Nian Gao: here is the recipe for the typical Chinese New Year cake

The Chinese New Year is approaching and know the recipe to prepare the Nian Gao can help us celebrate the best. The dessert, whose name literally means “cake of the year”, is considered a symbol a good omen that anticipates a period full of improvements. Simplicity e sharing however, the keywords remain.


Few are needed to make the recipe for preparing Nian Gao ingredients, moreover very simple to find even outside the Land of the Dragon. The first step is therefore to equip yourself with:

  • Glutinous rice flour 500 g
  • Cane sugar 250 g
  • Water 450ml
  • Seed oil
  • Molasses
  • Spices

The farina request is obtained by blending the beans glutinous rice, a particular type of rice, very rich in starch, very common in Asia. Contrary to what one might think it does not contain gluten. Between spices that you can use fall ginger, cinnamon and vanilla.

Recipe for making Nian Gao

The recipe for preparing Nian Gao involves a few simple ones steps:

  1. Bring to boiling water in a large saucepan. To this can be added as desired spices to flavor.
  2. Once the water has been removed from the fire, proceed by adding lo to it sugar cane. It is therefore necessary to mix everything gently until one is obtained syrup brownish in colour. At this point the compound must be left to warm up.
  3. Slowly incorporate the flour into the syrup, no longer too hot glutinous rice.
  4. Add to the mixture two tablespoons of seed oil and a teaspoon of molasses and then mix everything until you get a dough fluid, without lumps.
  5. At this point it is necessary to pour what has been obtained into a mold lined with lightly oiled baking paper.


Cooking must take place rigorously steamed and the recipe for the preparation of Nian Gao requires this to last approx an hour. To verify that the cake is not raw it is still possible to do the test of the toothpick. If we insert the stick inside the cake we will see it come out dry we will know that the time has come to let the preparation cool before taking it out of the oven. Otherwise it is advisable to continue cooking. Before serving dessert is possible decorate it with dried apricots, dates or other garnishes of your choice.

Once you know the recipe, preparing Nian Gao is anything but complicated. Some details vary from area to area, but it is good to specify that the cake maintains a chewy consistency reminiscent of a pudding. In case of leftover dessert can be kept in fridge for a few days or frozen sliced ​​to be reused at the first opportunity.

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