Apam Gula Hangus Recipe | Cupcake Project
Home  »  Recipes  »  Cupcakes  »  Apam Gula Hangus

Apam Gula Hangus

Apam gula hangus are Malaysian caramel cakes made using a steamer. With the addition of a salted caramel glaze, they taste just like Werther’s Original candies!

Apum Gula Hangus

What is Apam Gula Hangus

Apam gula hangus are steamed caramel cupcakes popular on the streets of Malaysia. I added fleur de sel to my recipe to make them salted steamed caramel cupcakes – or salted apam gula hangus.

Apum Gula Hangus

Advantages of Baking in the Steamer

1. Steamed cupcakes have a nice, spongy texture.

2. If your entire oven is in use (or if you don’t have an oven), you can still make cupcakes.

Disadvantages of Baking in the Steamer

1. Unless you have a giant commercial steamer, you can only make four cupcakes at a time.

2. Because the cupcakes are not in a cupcake tin, they spread out and don’t have as nice of a shape if you use paper liners. To ensure that steamed cupcakes hold their shape, I suggest using silicone liners. If that isn’t important to you, make them with paper liners as you see in my images.

Is Apam Gula Hangus Frosted?

Traditionally, apam gula hangus is not frosted. However, I add a salted caramel glaze to mine.

I use the frosting in two ways:

  • I poke holes in the cupcakes and drizzle lots of caramel inside of them.
  • I also put the caramel in the fridge until it hardens more and spread it on top.
Join the free mailing list to receive the latest recipes, tips, and tricks by email!
Apam Gula Hangus
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Apam Gula Hangus

A twist on apam gula hangus (steamed caramel cakes) with a salted caramel frosting!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Malaysian
Keyword apam gula hangus, salted caramel frosting
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 612.09kcal
Author Stef


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or any salt of your choice
  • 1 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 1/3 cup milk

Salted Caramel Glaze Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or any salt of your choice


Cupcake Instructions

  • In a small saucepan on low hear, melt the sugar. 
  • When the color turns golden brown, immediately remove from heat and pour in the boiling water. (Note: This takes 10-15 minutes) 
  • Return to the heat and stir until the caramelized sugar dissolves in the water. 
  • Remove from heat, stir in fluer de sel, and cool completely.
  • In a small mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 
  • In a separate mixing bowl, mix cooled caramel syrup, egg, sugar, melted butter and milk. Stir well until sugar dissolves. 
  • Combine the wet ingredients to the sifted flour mixture. Whisk gently until it is lump free. Pour the batter into cupcake liners until 3/4 full. 
  • Steam on high for 15 minutes. (Note: Be careful not to burn yourself when removing the cupcakes from the steamer. I used tongs.) Cool completely before glazing.

Salted Caramel Glaze Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a large, deep heavy-duty saucepan. Stir in the sugar and and stir until golden brown. (Note: Do this on low to medium heat. The first time I did it, I did it on high and everything burnt. This should take about 10 minutes.)
  • Take off the heat and pour in half the cream and whisk like a crazy person until the caramel is smooth. Whisk in the rest of the cream and the salt.

Cupcake Assembly

  • Poke holes in the cupcakes and drizzle copious amounts of the caramel into them.Chill the rest of the caramel in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Once it is thicker, spread the caramel over the cupcakes.


I got the recipe for this cupcake from Pusiva's Culinary Studio. I have reprinted the recipe below. The only change from the original was to add the fleur de sel. A VERY important point about this recipe is that it did not state how many cupcakes it would make. As it turns out it, it only made 6 cupcakes. Definitely double it if you would like more than 6.
I got the salted caramel frosting recipe from Vanilla Garlic. He used it on Apple Cardamom cupcakes which make me drool just looking at them.


Nutrition Facts
Apam Gula Hangus
Amount Per Serving
Calories 612.09 Calories from Fat 316
% Daily Value*
Fat 35.09g54%
Saturated Fat 21.71g109%
Cholesterol 133.41mg44%
Sodium 1109.64mg46%
Potassium 85.63mg2%
Carbohydrates 71.68g24%
Fiber 0.7g3%
Sugar 50.74g56%
Protein 5.05g10%
Vitamin A 1230.88IU25%
Vitamin C 0.24mg0%
Calcium 54.74mg5%
Iron 1.34mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!


Love it? Share it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

27 comments on “Apam Gula Hangus”

  1. Hi Stef,

    Steaming cupcakes is totally new to me, so I really enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for the pros and cons of steaming. If I ever get a serious cupcake hankering when my oven is broken, I’ll know what to do. :)

  2. i’m making meatloaf cupcakes with ketchup/worcestershire and cumin glaze for my son’s first birthday. i’ll post a recipe on my food blog (http://thenewfoodie.blogspot.com)once i get some pictures of it, and i’ll send you the link!

  3. CBsays:

    So interesting! I wonder how the cupcakes would hold up steaming in PNCs? They are stiffer so I assume would hold their shape better. Now if I only had a steamer. haha. Great read as always…

  4. I am glad I have introduced another foodie to a delicious something! If you want to learn more about fleur de sel do have a look at http://tinyurl.com/2njkvc and http://tinyurl.com/33olpv
    Try adding it after cooking to your dishes (on the plate). It is expensive but does taste so much better!
    Btw, never heard of steamed cupcakes before!

  5. Man are you one clever cupcake or what?!?! I love your passion for the science of cupcakery. I apologize for my husband as well ;-)
    I’m a huge fan for the salted caramel (especially in ice cream, drool). Cupcake Bakeshop has a frosting recipe that has turned out really well for me. *in case you’re worried about the frosting vs. glaze controversy.
    I’ll admit~ I personally view frosting as a fundamental food group.

