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Top down view of cut of pieces of nian gao
110Total Time
10Prep Time
1Bake Time

Nian Gao

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

About Nian Gao

Celebrate Chinese New Year with some delicious Nian Gao, a Chinese sticky rice cake. It is one of the most popular desserts eaten during this festive season made with sticky, glutinous rice flour and brown sugar.

What does Nian Gao mean? 

Nian gao 年糕 symbolizes progress, advancement, and growth. Nián (年) means “year,” and “gāo” (糕) is a homonym for “gāo” (高), which means, “tall,” “high,” or “expensive.”

110Total Time
10Prep Time
1Bake Time


  1. Step 1:

    Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan. In a large mixing bowl, add coconut milk, soy milk, sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract and grapeseed oil, mix well.

  2. Step 2:

    Add glutinous rice flour to the mixture, stirring until all incorporated.

  3. Step 3:

    Line an 8-inch square baking tray with parchment paper, and pour in the batter.

  4. Step 4:

    Sprinkle chopped dates and sesame seeds on top, and bake for one hour, until the top is browned.

  5. Step 5:

    Cool to room temperature and cut into rectangles to serve.


  • For the cake

    • 450g Glutinous Rice Flour
    • 310g Full fat coconut milk (from a can)
    • 335g Unsweetened plant milk (we used soy milk)
    • 220g Silver Spoon White Caster Sugar
    • 2 tsp Baking Powder
    • 100ml Grapeseed oil
    • 1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
  • For the topping

    • 25g Chopped dates
    • 2 tsp Black and white sesame seeds mix


  • 8x8in square baking tin
  • Baking parchment paper
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon

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