Mar 02, 2022 10:00 AM

Author: Be Well Utah


Passing down recipes from generation to generation is a tradition for many Pacific Island cultures. Over the years we find subtle changes by each generation to make it their own. Chef Pomaikai from Taro Patch Catering remembers watching his Uncle make Puligi in a cracker pot over fire at many family gatherings and now has brought you his variation.

Cooking with PEAU (Pasifika Enriching Arts of Utah) is as a collaborative effort with Be Well Utah and University of Utah Health to accomplish two goals:

  1. to teach people how to cook “traditional” Pacific Island dishes.
  2. to provide healthier options for some of the ingredients in recipes frequently used by Pacific Islanders.

Puligi Samoan Steamed Spice Cake

Serves 12 Slices (size of slices may vary)

May be served with traditional Haupia pudding thinned with a little extra non-fat milk to desired thickness.

Puligi Ingredients:

4 Cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp salt

1 ½ Cup Reduced Fat 2% Milk

1 Cup monk fruit sweetener

1 Cup Canola Oil

3 eggs

“Burnt” Sugar Ingredients:

2 Cup monk fruit sweetener*

2 cup water

*can add walnuts or raisins as an alternative

Haupia Pudding Ingredients:

2 - 12 oz. cans of coconut cream

4 tbsp of corn starch

4 tbsp of monk fruit sugar

Baked Directions:

  • Grease Bundt pan well with butter. Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Cook sugar over high heat, stirring constantly, until it turns light, mahogany brown. Add water and incorporate.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, monk fruit sweetener, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and all spice.
  • Mix together dry ingredients, eggs, oil and milk. Add burnt sugar mixture once cooled, alternating about 1/3 of each at a time until smooth; may not need all of burnt sugar mixture. When batter is smooth, pour into Bundt pan. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 60-75 minutes.
  • While Puigi is baking, mix coconut cream, corn starch and monk fruit sugar together, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes over medium heat until thickens to desired texture. Let cool. Can be substituted for powdered sugar.
  • Remove from oven, let cool and then remove from Bundt pan. Serve either with powdered sugar or Haupia Pudding and Enjoy!

Steaming Directions:

  • Replace Bundt pan with a homemade steamer.
  • Take large saucepan, place a small saucer upside down at the bottom and top with a personal pan pizza rack. Top with a metal cullender and line the inside of the cullender with Muslin.
  • Pour batter into Muslin and pull each corner together and tie tight with a piece of muslin. Leave about 1” of space between batter and muslin knot.
  • Add aluminum foil to protect water from entering the muslin.
  • Let steam for 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

Be Well Utah

Be Well Utah 2021 is offering virtual cooking demos so you can learn to make tasty and nutritious meals from your own home. Our University of Utah Health Registered Dietitians have partnered with PEAU to modify traditional Pacific Island recipes that are easy to make, include healthy ingredients, and are suitable for the whole family. Watch the cooking demo on our Facebook page, or follow the recipe below. We encourage you to share a picture of your family with your finished Be Well Utah recipe & tag @BeWellUtah on Facebook and Instagram.

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