Sun cake, also known as tai yang bing, is a famous Taiwanese dessert. Belonging to the beautiful city of Taichung, Taiwan, sun cake is made of condensed malt sugar (also known as maltose). The dish looks a little like the sun, thus the reason for its name.
These pastries are round in shape and are available in various sizes. What distinguishes it from normal pastries is its crispy crust. Considered as one of Taichung’s breakfast favourites, people usually enjoy sun cake with Chinese tea or dip it in warm almond milk. People also make sweet porridge out of it by dissolving it in hot water.
Sun cake is a specialty of the city of Taichung. It’s often sold in beautiful gift boxes as a memento for people visiting the place.
History & Cultural Significance
Residing in the She-ko region of Taichung County (now a part of the Taichung city), the Lin family made the first sun cakes. For the filling of the dish, the Lin family used malt sugar in a condensed form. Chef Wei Qing-hai later modified the pastry to its present form.
The dish wasn’t called “sun cake” since the beginning. It was much later that the term was used for the cake after a well-known Taiwanese bakery named ‘Sun Booth’ started to sell it by this name. Now, because the term wasn’t brand marked, the other pastry sellers started to use the same title for their own suncakes.
Taiwanese Sun Cake Recipe
For water dough
- Plain flour - 110g
- Maltose - 1/4 tbsp
- Sugar - 15g
- Shortening - 45g
- Corn oil - 1/4 cup
- Warm water - 1/4 cup
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
For oil dough
- Plain flour - 75g
- Shortening - 45g
- Icing sugar - 80g
- Maltose - 20g
- Plain flour - 25g
- Butter - 20g
- Warm water - 1/2 tbsp
For egg wash
- 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water (lightly beaten)
For water dough:
- Take a bowl and pour warm water into it. Dissolve maltose in it and add in all the other ingredients to form smooth dough.
- Once done, divide the dough in 10 equal portions.
For Oil Dough:
- Take a bowl and properly mix all the ingredients until it forms smooth dough.
- As done for the water dough, divide the prepared dough in 10 equal parts.
- Repeat the same method as done for water dough.
For Making tai yang bing:
- Take a work surface and spread flour on it. Carefully, compress the water dough till it flattens and put the oil dough in the middle.
- With the oil dough, wrap the water dough, and close the edges. Form a smooth round ball.
- Roll the dough in a way that it takes up the shape of a rectangle. Now, roll it up into a Swiss roll and place it perpendicular.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle shape again and again, roll it up like a Swiss roll.
- Once done, place the roll in the standing position and using your hands, flatten the dough. Make sure the closed edge faces the work
- Into a circular shape, roll the dough. Remember to roll it wide enough to enclose a ball of filling inside it.
- Put the filling ball in the center, wrap the water-oil dough around it and seal the edges.
- Make sure the sealed edge is facing the work surface and carefully, into a circular shape, roll the dough, making it about 7cm-8cm.
- Transfer it to a baking paper-lined baking tray.
- Repeat the same process for other balls.
- Remember to brush a little egg wash onto the surface. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes on 200C.
- Once golden brown, keep them aside to cool down and voilà.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 214Total Fat: 8gCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 3g