Kuih Seri Muka


9 inch round cake pan


10 min


1 hr 20 min

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Seri muka is a Malaysian steamed layer cake (kuih) which consist of a glutinous rice (thai sweet rice – sticky rice) layer steamed with coconut milk and a sweet pandan custard layer to finish off. It’s green layer comes from the pandan leaf, but some do add green colouring. I prefer to stick with the natural green the pandan leaf gives out once blended.

Glutinous Rice/Nasi Pulut/Thai Sweet Rice that is available in an Asian shop near me

Glutinous Rice/Nasi Pulut/Thai Sweet Rice that is available in an Asian shop near me

Kuih means cakes in Malay. Seri Muka translates to radiant face or pretty face. So this is a pretty face cake. 🙂 I’m guessing what it’s called seri muka is because of the smooth top layer it has after it has been steamed. However, I seem to not be able to get that 100% smooth surface. There always seems to be a large bubble spot on it. Other than that, it actually is quite smooth.

This kuih is found in morning markets, school canteens, cake stands and just about every place that has a person selling kuih’s. It is eaten as a dessert, a snack, or at tea time.

Recipe adapted from Sea Salt with Food’s Kuih Seri Muka. I have tried and read number of recipes and this one has so far been a good replica.

Glutinous Rice Layer

  • 400 grams Glutinous Rice
  • 150 ml Coconut Milk
  • 100 ml Water
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Pandan Leaves, knotted

Pandan Custard Layer

  • 150 ml Pandan Juice, see tips
  • 5 Tablespoons Cornflour
  • 3 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
  • 3 Eggs, large (53g +/- per egg)
  • 200 ml Coconut Milk
  • 140 grams Sugar
  • A Pinch Salt


  • Glutinous Rice Layer
  1. Soak glutinous rice with water for at least 1 ½ hours prior to using. Drain.
  2. Prepare a 9-inch round or square cake pan and spray with cooking spray or line with plastic wrap.
  3. Mix coconut milk, water, salt and the rice. Pour it into cake pan, topped with the pandan knots.
  4. Steam for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, fluff up the rice and remove pandan knots. Then, using a greased spatula, flatten the steamed rice. Make sure there are no holes/air bubbles and gaps in the rice, especially the sides.
  6. Steam for another 10 minutes.


  • Pandan Custard Layer
  1. Combine pandan juice, coconut milk, all purpose flour, cornflour, and sugar. Mix well.
  2. Add eggs and whisk well then strain into a medium sized metal bowl or pot.
  3. Place pandan mixture over simmering water (double boiler or bain-marie)
  4. Stir continuously and cook till custard starts to thicken. (15 minutes)
  5. Pour pandan custard into glutinous rice layer, give it a little tap (for air bubbles) and continue to steam for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove kuih seri muka from the steamer and allow to cool completely before cutting into rectangles or diamond shapes.


  • Pandan Juice: Take 10 pandan leaves and cut them (to make blending easier). Blend with 200ml water. Strain with cheesecloth.
  • Wrap steamer cover with a cloth tightly. This is to prevent water droplets from dropping.
  • Glutinous rice layer has to be hot while pouring in the pandan custard layer, otherwise it will not stick to each other.
  • Cups to Grams conversions
  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour = 104 grams
  • If you do not have fresh pandan leaves, you can use pandan extract or flavouring.
  • Store kuih seri muka in an airtight container once it has completely cooled down. Consume within 24 hours.
  • Do not refrigerate, this will make the glutinous rice layer to become very hard.


Cherry's Signature

Kuih Seri Muka

Kuih Seri Muka


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  1. Reena 3 years ago

    The dessert is amazing. I already tried it and I reduced the coconut milk for pullout rice 100ml and Pandan layer 150ml and adjusted with a bit more water since I used very thick coconut milk. I also added 10grams sugar extra and also 1.5 teaspoon salt cause I liked it that way. 🙂

  2. jesse 3 years ago

    you left out where to add the 200 ml of coconut milk for the top layer

    • Owh my! Thank you for informing me! It’s been up for 6 months and I did not realise it! Thanks again. 🙂 It has been updated.

  3. aninie 3 years ago

    I am going to make it today, for the first time! My daughter loved them so much and we always bought it. After reading through your recipe, I am thrilled and encouraged to make it myself.

