Pau Pau’s Steamed Cupcakes (Fa Gao)

Pau Pau's Steamed Cupcakes (Fa Gao) in steamer kristina cho

Kristina Cho shares this beautiful family recipe in our January/February magazine. Made in just four simple steps with only four ingredients, these light and airy Pau Pau’s Steamed Cupcakes (Fa Gao) are sure to make any occasion special. Always made for her family’s Lunar New Year, Kristina Cho tells of the superstition surrounding the little cakes, stating that the higher the bloom bakes, the more prosperity the baker will have.

Pau Pau's Steamed Cupcakes (Fa Gao)
Makes 12 cakes
  • 1 1⁄4 cups (150 grams) pancake mix, such as Bisquick
  • 1 1⁄4 cups (150 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2⁄3 cup (130 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1⁄3 cups (300 grams) water
  1. Prepare your steamer setup and bring water to a rapid boil. Line ten individual 3-inch cupcake molds with paper liners and arrange in two bamboo steamers.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk to combine the pancake mix, flour, brown sugar, and water until smooth. (The batter should be thick but runny.)
  3. Divide the batter evenly between the molds, filling each about three-quarters full. Stack the bamboo steamers and cover with a lid. Steam for 15 minutes. Lift the lid, remove the steamers, and allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  4. Specialty equipment: This recipe requires individual 3-inch cupcake/tart molds. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container (a resealable bag works great) at room temperature for up to 4 days.


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