food 4 tots

Japanese steamed sausage cakes

mushipan, Japanese steamed cakes, steamed sausage cakes, toddler, healthy snack, Food For Tots, recipe for toddlers


Mushi-pan ( 蒸しパン ), literally translated as steamed cupbread. But if you ask Uncle Google, you will also find it being associated with buns, cakes or muffins. Personally, I like to call it a “cake” as its texture is closer to a light version of mini cupcake, but not as dense and chewy as the tradition Chinese prosperity cakes (“fatt gou/ huat kueh” 发糕).

I must say that mushipan is the easiest thing to make when compared to all the other baked goods that I had tried so far. The original mushipan recipe only uses six basic ingredients, namely egg, sugar, low protein flour, baking powder, milk and salad oil. Mix them well, pour the batter into moulds and steam them!  With just 15 minutes of preparation and another 12-15 minutes of steaming, your piping hot steamed cakes will be ready on your table. The best thing is no electrical mixer and oven are required. If you want to learn how to make a basic mushipan, you can refer to Mushipan-Steamed cupbread/ cake recipe posted by Alice of Bits-of-Taste.


mushipan, Japanese steamed cakes, steamed sausage cakes, toddler, healthy snack, Food For Tots, recipe for toddlers


The basic recipe, which served as a reference guide, can be tweaked to become a sweet or savoury version depending on individual’s creativity. I have been doing some experiments on both types but end up liking the savoury recipes more. Today, I have selected my favourite savoury recipe (which is adapted from a mushipan cookbook) to share with you. This Japanese-inspired recipe created a touch of fusion by using cheese, sweet paprika and sausage. This perfect pairing makes the mushipans so tasty and fun to chew on. These mushipans are soft and flavourful when served warm. Even when they have cooled down, they still taste good. Of course, the warm ones taste better.


I bet your little ones would find these savoury mushipans totally irresitable as there are hidden bits of sausage and subtle cheese flavour. If you prefer a healthier version, simply substitute sausage with cooked chicken meat or frozen green peas. As these mushipans are small in size, they are easy to handle by your tots and ideal for outing, party, or packed lunches.


If you have tried and liked the steamed pumpkin muffins recipe I posted earlier, then this is another great recipe that should go to your bookmark list. This post is also specially dedicated to those who love baking but do not own any electrical mixer or oven. By putting a little effort, your family will get to enjoy this healthy yet cost saving homemade treat. Happy trying!!! (and succeeding)


Other mushipan recipes:


=> Get the Japanese steamed sausage cakes recipe and step by step tutorials at PAGE 2 BELOW.


mushipan, Japanese steamed cakes, steamed sausage cakes, toddler, healthy snack, Food For Tots, recipe for toddlers

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  1. Janine says:

    I was so intrigued by your blog title and it really does look super yummy! Your photography is beautiful btw – loving the natural light!

  2. Ellena says:

    Oishii!!!! I love steamed cake. And your sausage sure look great!

  3. anncoo says:

    Gosh.. the steamed cake looks very delicious and pretty. I’m sure my family loves this steamed cake if I make one at home. 🙂

  4. These are so cute even with sausages and I love your little picks 🙂

  5. Wow~~~~ Your mushipan looks BEAUTIFUL! And the cover picture…. gosh, it’s like a photo from a magazine! This is great for kids. Even perfect for lunch! Thank you for the link. 🙂

    • food-4tots says:

      Nami (JOC): Thanks for your wonderful compliments!! Your mushipans look beautiful too!! I also love seeing your two adorable kids in action. You definitely deserve the link back. 😉

  6. Joanne says:

    I adore the texture of steamed cake! I love that this has a savory edge to it.

  7. MaryMoh says:

    Beautiful colour and looks moist and delicious.

  8. kirbie says:

    I love making steamed cakes. I’ve never tried adding a savory element like sausage. This variation looks delicious

  9. kankana says:

    you have such a gorgeous blog and the photos are stunning! This is a very different kind of cupcake and looks absolutely perfect.