    • All the best! Making it at home is a little more hard work but it seriously is worth it. Plus, you can control the sweetness too! Hope you and your daughter enjoy it.

  4. aninie 3 years ago

    Hi Cherry! The recipe turns out to be super marvelous! I have tried the recipe twice, first one is half a success since the pandan custards I made is too soft. Nonetheless it still taste super good! The second time my kuih seri muka is perfect!
    My daughters and my husband, they loved it! Thanks for sharing the recipe. It is going to be included in my keepsake recipe heheh.

    • Owh so sorry for the first one! My first one turned out a little runny to as I didn’t cook it long enough in the first step. Glad your’s turned out well after that. 🙂

  5. Jan Wee 3 years ago

    Hi Cherry,
    The recipe is fantastic. I mixed the white glutinous rice with a handful of pulot hitam and it turned out as purple maroonish which was quite nice! Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Jan Wee, thanks for trying the recipe! I never thought of using pulut hitam for it. Must try it out one day!

  6. Geoff 2 years ago

    Thanks for the recipe, Cherry.
    I moved to Canada over 20 years ago but do missed some of the desserts I had from childhood; Decided to try out a few recipes and stumbled upon this in my Google search. Turns out great.
    Being single, consuming the whole batch immediately by myself before it spoils was not an option.
    Solution: micro-wave for a couple of minutes and let it cool. Good as new.

    • Most welcomed Geoff. I’m the only one that eats it in my household so I make it only when I meet friends or if I have guest over. How I miss just being able to buy a piece or two for tea time back in Malaysia! Glad you tried it out.

  7. Shanthinee 2 years ago

    I just made this 5mins ago. I got to say for an amateur like myself,I’m so happy seri muka turned out oh so well. Thank you for the lovely recipe.

  8. Winnie 2 years ago

    I tried making the kaya part but it came out lumpy. Did I overcook it ?

    • Hi, sorry for the late reply. Sorry it came out lumpy. It was probably overcooked or the eggs cooked before the rest. Did you whisk it continuously? When cooking custard you must always keep a close eye on it to prevent the egg from scrambling. Hope you try it again!

  9. Hi,
    Can i replace it with brown sugar instead?

    • admin 2 years ago

      Sorry for getting back to you so late.

      Yes you can, though the color of the end product might be slightly different as a result.

  10. Hui Ping 2 years ago

    I live in the US and I’m very exited to find this recipe, What is the size of the pan you used?

    • Hi Hui Ping! I used an 8 inch in diameter round pan because that was what I had on hand. But you can use a square pan too if you have one.

  11. Dayana 2 years ago

    I was looking for a good and thorough kuih seri muka recipe and stumbled upon yours on google. I just tried out this recipe today (my first time!) and it was a success!! I truly appreciate all the tips you listed out too. I’d probably double the top layer’s ingredient next time as that’s the part that I like most 🙂 Now I don’t have to worry about craving for this kuih anymore since I live in the US. Thanks again!!

    • Hi Dayana! Thanks for trying it out and I’m glad you succeeded. I like the pandan layer too and could probably just eat it without the pulut.

  12. richardteh 2 years ago

    Just want to enquire your one tablespon flour is how many gram. Thanks.

    • Hi Richard, sorry for the utterly late response. 1 tablespoon of flour is 8 grams. You can also find a full conversion chart here.

  13. Eunice Leow 1 year ago

    I try and done the recipe but don’t know why the top part not smooth and few shown of air bubbles and budging up.. Please advice.. thanks!

    • Hi Eunice, there can be a number of problems. Perhaps the pandan layer was overcooked while making the custard? Did it start to curdle or the eggs start to scramble? Did you give the cake pan a tap before steaming it? Hope this helps and please do not hesitate to contact me via cherry@makan.ch

  14. joeywong81 1 year ago

    where can i buy the Ko-Ko thai sweet rice ?

    • I bought this in an Asian store, but if you live in Malaysia, Thailand or Singapore, I am sure you can find glutinous rice in grocery stores. It’s also known as Nasi Pulut.

  15. Hi Cherry,
    I ran out of eggs.. and only have 2 eggs. Is there anything I can substitute it with like gelatin?

    • You might be able to, though the texture of the pandan layer will definitely not be the same as to just using eggs.

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