Recipe: Easy Vegan Smiling Steamed Rice Cake – Fatt Koh

DU’s Smiling Cake – Fatt Koh

Smiling cake, is Chinese muffin made from rice flour.  Chinese  people believe the “smiling” cakes would bring good luck and prosperity for the New Year. 

Today, I decided to make the smiling cupcakes.  My cupcakes were greeting me  with the big happy  smiles.  The  smiling cakes are  light and tasty.

My super easy eggless gluten-free recipe that is adapted from Mama Cheung’s recipe.

For honeycomb fatt koh rice cakes, please try Banh Bo recipe.


(4-6 small cupcakes)

  • 80g  of sugar
  • 3 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. of corn starch
  • 200 g of rice flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 1 cup of  water (reduce 2 T. to add cream)
  • 2 tbsp.  of coconut cream (olive oil or butter)
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • Few drops of food color
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt


  1. Prepare the steamer and boil water 10 minutes before steaming cupcakes.
  2. Prepare 6 small teacups or muffin pan with oil or muffin liners.
  3. In a  bowl,  mix all ingredients (except baking powder).  Mix well until  the batter is smooth.
  4. Add baking power  and mix the batter well.
  5. Pour the batter into the molds about 90% full.
  6. Make sure the steamer is in high heat, and  the water  is boiling.
  7. Steam cupcakes for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove  cupcakes from the steamer.
  9. Let the  cakes cool, before removing them from the molds.

Cooking tips

  1. The cakes need  room to rise high and smile, we must use deep steamer.
  2. With glass lid, we can watch the process of rising and smiling cakes.
  3. Use all purpose flour, cake is fluffier than rice cake.
  4. Rice cake  is dried when it is cold, so warm  it  up before eating.
  5. Add more coconut milk, butter, milk to enhance the cake flavor.
  6. For non-vegan diet, we can add eggs and  try muffin recipe.


In Vietnam, the smiling cake, is called “Banh Thuan,”  made from  “cake flour,” and eggs.    In Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, people use ENO salt to make the cakes smooth and open.


  1. Steam Cake Easy, Mama Cheung, Youtube video in Chinese with English subtitle.
  2. Recipe of smiling steamed rice cake by trucvy Zoe, used bread yeast
  3. Recipe of rice-fatt-koh  – batter made from rice, by Lily’s Wai Sek Hong


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