Monday, January 28, 2013

Pulut Hitam, in a Cupcake

Wow, I honestly have no idea what happened. I really do remember posting this on the 22th of January 2013. Really. Today, I looked for the post, just thinking of seeing the pictures again and reading through the post, but what's this? It's disappeared!

And because it was 6 days ago, I really don't remember what I wrote for the post anymore. So, to be honest, I'm just staring blankly at this blank space, trying to figure out what to write...considering if I just shouldn't bother... But owing to the fact that it's really such a good recipe, I have to share this with all of you.

These are pulut hitam cupcakes. Just to make things a little clearer, pulut hitam is a malaysian dessert of black glutinous rice pudding topped with coconut milk. That’s the basic version. Sometimes it’s cooked with red bean, other times, longans are added in. My dad’s version has rum soaked longans in the rice pudding. It’s rich, creamy and simply to die for. Put a bowl in front of me and I’ll not just lick it clean, I’ll ask for seconds. And thirds. And maybe fourths, until I can’t eat no more.

The idea of that rice pudding in a cupcake was so appealing, I set out to make it the next morning. Oh yes, I couldn’t wait. I had to try it out. Turns out what I imagined it to be was pretty accurate. A light and moist cupcake with the exact taste of pulut hitam topped with light and creamy coconut milk buttercream. So good. Oh, and so much less fattening than a whole bowl of pulut hitam.

These cupcakes are flourless, actually. They use black glutinous rice flour, ground from black glutinous rice. I’m pretty sure you could get them in the store, but if you’re like me and really can’t wait, just toss a bowl of raw black glutinous rice into blender and blend till it’s a fine powder.

The cakes also have a little coconut milk in them to replicate the taste of pulut hitam. Coconut is full of super healthy fats! Even better than that, these cupcakes don’t use butter (except in the frosting, of course! Buttercream is my go to recipe for frosting). Instead, they have applesauce, which keeps the cupcakes moist and light.

To finish it off just like an authentic pulut hitam, these cupcakes are topped with coconut milk buttercream frosting. The two tone frosting was achieved by toasting some black glutinous rice flour and folding it into the half of the frosting. It doesn’t add much flavour, only aesthetic appeal, so feel free to just do a plain coconut milk buttercream frosting.

Pulut Hitam Cupcakes
(makes about 7 or 8)

30g black glutinous rice flour
1/8 tsp of baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda

1 egg yolk
15g sugar

25ml coconut milk
30g apple sauce
1/2 tsp pandan essence

1 egg white
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
20g sugar

20g dried longan, chopped

1. Whisk together black glutinous rice flour, baking powder and baking soda.

2. Whisk the egg yolk and sugar till pale and doubled in volume.

3. Whisk in coconut milk, applesauce and pandan essence. Fold in flour mixture.

4. In a seperate bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar till soft peaks form.

Add sugar and beat till glossy and stiff.

5. Fold the egg whites into the batter in 3 additions, till hardly combined.

6. Add the chopped longans and fold till just combined.

7. Spoon batter into cupcake liners till 3/4 full. Bake at 175 degrees Celsius for 15-17 minutes, until a skewer poked in the centre comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

112g butter, softened
4 tbsp powdered sugar

1/2 cup coconut milk

1. Cream butter and sugar till smooth.

2. Whisk in coconut milk.

3. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.


  1. Hi Joey

    Wud like to try ur Black Glutinous Rice Cupcakes but kindly advise me what can I replace in place of applesauce since I do not have that.

    Priscilla Poh

    1. Hi Priscilla, you can substitute about 25g of butter. Just melt it and whisk in with the coconut milk and pandan essence

  2. Joey,

    those cupcake cups are amazing - i've never seen ones that an stand alone and bake without a muffin tin. Is there a special name for them? I can't seem to find them anywhere.

    1. Hi Clara,
      I don't know if there's a specific name for them, but its probably a muffin cup? Cupcake liners tend to be the thinner ones that spread.

  3. Hi Joey, the cupcake looks amazing hope you dont mind if i re-blog this.

  4. thanks for the compliment =D go ahead and thanks for reblogging

  5. Hi Joey

    I hv not tried baking the cupcakes yet cos haven't got time due to Chinese New Year. Will surely try soon cos' I still have some black glutinious rice flour left and will let you know the results.

    Meanwhile, you have said coconut milk is full of healthy oil depending on which brand. Could you kindly advise which brand so that I can stock more of the healthy brand rather than buying those on offer which is my habit.

    Priscilla Poh

    1. Sounds great! I would love to know how they turn out for you =) well, I don't really use any particular brand. Like you, I go for the one on offer, but stay away from those that have a lot of additives or sugar. The ingredients list should be just coconut extract and maybe a stabilizer or emulsifier.

  6. Hi, such delicious looking cupcakes! The frosting has two tones, how did you manage that?

    Thank you!

    1. I put the two different coloured frostings in different bags, then put those two bags in one bag and piped from there

  7. Hi, this looks really interesting! I understand cupcake recipes can be turned into cakes and was wondering if you've tried it for this recipe and if so, how did it turn out?

    thanks in advance!

    1. Hi! I haven't tried making this into a cake, but it should work. Just increase the baking time for the cupcake base and maybe increase the amount of frosting so you have enough to frost the cake

  8. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work



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