Baked Chinese New Year Sweet Nian Gao

Baked Chinese New Year Sweet Nian Gao

Course: Chinese New Year, Dessert
Cuisine: Asian Fusion, Chinese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 1 8-inch pan
Author: Marvellina
Learn how to make this super easy yet amazingly delicious gluten-free baked Chinese sticky rice cake (nian gao). Crusty top with soft and chewy middle will seriously knock your socks off!
Print Recipe


  • 5 gr sweetened shredded coconut about 3 Tbsp
  • Butter to grease the pan

Dry ingredients:

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs about 110 gr
  • 350 gr coconut milk 1 1/2 cups
  • 20 gr butter 2 Tbsp, melted

Pan size:

  • 8 inch round pan, about 1 1/2-inch depth


Toast the coconut:

  • Place the coconut on a dry pan over medium heat and toast until lightly golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside

Make the batter:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt 20 gr of butter on a small pan, let it cool down a bit. Lightly whisk 2 eggs and add in coconut milk and melted butter and whisk again to mix
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients while mixing with a spatula until you get a smooth runny batter. Strain this batter if you see any lumps. The batter should be smooth and runny


  • Use a small amount of solid butter to grease the bottom and the side of the baking pan
  • Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the preheated oven, 3rd rack from the top for 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, the cake should have risen up a little bit. Gently sprinkle the toasted coconut you made earlier on the surface of the cake. Bake again for another 30-40 minutes (took about 40 minutes for mine, but check at 30 minutes mark). The side of the cake will be lightly golden brown and the middle of the cake will no longer be jiggly. If you insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake, it should come out clean
  • Optional step: Turn off the oven and leave the oven door slightly ajar and let the cake sit in there for about 10 minutes and then put on a cooling rack to cool down. I feel like the cake doesn't sink as much compared to when I pull it out from the oven directly to cool down
  • Let the cake cool down for at least 1 hour before attempting to cut


  • Leftover of the cake can be kept in the refrigerator. After the cake has cooled down completely, you can wrap it up with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for up to one week