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Recipe for Kiioritori Japanese Steam Cakes (Mushi-pan) レシピ・キイロイトリの蒸しパンの作り方

As promised, here is the Kiiroitori Japanese Steam Cakes (mushi-pan) recipe for you.

This is super easy and follows very closely to my earlier steam cakes recipes. The base of the dough is made of hotcake mix and yogurt - yummy and healthy! This is also a no-bake recipe, which I know some of you would like!

The texture of the cakes resembles our local Ma Lai Gao (as in Malay Cake). :) 

I hope to do a twist to my steam cake recipes soon, but in the meantime, I always go back to this trusty recipe that works all the time.

Am also happy that several blog followers have tried my steam cake recipes with success! Yeay! If you have tried making them too, let me know how it goes. One of them was so creative and even made domo-kun versions which were very cute.


Recipe for Kiioritori Japanese Steam Cakes (mushi-pan) 


Makes 8 medium steam cakes
*the muffin cups are about 6cm diameter and 3.7cm tall.

Hotcake mix 150g (I used Morinaga brand hotcake mix)
Plain low fat yoghurt 100g (I used marigold plain yogurt with sugar)
*If you are using plain yogurt without sugar, please add 50g of sugar instead of 20g stated below.
sugar 20g
baking powder 5g
salad oil 1tbsp
egg (small) 2
vanilla essence 3~5 drops

For eyes/nose/feet details:
dark cocoa powder 0.5tsp
plain flour 0.5 tsp
red icing color 
yellow icing color 
(I used Wilton icing colors)

1.Add all ingrdients (A) in a large mixing bowl and mix well. 
2. Scoop 2tsp of the dough mixture from step 1. Add red and yellow icing colors and add 0.5 tsp of plain flour, mix well to color it orange.  
3. Scoop 2tsp of dough mixture from step 1 and add 0.5tsp dark cocoa powder, mix well. 

4. Divide the remaining dough mixture from step 1 into 8 medium cupcake cups. Fill each to about 70% full. Set aside. 
  • Knock the base of the cupcake cups to remove air bubbles.

5. Place the orange dough and black dough from step 2 and step 3 into 2 separate piping bags. 
6. Draw the patterns on top of the cupcake cups filled with dough from step 4. Over here, I started with the orange color for the nose. Followed by the nostrils, eyes and feet. 
7. Place the steam cakes on a steamer rack and steam at low heat for 12 mins.
  • Please ensure that the pot is high enough as the cakes will rise when steamed. 
  • In addition, highly recommend to cover the pot lid with a steamer cloth to prevent water from dripping onto the cakes. It will spoil the design and may cause sinking. 

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  1. Keen to try this recipe. What's a steam cloth and where can I buy it?

    1. Hi Susan

      sorry for the late reply. The steam cloth can be bought that kitchenware stores that sell chinese cooking tools. Or you can get them at 100yen stores too. I saw them sold at Daiso

  2. Scream!!!! Super duper CUTE Kiiroitori steam cake ever!!! You're amazing dear ^_^ Hopefully I can squeeze some time to steam them!!

    1. thank you so much karen :) Glad u like them! I had fun making them!

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! they were so fun to make and very yummy!

  5. Sigh.. my end product is never as cute as yours :(

    1. try again dear! The first few times can be frustrating, you need to get the hand of it! :)

  6. Hi, I tried but not successful. The eyes and nose went missing and the feets got stretched really far. Not sure what went wrong?

    1. Hi Patsy, usually it is because of the consistency of the dough. Did you follow all the ingredients? It is important to add plain flour to the colored parts so that they come paste-like, thicker. Try again! I have some fans who failed the first round but once they got the hang of it, it will be great and very fun! :)
      as for the drawing of the parts, it takes a little practice. Remember that the cake will rise, and top/center part will be taller than the rest. hence if you design is too near the edges, it may be stretched more.

  7. Hi Shirley, I've tried too but not successful. Dunno is it cos I steamed for too long. Do I need to use toothpick to test if steamed cake is cooked? Cos after 12 mins, I use a toothpick to check but it doesn't come out clean. So I steam again for another 5 + 5 mins causing it to be not as soft. Btw for how long can the cakes be kept & must I keep them in the fridge? Thanks.

    1. Hi Choon Lay, how large is your muffin cups? 12-13mins should be more than enough time and cooked through.

    2. Oh yes, and as this is homemade and no preservatives. Plus there is yogurt. I usually keep no more than 2 days. :)

    3. Hi Shirley, thanks for ur reply. My muffin cup is 6cm in diameter. Does it mean I can leave the steamed cakes under room temperature? Thanks.

    4. Hi Choon Lay, hmmm weird cause mine is also 6cm diameter and about 3.7cm tall. 12-13mins is more than sufficient for me.

      Anyway, an extra few minutes of steaming should not affect too much.

      Just to check, what was the problem u faced? the features of the cake did not come out? Aside from not cooked through...

    5. Hi Shirley, my muffin cup abt 3.5cm tall. The features of the cake did come out but not as cute as urs :'( also the surface looks damp (though I used steamed cloth) & ultimately the surface turned out to be a thick n relatively harder texture after cooked.

    6. Hi Choon Lay, do not be discouraged. it is your first try, it will get better.

      If the surface is very damp, your steamer cloth might not be sufficient, perhaps try 2 layers :)

  8. Hi Shirley, thanks for ur encouragement n advice. I'll definitely try again ;)

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  10. Hi Shirley, just to check with you that where did you get the Morinaga brand hotcake mix? Can I use other brand pancake mix if I can't find that?
    Thanks in advance! (:

    1. Hi Shirley, you can get the Morinaga hotcake mix at all Japanese supermarkets here including Mediya and Isetan. You can also sometimes find them at selected NTUC Fairprice and Cold Storage.

  11. I just tried this cute steam cake. I used other brand than Morinaga and it turns out perfect. Its smooth rounded top makes it look even cuter. My kids love them! But I prefer to be a bit sweeter. Well means I got another chance to make another design. Thanks a lot Shirley!

  12. I just tried this cute cake. I used other brand of pancake mix from NTUC and it turned out perfect. Its smooth rounded top make this cute cake even cuter. My kids love it...and can't wait to eat them. Oh..I prefer to be a bit sweeter, means I got another chance to make another design. Thanks a lot Shirley!

    1. Awwww thank you soooo much! So happy !!!! I am happy! Can you share with me which other pancake mix you use? if you dont mind, do send me your photos, I would love to see your creations! You can email me at or find me on FB at :)

  13. I just tried this cute steam cake. I used other brand than Morinaga and it turns out perfect. Its smooth rounded top makes it look even cuter. My kids love them! But I prefer to be a bit sweeter. Well means I got another chance to make another design. Thanks a lot Shirley!

  14. hihi was wondering if there's other alternative if I dont' have the steam cloth?
    also can I use olive oil instead of salad oil?

    1. Best to replace salad oil with vegetable oil such as canola oil. If you use sunflower or olive oil, it sometimes adds a certain 'taste' to the cake that may not be pleasant.

      For the steam cloth, you can perhaps replace with thin cotton cloth. Do you have access to Daiso or 100yen stores< they may carry the steam cloths.

    2. hello!
      thanks for replying :D
      I did the recipe though it didn't turn out as cute as yours but I had great fun hehe. Thanks for this entry :)

    3. No problem, I would love to see the cakes!! if you dont mind, share them with me, you can email me at :)


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