Malpua Inspired Steamed Sponge Cake [Egg Free]

Playing around with Indian flavours is my favourite way of cooking. I have been wanting to bake something inspired from ‘Malpua’ ever since Simran posted her malpua cookie recipe on Ovenderful Mom Bakers Community.

All the right flavours of malpua – Cardamom, Fennel, Ghee and Khoya in the form of a spongy moist cake. Too yummy to miss I say!

The frequent power cuts inspired [rather forced] me to try making cake in a pressure cooker. Wondering if a steamed cake would be ‘cake-like’? Have a look at that gorgeous crumb. What a beautiful surprise it turned out to be. I am super excited to post this and will be waiting for your feedback eagerly.

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Malpua Inspired Steamed Sponge Cake [Egg Free]
The flavours of malpua in a steamed sponge cake.
Course dessert
Cuisine indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course dessert
Cuisine indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
  1. Setting the steamer- Place a perforated plate in a large pressure cooker. Fill with 3 cups of water. You may place another plate to give the cake tin a little height. Let the cake tin not touch the water surface. Close with the lid, without the whistle, and place on medium heat.
  2. Grease a 6 inch pan and set aside.
  3. Sift the flour well and set aside. [You may use either a balloon whisk or a sieve to do this]
  4. Crush the cardamom pods and fennel seeds in a mortar. [Discard the cardamom peels]
  5. Take the milk, crushed/ powdered cardamom and fennel, and the khoya in a thick bottomed pan.
  6. Bring this mixture to boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes on low. [Stir continuously to avoid the milk from getting burnt] .
  7. Turn off the heat.
  8. Add the ghee and sugar.
  9. Beat well until all ingredients are well combined. [Or pulse 3-4 times in a mixer, this helps all the ingredients to mix well]
  10. Add the curd and cooking soda to the wet ingredient mixture.
  11. Mix well and set aside for 2 minutes until bubbles start to appear.
  12. Pour into the sifted flour and fold in the batter until no lumps remain.
  13. Transfer into the prepared tin and tap on the counter to level the batter.
  14. Cover and seal with aluminium foil to avoid water from entering the cake while steaming.
  15. Place in the 'hot and steaming' cooker.
  16. Close the lid and steam cook on high for 20 minutes and then on medium for another 30 minutes.
  17. Remove the foil carefully [to avoid the water from entering the cake tin] and check if a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  18. Once the skewer comes out clean, open cook for 5 minutes.
  19. Invert over a wire rack after 10 minutes.
  20. Slice the cake once it is completely cooled.
Recipe Notes


The time taken for the cake to get 'steamed' completely may vary anywhere between 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Add enough water to last that long and avoid opening the lid to check on the cake too soon.

Sealing the cake tin with aluminium foil is very important to avoid your cake from becoming a soggy mess.

This cake can also be baked in your oven. Bake at 170-180 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

You can also make a plain Cardamom cake using the same recipe by simply skipping the fennel.

Have fun and let me know how this turns out for you.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Ravneet Arora says:

    that sounds really delicious! Can we not bake it in an oven, like a regular cake???

  2. Akila Subramanian says:

    Thanks Ravneet. Yes you can. have mentioned the same under notes

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