Chinese New Year Sweet Rice Cakes 年糕

I make sticky rice cakes for Chinese New Year. Sometimes in less than traditional flavors and people ask me how I make them. And I keep pointing to Eggwansfoododyssey’s recipe. But no one seems to believe me, when I tell them, all I do differently is to DECREASE the amount of sugar by a HUGE amount. And now that I have an Instant Pot I use the Woks of Life bean paste recipe.

Note on the Woks of Life recipe. If I’m using it for rice cakes, I don’t fry the beans in oil. Also before I mash all the beans, I will reserved some, mash about a third to half of them and throw the reserved beans back in and stir together. I prefer the texture difference of leaving some beans intact. YMMV.

Note on the Eggwansfood odyssey recipe. I really use it for proportions for the amount of liquid, to paste, to sticky rice flour. I also just dip the slices of rice cake in egg and pan fry or just panfry without the egg. It’s just really sticky without the egg so you have to be careful that they touch in pan when frying.


  • 1 lb of sticky/glutinous rice flour – that’s usually one bag.
  • 1 lb of sweet paste (pick your own flavor) – that’s about a pint
  • 420ml of liquid – that’s about 1 1/2 to 2 cups
  • sugar – it really depends on personal taste and how sweet your paste is. I probably only use about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup. Since I can always add sugar or syrup to the cakes when I’m eating them if they aren’t sweet enough. Ginger syrup is nice.
  1. Heat of your liquid of choice and add the sweetner of your choice. Dissolve the sugar.
  2. Let cool enough so you can touch the liquid with your hand.
  3. Get your steamer racks ready and start boiling the water.
  4. Stir in the rice flour. Stir until you get out as many lumps as possible.
  5. Add the paste. Mix together. Sometimes I mix it really well, other times I leave swirls. Suit your own mood and taste.
  6. Oil pans. One recipe fits into 4 of the 1lb aluminum foil take out pans.
  7. Pour into pans. Leave about 1/4 inch from the too edge, so they cakes don’t overflow once steamed. See before and after pictures below.
  8. Steam for 30 minutes. If you use larger pans they may take longer.


Pumpkin: It’s a little weird, but it tastes like a sticky rice version of pumpkin bread. Very Thanksgiving fallish.

  • 1lb roasted winter pumpkin or other winter squash
  • 1.5 cups of orange juice
  • 1/4 cup of grade B maple syrup
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of craisins (add the craisins at the end)

Ube (Purple Yam)

  • 4 medium sized ube – roast in foil until soft. peel and mash, should end up with about a pint.
  • I still used the coconut milk the original recipe calls for. Lovely purple color when done and yam taste comes through very well.


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