Coconut baked mochi / Nian Gao / Chinese New Year cake

Last night, I had a craving. Ana A. once shared a recipe for her mom’s Chinese New Year cake (back in the day when we were both really into Chinese Culture Club), and ever since that first bite, its been my favorite recipe for Nian Gao.

The brown bits are chunks of brown sugar that didn't get quite mixed in. The crispy crust on the corner pieces are the best.

Here’s the recipe (doctored with some coconut milk and brown sugar. Use regular milk for a health-friendly version)


1 pckg (16 oz) glutinous rice flour
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 can Coconut milk
1 stick butter/margarine (or 1/2 cup oil)
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately. Stir together, incorporating the wet mixture  into the dry mixture and pour into a *very* well-buttered pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the top forms a crackly crust and the side of the cake pulls away from the pan.

Once cooled, I cut my finished product and wrapped in them in wax paper. To be honest, I had to cut it because my dad kept ruining the cake by tugging at it with his hands. "No knife?" I asked. "No its okay, I take it like this", he replied, trying to twist off a sticky chunk and nearly twisting a fistful. About a quarter of the cake is currently digesting in my dad's stomach.

For lack of cookie-cutter, I used a glass and a butter knife to cut 'a round' of cake.


I find geometric-shaped foods so extra satisfying to eat. Like this circle here! Or like the sharp corners of a triangle cut peanut butter sandwich.


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