Monday, 15 September 2014

Cempedak Buttermilk Cake

If you are residing in Singapore or Malaysia, I'm sure you're aware that the cempedak season is here again.... yeah!! I went to Pasar Larkin in JB with my mom last week & among the many things we bought were 2 beautiful cempedaks. I cut open mine on Friday... the nuggets of flesh were big & beautiful & they tasted so sweet! After tasting a few pieces,  the remainder was just nice for my baking project.... 2 projects actually.. 

The first is this gorgeous buttermilk cake.. I just love this cake! I'm telling you, if you're a big fan of cempedak, then you must bake this! Or bake it for someone who loves cempedak! The deep orange cempedak that I used for this cake gives it its beautiful golden colour. The cake turns out very moist with very soft & fine texture. However, if you look at my cake, it looks denser at the bottom. Well, that's because I was impatient... I opened the oven door just after 20 minutes into baking time. I saw the top was already browning, so I thought I should start checking. I even shook the pan & to my horror, the cake was still wiggling. So please don't open the oven door at least for the first 30-40 minutes. Since the cake is moist & soft, when I cut it (less than 1 hour after baking time), I had to be careful because it's quite fragile. I think it would be better if you keep it for a day (if you are patient enough) for easier handling. It'd also be a good idea not to slice too thin. Anyway, this cake definitely tastes better after a day & even better after two days, that I know for sure. When I first tasted it, I found the cake quite sweet. Then the next day, when I took a bite, I was happy that the cake was not as sweet as the day before.... but as I chewed it, I could taste the sweetness again. On the third day, the cake tasted even better & it's not too sweet anymore, even after finishing the whole slice. So keeping the cake before serving is an important step.

I used a buttermilk banana cake recipe to bake this gorgeous cake... Besides replacing the banana with cempedak, I made some minor changes to the ingredients & method of preparing it. To summarise the above ramblings, below are some points you need to take note of before you start baking one.

  1. The cempedak that I used is quite sweet but I've tasted sweeter ones. So if you think the cempedak you're using is already very sweet, you may reduce the sugar by 20-30g.
  2. You may replace the buttermilk with fresh / UHT milk. Just add 1 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice to the milk & set aside for a few minutes before using it.
  3. You may also use a 7x7 inch pan instead of a loaf pan.
  4. Don't open the oven for at least the first 30-40 minutes. Heed this advice & your cake should turn out better than mine.
  5. Serve this cake 1-2 days after baking to allow the flavour of the cake to develop further. Wrap the cake in a cling wrap & keep it in the fridge. Serve the cake in room temperature.
Happy baking & let me know how your cake turns out. Just leave a comment below or my FB page or Instagram. Hope to hear from you!

Cempedak Buttermilk Cake

150g cempedak flesh
1/2 tsp salt
100g butter, softened
200g sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla paste or essence
190g cake flour
190 ml buttermilk (divided into two parts)
walnuts (chopped) - for topping

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C.
  2. Line & grease  a 9¼ x 5¼ x 2½ inch loaf pan. Set aside.
  3. Combine cempedak & 90ml of the buttermilk & puree the mixture using a blender.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix flour & baking soda & sift. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar & salt until light and fluffy.
  6. Beat in eggs, one at a time, Mix until well blended. Then stir in vanilla paste.
  7. Reduce speed of mixer to the lowest possible & fold in the flour mixture alternately with the rest of the buttermilk.
  8. Stir in the cempedak puree.
  9. Pour batter into prepared pan & sprinkle chopped walnuts over top. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 160° C & continue baking for another 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Reminder: Do not open the oven for at least the first 30 minutes of baking.)
  10. Remove from oven & leave the cake in the pan for about 5 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan & leave it on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  11. Wrap the cake with cling wrap & leave for 1 or 2 days (keep it in the fridge to play safe) before serving to allow the flavour to develop. Serve at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from


PH said...

Hi Faeez! I love cempedak especially the one fried like pisang goreng. I know, not healthy! I have not had a cempedak cake before and if I do come across cempedak, I'll be sure to try your cake!

Little Steps said...

Tried this recipe. Didn't open oven door till cake completely done but cake is still dense at the bottom like yours. Not sure why....
cake smells great but a tad too sweet. Will wait 1-2 days before diggin in. Any idea what to do with the remaining buttermilk?

Faeez said...

Little Steps,
Is that so...? Maybe cempedak is not a great substitute for this recipe, or we should reduce it. Buttermilk is great for many cakes & muffins. Try googling, lots of ideas out there. ;)

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