  6. Nikki57says:

    Very Interesting. I think I need to give them a try purely for the thrill of it

  7. Stefsays:

    Susan – Glad you learned something!

    Piano – That sounds interesting! I look forward to seeing your post.

    CB – Good point. I bet that would work better.

    Vagabond – Thanks again for all the tips!

    Tempered – Thanks! I actually thought about using that cupcake bakeshop recipe. Glad to hear a review of it.

    Nikki – Hah! Let me know if you do.

  8. ~Msays:

    I wonder if you could make cucpcakes in a crockpot – if you had a large oval one, you might be able to fit 6. I’ve seen quick breads cooked in crockpots, with something (like a chopstick) to keep the lid slightly ajar.

  9. i’d eat those.

    had salted caramel ice cream at Niche the other night. my hubby’s favorite.

  10. Stefsays:

    M – Intersting. I may have to give crockpot cupcakes a go sometime.

    CW – I’ve never tried the ice cream flavor. That would be yummy on some apple pie.

  11. pumpkinpiesays:

    Your cake looks similar to the delicious golden cake made in giant bamboo steamers at our favorite dim sum restaurants here in Hong Kong. Mmm!

  12. pumpkinpiesays:

    Now that I think about it, most people in Hong Kong don’t even have an oven. Everything is cooked in a wok or steamer. There are cake shops here but their American-style cakes taste terrible. It is a bad sign when you walk past a bakery and there is no enticing smell. Baking at home is a challenge because the humidity is very high, so maybe steamed cake is the way to go.

  13. Stef: THAT’S WHAT IT WAS ON!!! You are a smartie!! It was more like an apple cobbler…not pie…but almost the same thing.

  14. Cakespysays:

    WOW, I never knew you could do this! It looks wonderful, I wonder if it makes them more bagel-y (in terms of being chewier)?

  15. Stefsays:

    Pumpkin – Interesting. Thanks for sharing!

    CW – Hah! Go me!

    Cakespy – They weren’t chewy at all. They were very airy.

  16. Chrissays:

    Playing with salts is fun.

    Yeah they are pricey, but it isn’t like you use a cup at a time.

  17. hi stef,
    thanx for dropping by my blog! i followed your blog all throughout your trials and tribulations in preparation for the wedding cupcake project and was so happy to see how it all turned out! i’m a big fan….love all your experiments!

  18. YvonneMsays:

    Hi Steph, good job on the steamed cupcake. I’m from Malaysia and couldn’t resist posting a suggestion for frosting. Coconut! Many of the local steamed cakes have coconut as an ingredient – coconut milk blended with other ingredients or grated coconut (with a little salt and sugar) to top the cake.
    Your frosting of salted caramel is an inspired complement to the apam!
    Well done!

  19. Stefsays:

    Chris – Yeah, more fun with salt is definitely in my future. :)

    Airy – Thanks! I love to know that people are reading and enjoying. It always makes my day!

    Yvonnem – Oooh.. that would be so yummy! Too bad Bride and Groom 2.0 have banned coconut. Perhaps after this wedding I’ll give it a try.

  20. Ok, that’s it! i HAVE to make these cupcakes. Let’s blame it on pregnancy, because that makes it acceptable. My sesame-sized child NEEDS these cupcakes. However, i would really rather bake them. Do you have any suggestions as far temp/time in the oven? Thanks!

  21. Stefsays:

    Piano – Hmmm… I honestly don’t know how these would work baked. The recipe is really designed to be steamed. What you might consider doing is making a basic yellow cupcake and drizzling the salted caramel inside it and putting it on top. You could also cut a hole in the cupcake and just dump some caramel right in there. Then again, you could just try following the recipe and baking it at 350 for 20 min. I will not promise results though.

  22. Anayllisays:

    These look delicious!! Anything that tastes like Werther’s (man i haven’t had those in so long!) has go to be amazing…

  23. Anonymoussays:

    My steamer is a 3 tiered electric one. I also have latex baking trays, so I’m thinking i could cut one into 3 and steam 12 cupcakes at a time. I am definitely going to try this!

    Lisa (i dont have a blogger thing)

  24. hahahaha, the vid isn’t asian, it’s in swedish :D Probably some goofers who dubbed the original commercial, cause it says something about that the candy has morfin and sleeping pills in it so the kids aren’t as messy.. Tralala, my english sux xD

    and this was kind of an unnecessary post, but now you know :]

  25. Anonymoussays:

    these sounds so interesting! i’m actually of indian descent and we are no stranger to steamed cakes (various different “appams) we have a contraption we use to make idli (a disk shaped steamed cake, i wonder how well it would hold up with a cupcake liners perhaps silicone liners? I can’t wait to try these!

  26. Naomisays:

    This is similar to making Boston Brown Bread which is steamed in used tin cans. Maybe this would work better than cupcake liners for keeping the cupcakes uniformly round and maybe even a bit bigger. Just a thought. I live in Vietnam where there are no ovens and will definately try your recipe.

  27. Lyannasays:

    Hey Stef,

    I’m a Malaysian baker and I just wanted to say how thrilled I am that you added a Malaysian-based cupcake to your list. Cheers! :)


Show All Comments

Stay Connected!

Join my mailing list - and receive a free eBook!

Sign me up!
Gray Logos Representing Media Where Cupcake Project has Appeared
Next Post