Palm sugar and ginger cakelets with toasted sesame seeds

I always thought that I knew what palm sugar was. Somehow I thought that Indonesian gula djawa is palm sugar but it turns out that it is actually a mixture of palm sugar and cane sugar. This new found knowledge made me curious about real palm sugar. I managed to find some at an Asian grocery. It was much lighter than gula djawa and also harder. It had sort of the same taste as cane sugar but more intense, I would call it sugar candy 🙂

Palm sugar was to be the main ingredient for my entry to this month’s Asian themed SHF hosted by La Petite Boulangette.

The recipe for these cakelets is a basic pound cake recipe. The Asian touch is the palm sugar and also the ground ginger that I used for flavouring and the sesame seeds that I used for decoration. I wanted to take these cakelets to my friend Y. who doesn’t eat wheat so I used spelt flour instead.

The cakelets were a bit denser than regular pound cake. Probably a combination of the spelt flour which is a bit heavier than wheat flour, and the palm sugar. Contrary to regular sugar, palm sugar is much finer (when you’ve beaten it with a meat tenderizer) more like coarse confectioners sugar.

I loved the ginger taste of the cakelets, the amount was just right in my opinion. The sesame seeds looked nice enough for decoration but texture-wise I didn’t think it was that good. It kind of interfered with the whole cakelet eating experience. Wouldn’t add it next time.

Besides making these very small cakes, I also made some bigger ones. One of those was lucky enough to receive a pretty marzipan decoration which you can see in the previous post.

Palm sugar cakelets with toasted sesame seeds

makes at least 36 small or 18 medium cakelets

140 g (5 oz) spelt flour

1 ts ginger, ground

140 g (5 oz) butter

140 g (5 oz) palm sugar, beaten to (more or less) a powder with a meat tenderizer

2 eggs

2-3 tbs sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Line one or more mini muffin pans with paper cups.

Sift the spelt flour together with the ginger.

Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Mixing well after each addition. Mix for another few minutes. Add the flour and fold it in until just incorporated. Spoon the batter into the cups until about ¾ full.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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7 Responses to Palm sugar and ginger cakelets with toasted sesame seeds

  1. aran says:

    so unusual but i love it! i have never baked with palm sugar but i will look for it!

  2. courtney(aka glamah16) says:

    Your a thoughtful friend that goes out of her way to use alternative ingrediants. I have never heard of Plam sugar. I love finding other types of more natural sugars and flours.

  3. ovenhaven says:

    Oh yum, this sounds lovely! I’m a huge fan of palm sugar; here we call it Gula Melaka (Malaccan sugar) and we use it mostly in our lil sweet treats and desserts. I love how you’ve incorporated it into a cakelet.

  4. Farhan says:

    The taste of good palm sugar is delicious and there are hundreds of ways to use it. My personal favourite is as a filling in a glutinous rice ball. The molten filling just explodes in your mouth.

    Just to add a point,the palm sugar here in Singapore/Malaysia come in blocks and the softer and darker it is the purer and more expensive. If its harder it means it was mixed with cane sugar.

  5. Rosa says:

    Delicious! I love palm sugar and it’s unique flavor…



  6. čao lipi,ponovno smo na webu…pusu ma /ta

  7. linda says:

    Aran – always fun to try out new ingredients, right?

    Courtney – that’s what friends are for 🙂

    Ovenhaven – I still have some left so I’ll search for some delicious treats to make

    Farhan – the rice balls sound delicious! I used a Thai brand of palm sugar btw

    Rosa – it sure is!

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