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Traditional Chinese New Year Cake (Nin go)

Author: Annie


  • 500 g Glutinuous Rice Flour
  • 100 g Corn Flour
  • 400 g Cane sugar
  • 400 ml water
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 50 ml veg oil or other flavourless oil
  • 1 chinese dried red date for decoration optional
  • a handful of seasame seeds


  • Grease and line a 20cm round tin.
  • Bring the water up to a boil, put in cane sugar and leave it to melt. Keep stirring.
  • Sieve the melted cane sugar water, stir in the coconut milk. (or ask your toddler to stir it)
  • In another bowl, sieve the flours, then stir in the cane sugar mixture from step 2. Slowly stir in oil.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, cover the mixture with some parchment paper (to stop the condensation dripping on the cake while steaming). Steam for 20 mins on high, then 2 hours on medium heat. Keep refilling the water and checking every 15 mins, do not let the water dry out.
  • Take the cake out, stick a toothpick into it, it’s done when it comes out clean.
  • While the cake is still hot and soft, using your thumb or index finger, first moisten with a bit of oil, press into a dish of sesame seeds, then gently press the seeds onto the cake. Remember to moisten your fingers first, otherwise it will just stay on your fingers instead of the cake. And don’t try to sprinkle the seeds on because we get a better and more even coverage this way. If using a chinese dried red date, stub it into the centre of the cake.


Cane sugar can be bought in all Chinese grocery store. Or you can replace with dark brown sugar.