Palm Sugar Wajik and Pandan Wajik – Sweet Sticky Rice Cake

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Wajik sticky rice cake is steamed glutinous rice cake with palm sugar and coconut milk. The palm sugar fragrances is absorbed by the sticky rice creating delightful sensation for an afternoon dessert. Here are two simple recipes for wajik!

sticky rice cake

Palm sugar wajik sticky rice cake is traditional Indonesian dessert that has been popular in Indonesia. Many people from young to older generations love it.

It is brown in color, light brown to dark brown depending on the sugar used in the ingredient. And if you use pandan extract the color will be light green to dark green.

Origin and History

Wajik originated from Java island since ancient kingdom Majapahit. It was written in their ancient book called Kitab Nawaruci.  

The name wajik comes from its diamond shape. Wajik means diamond shape. Later many forms were created along the way, but the original taste remains the same.

This sticky rice cake symbolizes unity and harmony. In Indonesian culture, it represents hospitality, warmth, and togetherness.

It is usually served during cultural celebrations, wedding ceremonies, religious festivals, and family gatherings.

Palm Sugar Wajik

The color of this sweet dessert is light brown to dark brown depending on the sugar used in the ingredients. Coconut sugar tends to be a little light in color, while palm sugar is darker.

palm sugar wajik

Palm sugar wajik has always been my favorite dessert since my childhood. The richness taste of palm sugar gives a hint of earthiness and caramel that blends well with coconut milk.

Pandan Wajik

A creative creation from palm sugar sticky rice cake is pandan wajik. Indonesians use a lot of pandan leaves in many dessert creations. Its aromatic fragrance and color give a special delight to this Indonesian dessert.

pandan wajik

Pandan wajik and palm sugar wajik only differ in its sweetener. Pandan wajik uses regular white sugar to let the green color stand out bright.

I have tried both flavors. Even though I love the aromatic flavor of pandan extract, I still prefer palm sugar wajik for its unique sensation.

Variations

I have seen someone on Instagram making butterfly pea flower wajik, so the color is blue. The taste is not much different from pandan wajik because it uses regular white sugar and butterfly pea flower doesn’t have any flavor at all.

Wajik Recipe

The recipes I am about to share is palm sugar wajik and pandan wajik. You can make both of them just like what I did in the video and decide which one is your favorite.

Ingredients

Palm Sugar Wajik Sticky Rice Cake

  • 250 gr glutinous rice
  • 90 gr palm sugar/coconut sugar
  • 60 gr white sugar 
  • 75 ml water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 2 pcs pandan leaves

Pandan Wajik Sticky Rice

  • 250 gr glutinous rice
  • 125 gr white sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 40 ml pandan extract

Preparation

In preparing this sticky rice cake dessert, there is not much to do. You need to wash the sticky rice 2-3 times like you usually wash regular rice. Later, you will have to soak the sticky rice overnight or 8-10 hours before cooking.

Another thing is banana leaves. You may want to wash some banana leaves and wipe them clean to act as baking paper in a pan or as wrapper.

How To

  1. Wash glutinous rice 2-3 times. Soak the glutinous rice overnight or at least 8 hours. The next day, drain the water.
  2. Put the sticky rice in a bowl or pan separately and steam them for 30 minutes.
  3. While waiting, you can prepare the sugar mixture.
  4. Put the palm sugar, regular white sugar, water, salt, and coconut milk together in a sauce pan. Put pandan leaves in a knot. Cook until all sugar is dissolved.
  5. Pour the sugar in a container and let it cool.
  6. For pandan sugar mixture: put white sugar, salt, pandan extract, and coconut milk together in a pan. Cook until sugar dissolves. Let it cool.
  7. After 30 minutes, the sticky rice should be done steaming. Take it out, put in a sauce pan. Pour palm sugar mixture in it. Cook with low heat, stir until the sugar is absorbed completely by the sticky rice.
  8. Transfer to a baking pan or use a cake mold. If you use baking pan, line it with banana leaf. If you use a cake mold, you can also line it with banana leaf first or brush it with a little oil to prevent sticking. Spread the sticky rice with a spatula to let it fill the pan evenly. Press lightly.
  9. Pandan wajik: put the sticky rice in a pan, pour the pandan sugar mixture into it. Keep stirring with low heat until the liquid is absorbed completely by the sticky rice.
  10. Transfer to a pan lined with banana leaf. Spread evenly and press lightly.
  11. Let the cake cool completely before cutting it. You can cut it in small sizes and in diamond shape or rectangular like I did.
  12. Decorate or wrap with banana leaves.
  13. Enjoy!