  10. tigerfish says:

    Is that a savory cake? I don’t think I have tried mushipan before :O

  11. peachkins says:

    I love the color! my daughter would like them!

  12. Questions says:

    May I know what’s salad oil and paprika powder?


    • food-4tots says:

      Questions: Salad oil means any edible vegetable oil that might be used in a salad dressing. You can use corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, canola oil, peanut oil, a light olive oil, or any other fairly bland vegetable oil you can find. To read more, please refer to this link – Paprika powder is made from bell peppers/ capsicum. It can range from mild to hot. I am using sweet paprika powder. You can refer to the photo in the recipe. 😉

  13. Alice says:

    This mushipan looks great! I have to put it in my list! Thanks for the link. 🙂

  14. Your mushi pan looks so pretty! I have a Japanese cookbook just featuring mushipan and have tried a couple of recipes from it… I am now tempted to go back to it again… sigh, so many recipes so little energy and time!

  15. noobcook says:

    They are really gorgeous, love the golden hue ^^

  16. Min says:

    Wow, they look so pretty. I love Mushi-pan too because they only need simple ingredients and easy to make. Thanks for sharing this one, would love to try one day.

  17. Wow savoury cakes… Have yet to try them. Your photos are really great!

  18. Gorgeous! I would have never guessed by the photo that these were steamed.. they look just like a muffin. I love the savory idea, though – I’m always the one who were prefer salty to sweet. 🙂

  19. Those sausage bites look so great on the steamed muffins and for sure give them some extra flavours and textures.

  20. Ching @ LCOM says:

    Love the color and this savory steamed cake is definitely new to me.

  21. purabi naha says:

    We have a restaurant called “Yamazaki” here in Hong Kong and they serve this steam cake.

    I am so happy that you shared this authentic recipe with us…

  22. mycookinghut says:

    Really looks oishii!

  23. Looks really good LK! Love the savoury flavours and the gorgeous colour 🙂

  24. Clairance says:

    Why does’nt my cake rise and become sticky after steaming?

    • food-4tots says:

      Clairance: So sorry that I overlooked your comment. Did you follow my recipe closely? Did you use DOUBLE ACTING baking powder? Anything that you had omitted? I need more information before I can troubleshoot for you. 😉

  25. mrs ng says:

    By chance I got to know your web and I tried this recipe over the weekend. I have got questions if teacher (“you”, :)) can help me? I followed almost everything except for the paprika powder. I sustitued corb nibblets instead of sausages for little one. I pour the paprika powder only for 2 moulds + sausuages for myself. I am not sure why mine did not rise as beautifully as yours? I panicked and I steamed longer. In the end, I got yellow moulds, hardly rise and hard steam cakes. Did I put the baking powdert too little? I Definitely screwed up by steaming at least 15 mins longer than your recipe. 40g of castor sugar is too sweet for me and I will reduce the next time to suit my taste bud. Let me know can? Thank you so much in advance. 🙂

    • food-4tots says:

      Mrs Ng: Thanks for your kind feedback. I’m still a novice and definitely do not qualify to be a teacher at this stage. However, I will try to troubleshoot for you. How did those muffins with corn niblets turn out? How much corns did you add into the 3 moulds? How much paprika powder and sausages did you add in the 2 moulds? What makes you think that you added too little baking powder? How did you measure all your ingredients? If you bake your muffins too long, they will turn hard. Do you mean that both versions taste too sweet for you? 😉

  26. mrs ng says:

    hi there, the corn niblets turned out fine – not too hard. I added about 5 niblets in each mould. paprika powder – 1/2 teaspoons.
    baking powder – because my MIL said so.
    yup- both versions i thought is a little too sweet….

    • food-4tots says:

      Mrs Ng: Did you use cooking measuring spoons to measure your ingredients? Did you add in cheese in the muffins? I still can’t figure out the reason why the savoury version is sweet to your taste bud as sausage, cheese and paprika powder will bring more saltiness than sweetness to the muffins.

