Eleanor’s Sugee Cake

Fancy cakes do not usually catch my attention. I prefer the humble butter cake that Mum used to bake. The buttery aroma and moist texture right out from the oven was almost heavenly, never mind that it was scalding hot to the bite. Once in a long while, she would bake a sugee butter cake. It was, and still is, my favourite.

The sugee cake is baked with semolina instead of flour. That together with chopped almonds give the cake its coarse texture. Apparently, the sugee cake is an Eurasian recipe. Mum must have learnt to bake when she was working as a cook with an Eurasian family in Penang in the 1950s.

Eleanor Cheah's sugee cake baked with recipe from her mother-in-law
Sugee cake that Eleanor baked for me.

I have never forgotten the sugee cake after so many years. The bakeries in Kuala Lumpur do not have it. Therefore, when Eleanor posted in Facebook two slices of sugee cake that she baked with the recipe from her mother-in-law, I shamelessly asked for one slice.

Unbeknownst to me, she baked a whole cake for me yesterday and delivered it all the way from her house at the other end of Kuala Lumpur, braving torrential rain and the notorious Klang Valley traffic jams.

Truth be told, I have not had sugee cake for twenty years. Imagine my elation at the first bite. It was moist, its texture coarse and its aroma buttery with just the right amount of sweetness. Two decades of craving was finally satiated and I had more to feast on than I had wished for. I am blessed with wonderful friends. Thank you Eleanor!