirring the batter on the wok.

Huang Kitchen