FAQ

Q: What is the difference between palm sugar sticky rice cake and pandan sticky rice cake?

A: Palm sugar wajik is the original version of this sweet dessert, it has the rich flavor of palm sugar as its main ingredient. While pandan wajik has the fragrance of pandan leaves, making it light and aromatic.

Q: Can I substitute palm sugar with another sweetener in palm sugar sticky rice cake?

A: Palm sugar is the main ingredient in this dessert. If you want to experiment using coconut sugar or brown sugar, you are welcomed to do so. However, the flavor will not be the same.

Q: How long does it take to make palm sugar sticky rice cake?

A: The preparation for the sticky rice can be done overnight while you are sleeping. Steaming the sticky rice takes 30 minutes and cooking the sugar takes 10 minutes. Incorporating the sugar mixture to the sticky rice takes about 10 minutes. Letting the sticky rice set in the mold may take 20 minutes. So, overall the time needed to make palm sugar wajik may be around 1.5 to 2 hours.

Q: Is this dessert gluten-free?

A: The main ingredient is glutinous rice or sticky rice which is naturally gluten-free. However, check other ingredients if you add any to the original recipein order  to keep the gluten-free status.

Q: Can I store palm sugar wajik and pandan wajik?

A: Yes, you can keep them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, as long as you keep them in a tight container. It is still recommended to consume it fresh to enjoy the best flavor and texture.

Conclusion

Wajik or sweet sticky rice cake in Indonesia has been Indonesia’s culinary heritage for hundreds of years and still popular until now.

This sweet dessert is easy to make and carries Indonesian’s local flavor of pandan and palm sugar. With the recipes mentioned above, you can also create your own wajik.

There are many dessert recipes from Indonesia that uses glutinous rice, you may want to check Ongol-ongol or Lemper Ayam which is more savory than sweet.

palm sugar wajik

PALM SUGAR WAJIK STICKY RICE CAKE

Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes

Indulge in the rich flavor of palm sugar wajik sticky rice cake with coconut milk, a traditional Indonesian dessert!

Ingredients

  • 250 gr glutinous rice
  • 90 gr palm sugar/coconut sugar
  • 60 gr white sugar
  • 75 ml water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 2 pcs pandan leaves

Instructions

  1. Soak glutinous rice overnight. The next day, steam the sticky rice for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook palm sugar, white sugar, salt, coconut milk, and pandan leaves in a pan until the sugar dissolves.
  3. After 30 minutes of steaming, put the sticky rice in a pan, and pour the palm sugar mixture. Cook until the sugar is fully absorbed by the sticky rice.
  4. Transfer the sticky rice into a pan, lined with banana leaf. Spread evenly and press lightly.
  5. Let it cool completely.
  6. Cut according to your preference.
  7. Enjoy!
pandan wajik

PANDAN WAJIK STICKY RICE CAKE

Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes

Taste the pandan wajik sticky rice cake with its floral aromatic fragrance. An authentic traditional Indonesian dessert!

Ingredients

  • 250 gr glutinous rice
  • 100-125 gr white sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 250 ml coconut milk (200 ml coconut milk+50 ml water)
  • 40 ml pandan extract

Instructions

  1. Soak the glutinous rice overnight. The next day, steam for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook sugar, salt, and coconut milk together in a sauce pan until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Let it cool.
  4. After steaming, put the sticky rice in a sauce pan, pour the pandan sugar mixture. Cook until the sugar is absorbed completely by the sticky rice.
  5. Transfer to a baking pan lined with banana leaf or into a mold.
  6. Spread evenly and press lightly.
  7. Let it cool completely.
  8. Cut according to your preference.
  9. Enjoy!

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