Luke Nguyen gets in the festive spirit, helping out a local Lao street food seller with her sweet coconut cakes. These steamed cakes are dairy and gluten-free and are best eaten piping hot. 






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (137 votes)


  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 375 g rice flour
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • vegetable oil, for brushing


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place the coconut milk, rice flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add a pinch of sea salt and 500ml water, and whisk until completely smooth.

Heat a khao nom kok pan or a Dutch pancake pan (poffertjes pan) to medium. Brush each mould or hole with vegetable oil. Before proceeding, make sure the pan is hot, or the cakes will be difficult to remove. Pour the batter into each mould, close the lid and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the cakes are browned and crisp, but moist in the centre. Using an oiled stainless steel Chinese soup spoon or teaspoon, remove the cakes from the pan. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve hot.