Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chinese New Year Cake (賀年年糕)

Every Chinese household in Asia will have one of this New Year Cake to celebrate Chinese New Year. My Grandmother made them every year but I never get to know how to make it before she passed away.  She would place the cake at the altar to pray for our ancestor.  Then she would cut it into pieces and pan-fry with egg to serve as a sweet to serve our visitors during the New Year.  My husband's grandma told me once that I shouldn't make this cake if I don't know how as a failure in making it would cause bad luck for a whole year!

Since I have had 2 bad years already, I don't really care anymore bad year!  I just feel that if I haven't made one of this cake, I couldn't call myself Chinese!  So, it comes out perfect even though I don't have enough Chinese brown sugar.  The texture of this cake is sticky and chewy.  Lots of Chinese cakes are steamed and made from rice flour, glutinous rice flour or tapioca flour without butter which are less fat and gluten free.  I got this recipe from Christine's recipe and if you want a Chinese version please check her post here

Chinese New Year Cake

200g glutinous rice flour
70g wheat flour (Tang flour)
250g brown sugar in pieces (I didn't have enough so I added in some brown sugar and raw sugar)
1 cup water
80ml coconut cream
30ml vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten ( for pan frying cake)
dried red date and sunflower seeds for decoration


  1. Bring water to boil in a small saucepan, add in brown sugar and cook until sugar completely dissolved.  Stir occasionally.  Then add in oil and coconut cream.  Sir well and drain syrup through a fine sieve and let it cool.
  2. Sift glutinous rice and wheat flour together 2 times.  Make a well in the middle and pour cool syrup into the bowl and stir until it is well mix.  Drain the batter through a fine sieve again to make a smooth batter with no lumps.
  3. Grease a 18cm baking tin with oil.  Pour batter into the pan. cover it with glad wrap.  Steam with high heat for about 70 minutes.  Place a red date into the middle during half-time.  The cooked cake should be firm but has a sticky surface.
  4. Let cool and put into the fridge before cutting into pieces.  Dip the pieces of cake with egg and pan fry until both sides are golden brown.


  1. I love this especially when sandwiched and fried with yam and sweet potatoes. YUMM!

  2. This is such a yummy one...I would love to try it..U have made perfectly Dear..Bookmarking it..


  3. Since my mom still making Nian Gao for me, so I'm lazy to make this year, hehehe!

  4. Hi Veron, this really brings back memories. When I was a kid my late mom used to make these for sale and I love it when it comes out steamed and pipping hot and dig it with a fork and dip it into freshly grated coconut..mmm..I also like it fried, sandwiched with potatoes and yam. they are now selling everywhere here but can hardly get the really really good one nowadays.

  5. The cake looks divine. I love the use of the coconut cream

  6. Just reading this recipe, I can already tell it'll be delicious! yum yum!

  7. Totally agree with you in term of celebrating CNY with auspicious Chinese delicacy. Hope that this yummy cake will bring best of luck this year.

  8. Hey, Happy New Year, both the current one and the Chinese one. Forget the old wives tales about bad luck, no truth in that... glad you made this, it looks good... like toffee. Wish I could taste a piece... take care.

  9. Hey, this doesn't sound too difficult. I've always wondered if this could be made small-scaled at home. I'm definitely bokmarking this.