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Kuih Bahulu Recipe

Kuih Bahulu
Kuih Bahulu pictures (3 of 11)

August 31st marks the 51st Independence Day of Malaysia and September 1st is the beginning of Ramadan–the holy month of Islam. To celebrate the two important events in Malaysia, I thought I would introduce you to Kuih Bahulu, a traditional Malaysian kuih (or cake).

A favorite among many Malaysians of all races and ages, kuih bahulu is usually baked during the festive seasons such as Hari Raya and Chinese New Year. These sweet and eggy kuih go very well with coffee, and are always a crowd-pleaser during the festive seasons. A few kuih bahulu and a cup of coffee is a surefire way to greet your guests…

Kuih bahulu comes in different shapes, but the popular ones are the button and goldfish (pictured below). Thekuih bahulu mold also come in different sizes–big and small. I used the small button and gold fish molds for my kuih bahulu because I simply adore cutesy size.

Kuih Bahulu

As the sweet aroma filled the air in my current home in California, a flood of fond memories were racing through my mind. I personally recall many kuih bahulu making and baking sessions with my late grandmother, my late mother, and my aunt. As we were busy baking the kuih bahulu, our anticipation of Chinese New Year and the warm thoughts of our family reunion brought much joy into our home kitchen. Making kuih bahulu has always been fun to me.

While French madeleines are hugely popular, I have to say that Malaysian Kuih Bahulu is no less than the madeleines. I personally think that kuih bahulu is our answer to madeleines, with a slightly different recipe but very similar methods.

For my Malaysian readers, I wanted to wish you all “Selamat Hari Merdeka” and for my Muslim readers, Happy Ramadan!

Other Malaysian food art and recipes:

  1. Nyonya Kuih Pie Tee
  2. Roti Jala (Lacy Pancakes)
  3. Pineapple Tarts

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56 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. worldwindows

    Kuih bahulu with Nescafe or teh tarik. To me its the scones of the east. Thankful I can still get it off the shelf anytime.

  2. Tracy Tan

    i love kuih bahulu! i can eat quite a few at one go. and since the recipe looks easy enough, i am definitely going to give it a try. i have to go back to kl to get the mold – it doesn’t seem right to have kuih bahulu in any other type of molds!

    keep the recipes coming – you are my absolute favorite food site :)

  3. coco

    I love the dish you baked the yummy treats in. I’m going to be on the lookout for these now. I hope I find them here.

  4. asoon

    You’re right! Tomorrow is indeed independence day. Selamat Hari Merdeka! Mmmm the kuih looks awesome. I will have to try making it as well.

  5. Julie

    That kuih bahulu look very pretty and interesting! I have never seen anything like that. I will try making them using your kuih bahulu recipe once i get my mould.

  6. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I remember having these when I visited Penang — but not since, and that was a long time ago. What a lovely reminder of my too-brief time in Penang!

  7. kabonfootprint

    i got interested in Malaysian cuisine, coz a while a go, i saw a Malaysian star Carmen Soo, is the spelling correct?.. she will have a tv show in our country.. very sweet lady…

  8. Crunchasarus Rex

    Truth be told.. i never used to like Kueh Buluh. But of course it is a different story . .now that i can’t get it. I’ll have to email you for the mold really soon. :) thanks for sharing.

  9. ping

    Thanks for the bringing back the memories of making kueh bahlu. I have a question though, are they made traditionally in an oven?

    My mother’s family used to make them on occasion but we made them with the mould on a traditional charcoal stove. The mould sits on the stove and one of my aunts would fill it with the mix. After a few minutes (they cook fast on the really hot mould) with the metal lid back on, when the kueh has reached the perfect shade of golden brown (it usually took a few batches to get the timing just right), my aunt would lift the lid and I would pick them out quickly with a toothpick, before the mould is filled again with the mix for another batch of kuehs.

  10. sc

    the best bahulu i’ve tried before was from a small stall in kemaman, terengganu. freshly prepared, i had it hot and it was heavenly! looking at your pics reminds me of it :)

  11. CK Lam

    Kuih bahulu is sold in most hypermarkets in Pg now but taste wise still lose out to those homemade ones.

    I have yet to taste those with powdered sugar.

