Sunday, March 13, 2011

Making Putu Ayu

After my husband bought me some pretty flowers this morning, my baking mood was lifted up again. Initially, after making potato donuts on last Friday night, I thought of taking a break in making cake, at least for this week. Both of us think that baking once a week is healthy enough. Since last Friday, my husband and I had shopped most of the ingredients for Putu Ayu that I've been planning to make, today I decided to just go ahead with making some Putu Ayu. Putu Ayu is a popular traditional steamed coconut cupcakes in Indonesia.

It's Sunday and the kids and brothers in law are here, so I guess it would be good if I make this today so there would be enough people to finish them. On our way home, my husband made a stop at a food retail shop in the neighborhood and bought some fresh grated coconut for me. The whole coconut and grating fee cost RM1.80.

The original look: Flower-shaped putu ayu.

Putu Ayu

  • 250gr baking flour
  • 225 gr granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 130ml coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon ovalette/sponge cake stabilizer
  • 200 gr grated coconut
  • Green coloring - as needed
  • Cooking oil - as needed
  • Pandan juice/essence - as needed
  • Putu Ayu molds or plastic jelly molds


1. Boil the coconut milk. Let it cool.

2. Thinly grease the molds with cooking oil.

3. Make some pandan juice and pandan leaf cuts from fresh pandan leaves. I prefer using real pandan juice instead of the artificial pandan essence since the cupcake's pandan aroma would be very different with real pandan juice.

Squezzing the juice and making the cuts from fragrant pandan leaves.

4. Mix sugar and eggs together in high speed until the mixture is thick. Add in the sponge cake stabilizer. Mix well again until white and fluffy.

The mix is ready for flour and coconut milk.

5. By using spatula, add in flour, cold coconut milk, pandan juice and green coloring into the cake batter. Mix well slowly until even.

The cake batter is ready to be poured onto the molds.

6. Put a layer of fresh grated coconut on the bottom of the greased molds. Press the grated coconut a bit with one finger to make the final results firmer.

The molds with grated coconuts on the bottom.

7. Heat the steamer. Pour the cake batter onto molds until they're 90% full. Put one cut of pandan leaf on top to give extra pandan savor.

The cupcakes ready for steam.

8. Steam the cupcake for about 15-20 minutes.

The final results: Fresh from the steamer.

9. Release the cupcake from the molds and serve warm.

Heart-shaped putu ayu

I first learned making Putu Ayu during my final year in primary school. Then, cooking and baking were part of the school curriculum for the girls and we had to showcase our cooking/baking skill for the national exam too. Since then, I practiced what I learned from school at home with my Mom's assistance. She bought me my first oven when I was 12. The oven was bought from a department store in my hometown called Mitra and it cost Rp. 50,000. I still use the same oven when I bake at home in Indonesia.

Although I often make mistakes in baking, baking has actually become my hobby since I was young. I haven't really baked so much for many years since I left my parents' house for my overseas study and work but am very happy to reconnect with my old flame again when I moved to Malaysia. I've got to use my Mother-in-Law's oven and have pretty much completed most of my baking utensils again here - so I can do all my baking frenzy again.

As for today, I'm very happy to bring back my primary school old memory again by making Putu Ayu. These green cupcakes tasted good, soft and fragrant and today's recipe made about 40 cupcakes in total. A lot, huh!

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