Our take on Chinese nian gao doesn’t require a steamer basket—this Coconut Almond Rice Cake is baked in the oven. And though there are thousands of variations, ours shares DNA with all the others through the use of gelatinous rice flour, the secret to its signature sticky texture.
For more recipes inspired by Chinese New Year celebrations, pick up a copy of our January/February 2020 issue!
Coconut Almond Rice Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
- 16 ounces (454 grams) mochiko sweet rice flour*
- 2¼ cups (450 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (55 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
- 1⅓ cups (320 grams) whole milk, room temperature
- 1⅔ cups (400 grams) unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
- 4 large eggs (200 grams), room temperature and lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ½ teaspoon (2 grams) almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (21 grams) lightly toasted sweetened flaked coconut
- 3 tablespoons (21 grams) lightly
- toasted sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour; line bottom with parchment paper. Lightly spray parchment. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl.
- In another large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together whole milk, coconut milk, eggs, melted butter, and extracts. Gradually add milk mixture to flour mixture, whisking until smooth and well combined. (Batter will be very thin.) Pour through prepared sieve; discard any solids. Pour strained mixture into prepared pan. (Pan will be very full, but batter will not overflow.)
- Bake until top is just nearly set, 50 to 55 minutes. Sprinkle with coconut and almonds. Bake until set and lightly golden, about 40 minutes more, lightly covering with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. (Trapped steam may cause cake to puff slightly out of pan while baking; run a small offset spatula around edges to gently release steam and push cake back into pan.) Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert cake onto a large flat plate; discard parchment. Invert cake onto a wire rack, and let cool to room temperature before serving
*You can find mochiko sweet rice flour at local specialty Asian markets or online at amazon.com.
Can I use other type of flour?
Unfortunately, this rice cake requires mochiko rice flour to form it’s signature gelatinous texture. So you’ll need to use this kind of flour to get that same results. Hope this helps. Happy baking!
How do you store any leftovers of this cake? Refrigerate?
You can store this cake at room temperature, covered and sealed, for up to a week–because of it’s gelatinous texture, this cake will last a fairly long time. If you want it to be firmer, you can also store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
I did make this cake and purchased the special rice flour. On the plus side, the recipe does make a really pretty cake. I was hoping the recipe would produce a more custard like filling instead of closer to gummy consistency. I found the best tool to cut the cake was a pizza cutter. I love your recipes and your great magazine. But I won’t be making this recipe again.
thanks for sharing recipes. i will try to di this