Monday, 11 February 2013

Baked Rice Cake with Red Dates and Walnuts

It's a tradition to have nian gao (steamed rice cake) during Lunar New Year. It has an auspicious meaning of promotions or prosperity in work and life year after year (年年高升). 
Baked nian gao brings a nice change to the traditional steamed one. Garnished with generous amount of walnuts,  it's crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Sugar is omitted in my recipe as red dates have natural sweet smell. In addition, I spread a layer of red bean paste in the middle, which enhanced the sweetness of the rice cake. With fresh milk, eggs, and vegetable oil, every bite of  baked nian gao is like an explosion of flavor in your mouth.  Absolutely sinful!  

I served this baked nian gao to family and friends during today's gathering.  It's indeed a popular snack that no one wants to give a miss.



- 2 cups glutinous rice flour (160oz)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup fresh milk
- 1 egg (lightly beaten)

- red bean paste (optional)
- seedless red dates, coarsely chopped

- 100g walnuts , coarsely chopped
- dessicated coconut (optional)

  1. Mix glutinous rice and baking powder in a large bowl.
  2. Add in egg, vegetable oil and fresh milk.  Mix with a whisker until well combined. 
  3. Add coarsely chopped red dates. Mix well.
  4. Pour half the batter into a greased baking tin. Spread a layer of red bean paste evenly on the surface.
  5. Pour the other half of the batter on top.
  6. Sprinkle walnuts and dessicated coconut on the surface.


  7. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degC for 30 minutes. Do a skewer test, if the skewer comes out clean, it means that the rice cake are cooked through.
  8. Remove from oven, cool on a wire rack.
  9. Cut into small pieces and serve.

  1. I double the batter to fit into my 8x8 inch tray, the baking time is also adjusted to ~40mins.
  2. The rice cake can be stored in a refrigerator up for one week. Best to steam before serve.

Recipe adapted here.

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