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Nian Gao

Published: Updated:
Total Time
1h 10m
Prep Time
Bake Time
Serves 12
Serves 12

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.”

9 ingredients5 steps
  • Vegan Recipes
  • Vegetarian


  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

    • 450gGlutinous Rice Flour 
    • 310gFull fat coconut milk (from a can) 
    • 335gUnsweetened plant milk (we used soy milk) 
    • 220gSilver Spoon White Caster Sugar 
    • 2 tspBaking Powder 
    • 100mlGrapeseed oil 
    • 1 tspNielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract 
  • For the topping

    • 25gChopped dates 
    • 2 tspBlack and white sesame seeds mix 


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

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