  27. sandra says:

    I shall attempt this during the deepavali holiday! My daughter loves eating sausage buns but i dont like buying one whole bun for her cos she can finish one whole sausage and sometimes she gets smart and spits out the bread..

    With this i know what goes into the batter and i can moderate the amt of sausage too!

  28. I am so going to make this! Lai Kuan, your blog is a treasure trove!

  29. Ah Meng says:

    Hi, I had tried your steamed pumpkin muffins and as you know, they are a success. I’m just wondering do I really need to wrap up my wok cover with a piece of cloth to prevent condensation from dripping, since it was not mentioned in your steamed pumpkin muffins’ recipe. The pumpkin muffins came out nice and fluffy even my wok cover was not wrap with cloth. (BTW, my wok cover is those round dome type) Any advice? Thanks!

    • food-4tots says:

      Ah Meng: If you go to my steamed pumpkin muffin recipe, you will see that the wrapping is mentioned at step 2 and a photo is shown as illustration. Maybe your wok cover has a hole allowing the steam to escape easily. Well, since your previous attempt brought you great success, you can skip this step if you want. 😉

  30. […] found this lovely little recipe for mushi pan.  Mushi pan or Steamed bread, is sort of like a cupcake, but not at all.  It is […]

  31. Catherine says:

    If I make this at night, do I need to steam it the next morning? If just eat it without steam the next morning, will it be very hard?
    Thanks 🙂

  32. Catherine says:

    I tried making these bun last night. And it turn out to be hard. May I know what would be the cause? I beat the egg for too long? Or fold the batter for too long and fast? Or the fire is not low enough to steam?
    Thank you.

    • food-4tots says:

      Catherine: Thank you for the feedback. So sorry to know that your steamed cakes were hard. I’m not sure how it could go wrong for your case as you didn’t provide me enough information to troubleshoot. Did you follow 100% of the ingredients and steps I mentioned in the recipe? How did you steam? What kind of mould did you use? Do you have any photo to show me?

  33. Rachel C says:

    I have tried 5 times making steam cupcakes by following all steps but fails. The Cake sink and hard. It did not rise at all. Will it be the method in beating the egg? How long should the egg be beaten? How to ensure that the egg is in foamy stage? Another thing is i am using electric stove to steam the cake.

    • food-4tots says:

      Rachel C: Other than beating the eggs, there are many reasons that could lead to your failure. For eg, the mould you use, the heat etc. May I know what did you use for the mould and how did you steam them?

  34. May Ying says:


    I really enjoy baking using the easy to follow recipes in this blog!
    My cakes rise well & ‘smile’ but the texture is hard. I used disposable aluminum cups (similar to those egg tart kind) to hold my cakes & steam for 12 mins. Can u kindly advise how I can achieve e fluffy texture? I tried your baked muffins recipe before & cakes were very fluffy.

    • food-4tots says:

      May Ying: Thank you for your feedback. There are many reasons the mushipans can be hard. It’s very tough to troubleshoot based on the information given. Sometimes it could be due to over-mixing, over-steaming or the moulds (cups) you used. Have you tried my other steamed cakes recipes? If so, do you face the same problem? 🙂

  35. Elmery says:

    I don’t understand method number 6 and number 8 as you mention twice to add in oil?

  36. wesam says:

    what is double acting baking powder substitute?

  37. ditha says:

    hi.. this is just what i’m looking for, i’m going to try your recipes this weekend! if i want to use big decorated silicon mould should i oil the mould first? or use margarine and dust of flour? or just pop the batter into the mold?

    thank youu 🙂

    • food-4tots says:

      Ditha: I haven’t tried silicone mould before. But I think it should be fine as long as you grease it lightly. If you dust it with flour, then you need to knock out any excess flour before pouring the batter into it. 🙂

  38. Loisa says:

    Hi there, thank you for this wonderful recipe. Been looking for the savoury one. My little family loves it. And I add a bit of streaky bacon as well.

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