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  • Writer's pictureHeather

Chinese New Year Cake (Nian Goa)

Hungry for more? This recipes was featured in a podcast episode!


This cake, traditionally enjoyed during Chinese New Year celebrations, has a soft and chewy texture and slightly sweet flavour.

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook time: 38 min

Yield: 6-10 servings



  1. In a small sauce pan, melt 250g cane sugar, 60g brown sugar in pieces in 1 1/2 cups of cold water slowly over medium heat until sugar is melted. It does not need to come to a boil.

  2. Sift 300g glutinous rice flour, 110g wheat starch, and a pinch of salt through a fine mesh strainer into a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

  3. In a small mixing bowl, mix 1 1/2 tbsp (20g) Chinese sesame paste/sauce and 3/4 cup (188ml) coconut milk together.

  4. Pour the sesame coconut mixture into the melted sugar mixture. Mix well. Then pour the hot coconut sugar mixture into the large mixing bowl filled with dry ingredients and mix well with a silicone spatula.

  5. The batter will be very lumpy. Break up the lumps by pushing them against the mixing bowl with a spatula or put the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Once all the lumps have smoothed out, add 1 1/2 tbsp (22.5ml) of vegetable oil and mix well.

  6. Grease a cake pan (ensure it fits in your Instant Pot!) with a little vegetable oil. Pour the cake batter into the pan through a fine mesh strainer. Tightly wrap the pan with foil.

  7. Fashion a sling from foil to make it easy to get the cake pan in and out of the Instant Pot.

  8. Pour 1 cup (250ml) of cold water in the pressure cooker. Place the cake pan on top of a trivet using the foil sling. Close the lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 38 mins and allow a full natural release (~8 mins). Use the foil sling to lift the pan out of the pot. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean. Top with a date (optional).

  9. Slice and serve, or you could fry the slices a little to warm them, or even dip slices in egg and then fry.

This amazing recipe was written by Amy & Jacky on Find it here.


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