A Nyonya in UK, Chinese New Year, Community, Culture, Dairy free, Recipes, Sweets and Puddings

6 Top Tips To Make Nian Gao

Nian Gao is the 1st Chinese New Year  cake my late made  mother made for the Lunar New Year. As kids we would be very excited as it means Chinese New Year is around the corner


It took many hours to steam and negative words are not to be spoken when making it lest it takes forever  to get the right colour.

Ah! Fear not. I have come up with an easy and short cut way of making it. I tried this many times and this method and instructions are just right.

This is a game changer. Here is the recipe.

I hope you like the recipe. I appreciate your thumbs up and subscribe. Please do share if you find it useful .

Until the next recipe, Gong Xi, Gong Xi. Ta Fah Cai!

Meaning Congratulation and May prosperity come your way!!

Quick & Easy Nian Gao Ready In 3 -4 days

A short cut method without all the fuss. No need to wait for weeks to get it ready.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time3 hours 30 minutes
Resting time2 days
Total Time2 days 4 hours
Course: celebration, gift
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Malaysian, Nyonya, South-east Asian
Keyword: Banana Leaf, Chinese New Year, diary free, Easy, gluten free, glutinous rice, Malaysian, Nyonya, Penang
Servings: 3 Pieces
Cost: £2.00


  • 2 to 3 round tins or moulds
  • 1 steamer or slow cooker
  • l Aluminium foil
  • cling film


  • 400 g Glutinous rice flour
  • 420 g granulated sugar
  • 80 g dark brown sugar
  • 400 ml water
  • 1 pc baking parchment (alternative to banana leaf)


  • Mix the flour with the water by hand until it forms a dough.
  • Add in the sugars and mix till the colour is even. Set aside.
  • Line the moulds with banana leaf or baking parchment.
  • Fill the moulds with the batter, leaving enough room for the cake to expand. About 5 to 6cm.
  • Cover the moulds with cling film (or aluminium foil) to prevent water from dripping on to the surface.
  • Steam on medium heat or slow cook on low for about 3 to 3. 5 hours. ( depends on your individual equoptment).
  • Do have a peek during cooking to check the colour.
  • When done, remove and cool. Then put it in the fridge for 2 days or so.
  • Unmould and trim the kuih.
    It is ready.



The longer the Kuih is steamed the darker it will get. 
The steaming time or slow cook time will depend on the your equipment and it is only a guide.

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