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Pumpkin Sponge Rice Cake

Inspired by Traditional Chinese Red Bean Sponge Rice Cake

by HomeNaturallyMade
Pumpkin Spong Rice Cake Recipe

Pumpkin Sponge Rice Cake featuring homemade pumpkin puree, sweet rice flour, and rice flour is so yummy and satisfying. Naturally gluten-free and egg-free, this pumpkin sponge rice cake garnished with goji berries has the perfect chewiness and firm bite texture. It will be an excellent addition to your fall pumpkin/Halloween season food collection.

Pumpkin Sponge Rice Cake Recipe

This Pumpkin Sponge Rice Cake is inspired by traditional Suzhou Style Sponge Rice Cake

Sponge Rice Cake featuring a blend of water-milled sweet rice flour, regular sweet rice flour, and rice flour is a traditional dim sum in Suzhou, located in the heart of China’s Yangtze River Delta. This area is well-known for its naturally yummy Huai Yang Style food, ancient history, rich culture, and exquisite garden and waterway scenes, among other things.

Chinese Song Gao {traditional sponge rice cake}
Traditional Suzhou Sponge Rice Cake

Rice is a traditional staple food in this area. Clever ancient people have discovered a very unique characteristic of rice four. When you fully saturate the rice flour with water to an extent that they just start to form small clumps. These loose small clumps will form a super soft sponge rice cake upon steaming.

Sesame Song Gao {Chinese Sponge Rice Cake}
Sponge Rice Cake with Sesame Filling

The soft chewiness vs. firm bite texture can be adjusted by tweaking the ratio between sweet rice, also known as sticky rice flour, and rice flour. More sweet rice flour means softer and chewier. Vice versa, the more rice flour the more firm bite texture you’ll get.

Red Bean Sponge Rice Cake Recipe {Suzhou Style}
Red Bean Sponge Rice Cake

How to make Pumpkin Sponge Rice Cake?

Tip No.1 is to make a pumpkin puree in advance

It is super easy to make pumpkin puree at home. I like to steam the pumpkin in a bamboo steamer. By the way, these 12-inch stacked bamboo steamers can sit nicely on top of a 14-inch cast iron wok. It is indeed my favorite steaming set.

steam pumkin in the bamboo steamer on top of a cast iron wok

Then use a food processor to blend it smoothly. Check it out here for a detailed guided recipe on how to make pumpkin puree easy and yummy.

homemade pumpkin puree recipe (easy yummy way)
Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Tip No.2 is to toss and fold the pumpkin puree with the sweet rice and rice flour mixture until they just start to form small lumps

I use three {3} portions of sweet rice flour for each {1} portion of rice flour for a perfectly chewy and firm bite balance. For sweet rice flour, I use an equal portion of water-milled sweet rice flour {Shui Mo Fen 水磨粉} and regular sweet rice flour {Nuo Mi Fen 糯米粉}.

When people submerge the sweet rice {sticky rice} underneath the water and then mill it into flour, the sweet rice flour becomes water-milled sweet rice flour. It is extra soft and smooth, which is the secret behind the well-known sweet rice flour dumplings and red bean mochi soup.

Red Bean Mochi Soup {红豆圆子汤}
Red Bean Mochi Soup {红豆圆子汤}

Add water-milled sweet rice flour, sweet rice flour, rice flour, and sugar into a large mixing bowl, toss and mix well using a pair of bamboo spatulas. Then add a splash of avocado oil and pumpkin pure and toss and mix again until fully blended.

toss and mix well of sweet rice flour and rice flour with pumpkin puree

You will notice the flour blend is very saturated and have started forming small lumps.

Tip No.3 is to sprinkle the saturated pumpkin rice flour mixture into the steaming dish

Grease the rectangle glass dish generously with coconut oil and then use a large relatively flat spoon to scoop out the saturated rice flour mixture and sprinkle loosely into the glass dish. Sprinkle one layer at a time and then build up. Do not pack the rice flour.

Once you reach the top, use a dough cutter to gently level it.

pumpkin rice flour mixture

Tip No.4 is to steam the sponge rice cake twice

Add 6 cups of water to a 14-inch cast iron wok, add a lid and bring it to a boil. After that, add the glass dish to the wok, add the lid, and steam for 20 minutes. This rectangle glass dish can snug inside a 14-inch wok nicely without needing a steaming rack.

Let the pumpkin rice cake cool down to room temperature after the initial 20 minutes of steaming. After that, remove the rice cake from the glass dish and add it to another coconut oil greased same rectangle dish. Garnish the top generously with goji berries and steam for another 15 minutes.

steaming the pumpkin sponge rice cake

Enjoy a super yummy and healthy Pumpkin Sponge Rice Cake!

Pumpkin Sponge Rice Cake Recipe
Pumpkin Sponge Rice Cake Recipe

Pumpkin Sponge Rice Cake Recipe

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Pumpkin Sponge Rice Cake featuring homemade pumpkin puree, sweet rice flour, and rice flour is so yummy and satisfying. Goji berry garnishing is optional but adds contrast color and extra nutrients.

Ingredients

  • 454 g pumpkin puree, about 1 lb
  • 215 g water-milled sweet rice flour
  • 215 g sweet rice flour
  • 145 g rice flour
  • 110 g cane sugar, organic unrefined preferred
  • 45 g avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup goji berries, optional, for garnishing
  • 1-2 tsp coconut oil, for greasing the glass steaming dish

Instructions

  • Make pumpkin puree in advance if you use homemade pumpkin puree.
    homemade pumpkin puree recipe (easy yummy way)
  • Add 6 cups of water to a cast iron wok, close it with a lid and bring the water to a boil, about 10 minutes. While waiting for the water, prepare the pumpkin rice cake flour mixture.
  • Use a kitchen scale to measure out and add pumpkin puree, water-milled sweet rice flour, sweet rice flour, rice flour, sugar, and avocado oil one by one using the incremental "TARE" function. Toss and mix well using a pair of bamboo spatulas, the same way you toss a salad. Continue to toss and mix until everything is blended, and the rice flour starts to form small lumps.
    pumpkin, sweet rice and rice flour mixture
  • Grease the rectangle glass dish generously with 1 tsp of coconut oil. Then use a large relatively flat spoon to scoop out the pumpkin rice flour mixture and sprinkle it into the glass dish. Do one layer at a time and then build up. Do not compact or shake the rice flour mixture. They need to remain loose in order to have a fluffy rice cake. Once you reach the top, use a dough cutter to gently level it flat.
    pumpkin rice flour mixture
  • When the water reaches a boil, add the glass dish to the wok, cover it with a lid, and steam for 20 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, wait for 2 minutes or so before you remove the wok lid, and then remove the glass dish. The glass dish is extremely temperature hot, make sure you wear heat-resistant gloves.
  • Let the pumpkin rice cake cool to room temperature and then remove it from the glass dish and flip it upside down and add to another coconut oil-greased glass dish. Garnish the top with the goji berries. For convenience, you can also use the same glass dish.
    steaming the pumpkin sponge rice cake
  • Add additional 1 cup water to the wok and bring it to a boil again, and then add the pumpkin rice cake. Close the lid and steam the other side for another 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Wait for 2 minutes before removing the lid and pumpkin sponge rice cake.
    steaming pumpkin sponge rice cake in a rectangle glass dish using a wok
  • Enjoy a super tasty and healthy pumpkin sponge rice cake! Great for breakfast or a snack.
    Pumpkin Sponge Rice Cake Recipe
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 3g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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