Chinese New Year, Snack

#ChineseNewYearFare KUEH BULU


Kueh Bulu
Kueh Bulu

This is a favourite of mine. I love to eat this and have it for breakfast, tea and whatever time. In Penang we call it Kueh Bulu and I suppose it means light as feather as ‘bulu’ in Malay means feathers. However, Malacca Nyonya call it Kueh Bahulu. The Malays call this Kueh Bahulu as well.

It is actually a simple sponge without any fat or oil. It has only 3 ingredients, eggs, sugar and flour.

Back in the good old days, we used to make this by hand, i.e., beat the eggs (around 30 to 40 eggs) in a big earthen urn. We used a spring type of whisk which is about 400cm length and 280 cm circumference. Guess who was the one who did all the whisking? Me!!

The eggs and sugar would be beaten until it was light and creamy before adding the flour. There were no ovens, only make shift ones. We would fill up a clay curry pot (usually a cracked one) with some sand and heat it over a charcoal stove. The Kueh mould would then be placed on top of the sand and heated. The cover would be made of a round piece of aluminium fastened with 3 to 4 wires around the circumference and tied together. This would be the handle. Hot charcoal would be placed onto the aluminium ‘cover’ and placed over the curry pot. This was a very efficient and hot oven, perfect for quick baking of the Kueh Bulu. Somewhat like a mini tandoor.

Last year I made some using the original recipe, which calls for the flour to be sunned, I found that the Kueh Bulu was rather dry. So this time I did not sun the flour. Anyway it is not practical to sun the flour as it is winter. Furthermore, In this climate, it is much less humid than in the tropics so there is no need to sun or dry the flour.

Last year, I made some but I did not have the mould and I used Madeleine moulds. This year I used the ones brought over by my sisters. The moulds are a bit small and so the Kueh Bulu is small, requiring only about 1-2 teaspoonful of the mixture. If you use the standard mould, you would probably get about 50 or so pieces. Mine yields about 75 pieces.


Quick Info:

Makes    About 75 pieces
Cost:       £
Time:      About 2 hours


4              Large eggs – separated
120g       Plain flour – sifted 4 times
120g       Castor sugar

Oil           For greasing the mould


  1. In a mixer or food processor, whisk the sugar and egg whites together at high speed until light and stiff.
  2. Slowly add in the yolks, one at a time and continue to whisk, making sure your stir the mixture from the bottom at least twice to ensure proper whisking.
  3. Heat the oven to gas mark 7. Place the rack in the centre of the oven
  4. Grease and place the mould in the oven to heat it up.
  5. Divide the mixture equally into 4 bowls.
  6. Divide the flour into 4.
  7. Take one bowl of the egg mixture and gently fold in 1 portion of the flour with a metal spoon.
  8. Remove the mould from the oven and spoon the mixture into the mould, filling up to about 4/5 full.
  9. Return the mould to the oven and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes until it is golden brown.  Remove the Kueh from the mould using a tooth pick or skewer. Cool on a wire rack.
  10. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.
  11. Store in air-tight container.


Kueh Bulu  cooling on a wire rack
Kueh Bulu cooling on a wire rack

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