Serimuka (Steamed Rice Cake with Coconut Custard)

Serimuka aka Putri Salat

Serimuka aka Putri Salat

This is a Malay traditional cake. It is one of the most common cakes you can find in Singapore. There are several common characteristics you will notice in most traditional Malay cakes. They are mostly steamed cakes and almost all makes use of coconut milk because coconuts are aplenty in this region and use rice flour instead of wheat flour because rice is easily and more commonly available in this region.

Traditionally, I was told, rice flour were home-made. The women would soak the rice overnight then drained and grounded to a paste the next day. It will then be wrapped tightly in a piece of cloth. A heavy object is then placed on top of it to exert pressure and squeeze out the water making it to become dry.

But we have come a long way since and now we can buy rice flour in packets from the supermarket. Thank God for that 🙂

Today I will be sharing the recipe for Serimuka or Putri Salat. It is an easy cake to make but there are no shortcuts. This cakes like most Malay cakes, have two layers. The rice layer at the bottom and the custard topping on top. Please see the recipe below.

Preparation Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Cooking Time: Approximately 1 hour

Makes: 1 cake pan

Ingredients for  the Rice Layer

  • 300 grams uncooked, white glutinous rice, soaked in warm water overnight then drained.
  • 125 ml coconut cream
  • 1 pandan leaf or pandanus screwpine leaf, tied into a knot

Ingredients for the Custard Topping

  • 3 pandan leaves or pandanus screwpine leaves, chopped coarsely
  • 375 ml thick coconut milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 grams sugar
  • 50 grams rice flour
  • A pinch of Salt


Making the Rice Layer

Making the Rice layer

Clockwise from top-left: Making the Rice layer

  1. To make the rice layer, place the rice in the cake pan. Add the coconut cream and pandanus leaf. Mix well. Steam in the steamer for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Once the rice is cooked, remove the pandanus leaf and continue to steam for another 10 minutes. Once cooked, set aside to cool.

Making the Custard Topping

Juice the Pandan leaf and Coconut milk.

Juice the Pandan leaf and Coconut milk.

  1. To make the topping, use an electric blender and pulsed the cut pandanus leaves with coconut milk until finely chopped. Sieve the fragrant juice and set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Stir in the fragrant coconut juice with the rice flour and salt until well blended.

Putting it all together

  1. Flake the rice layer in the cake pan with a fork and compress it with the back of a spoon. You can also use a pestle to press the rice down to compress it.
  2. Pouring the Coconut custard over the rice layer.

    From left: Pour the Coconut custard over the rice layer, steam and set aside to cool.

  3. Then pour the custard topping over the rice layer through a sieve. Return the cake pan to the steamer, cover and steam for 30 minutes, until the topping is set.
  4. Once the cake is cooked, remove from the steamer and set aside to cool.
  5. Cut the cake to desired shape to serve.


  • For the custard topping, you can cook it in a pan on low heat first and stir until the custard thickens to the consistency of condensed milk before pouring over the rice layer. This will lessen or avoid having ‘waves’ formed on the surface of the custard topping.
  • To avoid water droplets formed on the lid due to steam from dripping into your cake pan, you can cover your cake pan with a heat-resistant plastic colander or rest a heat-resistant plastic on your cake surface to trap water dripping into your cake pan.
  • You can add Pandan paste to give your custard topping to get a brighter green color.

Do give this recipe a try. The ingredients are simple and result in a sweet looking cake.


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