Carrots may not be everyone’s choice of vegetables, but when it comes to carrot cake, it is a popular go-to breakfast, tea time (or any time) favourite for many! Before you read on, at this point in time, are you actually thinking of the fried local Cai Tao Kueh or the western-style Carrot Cake? Expectedly in one of our recent polls, 90% of Singaporeans immediately associate it with the local favorites commonly found in hawker centers, while a handful of 10% thought of a slice of carrot cake available in some cafes and restaurants.
Whichever carrot cake you personally prefer, The Luna Space team is definitely Camp Love-Them-Both! – and so, we just had to dig in (pun intended) and find out more about the making of the respective carrot cake from the experts!
Why is Cai Tao Kueh called Cai Tao Kueh?
Steven Teo: Many people do not know this, but Cai Tao Kueh is actually this white version (as pictured below); the black version is called Char Kueh instead. In the past, only the white Cai Tao Kueh actually consists of real carrots 🥕 while the black Char Kueh doesn’t. We are also the first one whom “invented” the square shape of fried Cai Tao Kueh, as we do not like mashing them up.
What are some of the main ingredients that makes up a Cai Tao Kueh?
Steven Teo: There are carrot, rice flour, and we also add cai por (preserved radish) into our kueh.
How is the preparation process like for you?
Steven Teo: My mornings start at 3.30am every day, and I start making the cakes (kueh) for the next morning. By around 5.45 – 6am. I will begin to steam them which takes about 4.5 hours in total. This whole preparation process daily is actually for the next following day, as it is best to let the kueh cool and hydrate out completely to achieve its optimum ‘QQ’ texture.
In terms of recipe…
Steven Teo: My “secret” recipe is actually in the kueh, and the rest of the ingredients and process are pretty general and standard. However of course, the taste is also highly dependable on the frying process itself – like how well do you control the fire and timing.
Steven Teo is the second generation who has been manning this stall for 40+ years now since he was 26 years old. His father first started the business in 1970-1971, and had learnt the craft of frying Cai Tao Kueh from an old friend. Steven Teo plans to pass the business down to his daughter when he retires.
(He Zhong Carrot Cake stall located in Bukit Timah Food Centre)
(Steven Teo; second generation managing the business currently)
On the ang moh style Carrot Cake…
Why is it called Carrot Cake? Are there real carrots used?
The Royals Cafe: Yes, the western Carrot Cake is made of real shredded carrots. 🥕
What are some of the key ingredients into making a Carrot Cake?
The Royals Cafe: There are red carrots, walnuts, cinnamon and flour.
How long does it take on average to make a Carrot Cake?
The Royals Cafe: About 1.5 hours!
How is a slice of Carrot Cake best served/eaten?
The Royals Cafe: It is best consumed a little warm! Customers can heat it in the microwave for about 10 seconds.
(W39 Bistro & Bakery is the sister brand of The Royals Café.
The Carrot Cake is available at both brands.)
(Shopfront of W39 Bistro & Bakery café located at Jln Mas Puteh)
Leave us a comment below and let us know if you are Camp Cai Tao Kueh or Camp Ang Moh Carrot Cake!