Aimee’s Baked Rice Cake (Nian Gao)

Hi it’s Aimee again! =]

We had some glutinous rice flour (also called mochiko) handy so I decided to make Chinese New Year cake (nian gao) even though it is not anywhere near Chinese New Year. Luckily, we had all the ingredients handy. Nian gao literally translates to “rice cake” in Chinese. Gao is also a homonym for “high” so it is believed that eating nian gao on New Year’s brings good luck by raising oneself higher. Legend has it that nian gao was also used as an offering to the Kitchen God. When his mouth was full of the sticky cake, he could not badmouth the family to the Jade Emperor.

Nian gao is traditionally steamed or fried and made with red beans, so this one is a bit unconventional.


-16 oz mochiko rice flour

-3/4 cup oil

-3 eggs

-2 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

-1 Tb baking soda

-1 tsb vanilla extract (if you have red beans, I would mix in some red beans and red bean paste instead of vanilla extract)

I added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then, I whisked everything together until smooth; this takes a while by hand. Try to get rid of lumps. The end consistency should be something like a milkshake. Lastly, I baked the cake in a 9×13 pan (don’t forget to oil the pan too since this is sticky to begin with) on 350F for 50 minutes. I personally like to eat it warm when the outside is slightly crunchy and the inside is gooey.


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