Luna new year sweet rice cake with coconut milk, ginger and maple syrup, spiced with cardamom, coated with peanuts sesame seed and coconut.

Steamed sweet cake ‘nian gao’ (年糕) with coconut milk and ginger

A traditional dessert for Chinese New Year with a chewy and sticky texture.

‘Gao’ has the same pronunciation as ‘high’. ‘Nian’ means ‘year’. So ‘nian gao’ is symbolic for ‘every year a greater success’.  This puts ‘nian gao’ on the must-have list for Chinese New Year.

If you like it looking fancy, dust the cake with a mixture of peanuts, sesame seeds, sugar and desiccated coconut.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of glutinous rice flour (sticky rice flour), it is gluten free
  • 1 cup of rice flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of light coconut milk
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 4 tsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 thinly sliced piece of ginger (optional)
  • 3 cardamom, spited in half  (optional)

Method

  • Pour 1 cup of boiling water over salt, ginger, cardamom and brown sugar; stir until the sugar is fully dissolved; drain the liquid through a sieve, discard the solids.
  • In a mixing bowl, mix glutinous flour, rice flour, coconut milk, sugar liquid, maple syrup, ground cinnamon; mix well.
  • Line a cake tin with cling wrap; pour the batter into the tin.
  • Steam in a steamer for 30-50 minutes depending on the thickness of the cake.
  • Cool completely before cutting with a wet knife.
  • Dust with a mixture of peanut, sesame seeds, sugar and coconut if desired.

Mixture of peanut, sesame seeds, sugar and coconut is made up of:

  • 1/3 cup crushed peanuts, lightly toasted
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 2/3 cup desiccated coconut, lighted toasted
Mixture of peanut, sesame seed, sugar and coconut
Steaming sweet cake
Steaming the sweet cake in a large steamer
Glutinous rice flour
Glutinous rice flour

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Rice flour
Rice flour
Chinese New Year steamed sweet cake 'nian gao' (年糕) with coconut milk and ginger (gluten free, vegan)
Chinese New Year steamed sweet cake ‘nian gao’ (年糕) with coconut milk and ginger (gluten free, vegan)

4 comments

      1. There are so many children in need around the world. I am so glad that you and your daughters found each other 🙂 You are so kind. Happy Chinese New Year to you too.

        Like

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