Tutu Kueh Cats Totes and Sling Bags- Sleek Scribbles

Kueh Tutu was my childhood favourite; my mother would usually buy me some right after we were done grocery shopping in the wet market as a "reward" for me. I also adore the cats that I would walk past as we make our way home from the market this inspired the latest tote bag design. Cats hugging Tutu Kuehs, the cakes do look like some sort of cushions, don’t they?

cat and tutu kueh sling bag
Cat and tutu kueh tote bag


The origins of Kueh TuTu/ Kuih TuTu- It is believed that it originated in the southern province of China where there have long been steamed cake and buns or from southern India. Perhaps it is a fusion snack that originates from Singapore.

The name of the cakes is said to have derived from the sound of the charcoal heated- steamers that were used to steam the cakes long ago.

How Kueh TuTu is made – The kueh I made from fine pounded rice flour and has fillings of grated coconut or grounded peanuts. A flower-shaped mould is filled with flour first then the filling and it finally topped up with more flour to seal the fillings in. The mixture is placed onto a piece of pandan leave and left onto the steamer till it is ready.

TuTu Kueh which are kinda similar to Putu Piring were also thought to have originated from South India as they have similar cakes called idiyappam or putu mayam. The word kuih means cake in Malay, hmm could kueh tutu be a fusion cuisine created in Singapore? I wouldn’t be surprised as it is very likely that we are inspired by each other’s culture and cuisine.

Mr Tan Yong Ha from Fujian China sold the cakes in Singapore in the 1930s he popularized the snack which has stand the test of time and is still a favourite of many today thanks to Mr Tay Low Long in the 1980s designed the steam carts and stainless steel cake mould and set up 20 tutu kueh outlets.

In present times there are multi-flavoured tutu kueh available in Singapore by a store named ChubTuTu in Yishun. A long queue would be formed in front of the store as its patrons await this delicious snack. That boast to have 80 different flavours of tutu kueh, I have tried out the kuehs and as the rice flour has not much taste to it, adding other flavours would go very well with the rice flour.