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Palm Sugar Rice Cakes (Kuih Kosui)

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5
Author Jennifer Rao - Around the World in 80 Cakes


  • 2/3 cup (3.5 oz) palm sugar or jaggery, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup (2.7 oz) water
  • 1/4 cup (1.8 oz) granulated sugar
  • 5 Tbsp rice flour (white or brown)
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • grated coconut optional


  1. Preheat your steamer and also have ready a double boiler, or a pot of simmering water you can place your mixing bowl over.
  2. Place the chopped palm sugar/jaggery in a microwave safe 2-cup glass measuring cup along with the water. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute intervals, stirring in between each, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  3. Add the granulated sugar and continue to microwave, stirring in between, until it has dissolved as well.
  4. Strain the mixture into a bowl to remove any impurities, then return to the measuring cup. Add water to the sugar mixture to bring the total volume to 2 cups, set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl sift together the rice flour, tapioca flour and baking soda. Stir well to combine, then mix in the sugar syrup. Mix well then strain to remove any lumps.
  6. If using a metal bowl place it over a pot o simmering water, or transfer the batter to a double boiler. Heat for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken slightly.
  7. Pour the batter into small tea cups or silicone baking cups and steam for about 15 minutes on medium low heat. Fill the cups only half full since the batter does rise.
  8. Allow to cool completely, preferably chill them in the refrigerator for a few hours, before un-molding. Server with a sprinkling of grated coconut.