Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wife Cake - Lao Poh Peng

 Wife Cake or Sweerheart Cake is another traditional Cantonese pastry with flaky skin & candied wintermelon , sesame seeds filling .  According to Wikipedia ,there are many legends that attempt to explain the origins of the Sweetheart cake . One tells the tale of a couple that lived a very poor life, in imperial China. They loved each other and lived in a small village . Suddenly, a mysterious disease spread. The husband's father became very sick . The couple spent all of their money in order to treat the man's father, but he was still sick . The wife sold herself as a slave in exchange for money to buy medicine for her father-in-law . Once the husband learned about what his wife did, he made a cake filled with sweetened wintermelon and almond . He dedicated this pastry to his wife, whom he could never forget, and sold it in the street . His cake became so popular that he was able to earn enough money to buy his wife back . What about husband cake that I saw at the Asian store recently ? Is there a legend too ?!!!

Submitting this post to Bake Along event organized by  Joyce of Kitchen Flavours together with  Lena of Frozen Wings &  Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids . This month’s theme is  Chinese New Year Cookies

Wife cake - Lao Poh Peng
Adapted from  My Kitchen Snippets

Ingredients for Water Dough:
70g bread flour
70g  flour
25g caster sugar
55g  shortening
70ml water, adjust as necessary

Ingredients for Oil Dough:
70g flour
35g shortening

Winter Melon Filling:
200g candied winter melon (tung kua
3 tbsp roasted white sesame seeds
3 tbsp of dry coconut
30g  sugar
40g  cooked glutinous rice flour (Koh fun
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
55ml water
1 beaten egg for egg wash
Some sesame seeds (for topping)


1) For water dough: Combine all flours and sugar in a bowl, rub in shortening till crumbly . Slowing add just enough water to form a soft and non-sticky dough . Knead until smooth. Shape into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Rest for 30 minutes. Divide into 14 equal portions.

2) For oil dough: Rub shortening into flour and knead to form soft dough. Rest for 30 minutes then divide into 14 equal portions.

3) For the filling: Finely chop together candied winter melon, sesame seeds and grated coconut. Transfer to a bowl and add sugar, glutinous rice flour, salt and oil. Stir till combine. Slowly add just enough water to form a ball.
Divide the filling into 14 portions. Roll it into balls

4) Take 1 piece of oil dough to wrap inside 1 piece of water dough and seal well. Be sure to wrap tightly & eliminate any air pocket. Flatten the dough with your palm then roll it out into long oval thin dough using a rolling pin . Roll the dough up like a Swiss roll 

5) Turn the dough 90° , flatten it and roll it out thin . Then roll it up like a Swiss roll .  Repeat step 4-5 with the remaining dough) For full tutorial HERE

6) Take 1 piece of pastry dough, press down the center of the dough  & pinch both ends  together then flatten it so the dough is roughly round shape. Roll the dough out to a circle .

7) Wrap in 1 piece of filling and seal tightly (be sure no air pocket inside). Flatten the wrapped pastry with your palm the roll it out slightly to 1/3 inch thick. Repeat the same steps with the remaining pastry

8) Cut 2 - 3 parallel slits on the top (seal side down), brush with egg wash and sprinkle with a bit of sesame seeds. Place pastries on a baking sheet and bake in preheated 400°F oven for 16-18 minutes or golden brown.


  1. Hi Kit
    I baked this biscuits years ago and I absolutely love it. Looking at yours, just make me start craving for it again. Yours looks really good and perfectly baked.

  2. Perfection! It has been ages since I last had a loa poh peng.

  3. Omg omg I love these , u r wetting my appetite with yours!

  4. I love these too, long time no eat though as nowadays not so easy to find good ones around here too.

  5. Hi Kit,

    You have baked your lao poh peng very well. Thought of baking them too but test-test my son's tastebud before committing myself to bake these cookies. And so, I bought one lao poh peng from an Asian bakery recently for my son to try and he didn't like it... my silly boy! Sadly, I can only admire yours!!!


  6. Hi Kit,
    Wow, your loa poh peng looks perfect! Love its flaky layers and and the sweet filling!
    And thanks for sharing that story. I have always enjoy reading stories like this. :)

  7. i dont know if there;s a legend on the husband's biscuits but i know you have baked them so well, nice ones kit! i hope i can attempt to make this wife biscuits some day too!