  12. Salt N Turmeric

    i can have 20 of them kuih bahulu. Dip in coffee, they’re delicious! iv got to borrow your mould so i can try your kuih bahulu recipe for raya. ;)

  13. atie f

    gosh!i’m gonna try this out for my kuih seems hard for the tradisional one they just use hands to beat the ingredient..the more tradisional it goes,the tastier it will be. :)

  14. Peb @ Food Made Simple

    ohhhhhh! great recipe. I must try this. I am back in Malaysia, I think I will search for the mould and bring one back before coming back to Dallas. Thanks much for recipe!

  15. diva

    GOSH i really miss these things!! i used to have a bag with me as a kid all the time and brought em to school to share. they were such yummy little cakes i couldn’t live without.

  16. nigellasativa

    i use duck eggs instead 0f chicken. to make bahulu….the taste n color r awesome….wanna make it more..thanx god my family owned a duck farm..hehe

  17. Ida

    Am living in the US currently. Wonder if anyone is selling kiuh bahulu. But I shall give your recipe a try… First one I see that uses cups as a measurement (lucky me!) instead of grams lol.. Thank you~!!

  18. Delphine

    Hi Rasamalaysia,
    Thanks for your recipe, I tried it last night & was a success but the only problem is it sticks badly. I have the mould heated up & apply oil & heat it again & then only I fill in the batter. And also do I need to stir the batter each time I fill in the mould. The kuih bahulu was baked around 12-13 minutes & was abit dry. I converted the 1 1/4 cup of flour to 175gm & sugar to 190gm. Please advice. Thanks.

  19. Jeanette


    I just tried your receipe with the butter and definitely greased the pan before baking and it is sticking very badly. What can I do to prevent the sticking?

  20. lornie

    I’m having 3 baulu monsters in my house. They like it fresh from the oven. In the end I ended
    up with just a small container waiting to be emptied in a few days time.

  21. Zeenath A. Rahim

    Hi. I love your informative website with all the fascinating recipes. I once saw a recipe for large green chillies stuffed with mince. It was a malaysina cook book but I have misplace it. Would you by any chance know this recipe? Zeenath

  22. delia

    made this last nite. taste great straight from the oven but chewy when left over nite. the 1/4 tsp of bicarbonate of soda is for what purpose? i saw in other recipes they are using baking powder. i think the textures a bit dense. how’s yours like?

  23. Xabel

    Hi, I tried baking this a while ago but I think it went overflow after baking. I’m not too sure how full should I fill the mould. It looks more like a muffin now >.<. Hope to get a reply as I’ll be baking again in a couple of days. Thanks =)

  24. Pak Faisal

    We baked kuih bahulu using organic duck eggs. Taste better and crunchy & last longer. We are duck farmer. All are duck eggs based. Includes seri kaya.

  25. uclakd

    Just unpacked my kuih pans yesterday…only 3 years since left Penang, lol… and thought “okay, but I never got a recipe.” I log on and see this on your site, I’m obviously meant to make these. Do I need to season the kuih pans in any way?

  26. Jojo

    I bought an alumimum mould tray and have oiled them (with canola oil) before i pour the batter in but the resulting kuehs still sticks like crazy!


  27. angela

    I realised the comments here are old but just in case any new readers would like to know I had the same problems with the bahulu sticking to the pans. First I thought the reason could be that my pan was new, so I tried using my seasoned non-stick madeleine pan and to be sure I even lightly greased it. The bahulus were still sticking like crazy!! Then I remembered the way I used to grease the madeleine molds when I was making madeleines so I gave this method a go. The bahulus DID NOT stick to the mold this time around! Hooray! What I did was I brushed the mold cavities with oil and then floured the cavities. Shake off excess flour and then fill with the batter. I did not pre-heat the pan. The only difference in the end result was the surface ( oiled and floured side) of the bahulu was smooth instead of ‘sandy’. Well I can live with that….at least I didn’t end up with a heap of twisted and distorted bahulus as I was trying to pry them off the pan. FYI I did the oiling and flouring method with the madeleine mold, not the bahulu molds. There was too much cake stuck to my bahulu fish mold that it took me hours to clean them around the nooks and crannies!But I figured if it worked with the madeleine mold it could very well work with the bahulu mold. I will try it next time.

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