Love Chinese New Year? So do we! And, in honor of this auspicious holiday, we’ve gathered 15 Chinese New Year desserts to make your celebration absolutely delicious!
Roses are red; violets are blue, Chinese New Year is here—do you know what to do?
Yes, it’s that time again when you go out for more food than only Christmas day and Thanksgiving brings.
But do you know what the best thing about Chinese New Year is?
There are so many delicious treats to eat during the holiday!
Green-colored treats, like buns, sweets, and other snacks with Chinese sesame, are fun and delectable ways to spend the new year with your loved ones.
You will also get to be invited to a lot of potluck dinners and family getaways during this time of the year.
And if you’re undecided about what to bring for this festivity, try the sweets route.
This is always a good idea, and if you pick the right one, you might be able to win them over with your thoughtful choice.
So, are you ready to celebrate the Chinese New Year?
We sure are, and we are even more ecstatic to share our favorite Chinese New Year dessert recipes with you.
The Chinese Almond Cookies, Jian Dui, and the Chocolate Chinese Five-Spice Cake are some of our favorites from this list that we’ve put together.
But before we show you the full list, let us warn you that #14 will surely thrill your taste senses!
Let’s start then!
These mooncakes are the bomb dot com.
They are tasty little packages that, like the best gifts, are full of deliciousness and mystery.
That would be the salted egg ice cream filling, infused with savory yolk bits, that is sealed into a delicate mochi wrapping and then set until it’s ready to eat.
It is a two-bite explosion of flavor that will leave you wanting more!
And if you are new to homemade cooking, this recipe is a great place to start because they are super easy!
You know that little square cookie at the bottom of your check-out bag at your favorite Chinese restaurant?
It has a buttery, and crispy texture has tons of almond flavor.
And if we tell you how easy it is to make them yourself, will you believe us?
Still in doubt?
Try this recipe, and see for yourself!
These Chinese Almond Cookies are just as buttery and crispy as the ones you get from your favorite restaurant, but they have even more almond flavor.
And instead of waiting until next Friday night to enjoy them again, you can make a fresh batch any time you want!
Try this Jujube Date Sticky Rice Cake to taste traditional Chinese New Year sweets.
It has a sticky, taffy-like consistency and a sweet roasted fragrance and flavor from the jujube date jam (made with dried jujube dates).
Dried jujube dates have a subtle but delicious taste, similar to roasted chestnuts, but that flavor comes through in this dish.
It also tones down the sweetness of jujubes and the glutinous texture of sticky rice but adds an earthy tone that goes well with both of them.
This Chinese Mango Pudding will be one of your favorite desserts.
It has a creamy, smooth texture with just the right sweetness of mango flavor.
Basically, it is everything you want in a sweet treat!
Although, the most challenging part about making this recipe is finding that perfect mango.
You want it to be at its peak ripeness, so avoid the overly firm and mushy ones.
It should feel soft to touch and bright yellow-orange in color, with a few to zero hard white spots or bruises on the outside.
This Rose Ginger Steamed Sponge Cake is a Chinese dessert perfect for gifting and sharing.
In this recipe, the rose flavor is very subtle, and the fresh ginger gives such a beautiful kick that takes this classic Chinese dessert up a notch.
The best part of this recipe?
It makes two cakes!
You can make and give one to a friend or make both and share them with your family.
That is also what they call doubling your luck in Chinese culture.
So, get ready to indulge in some delicious rose ginger steamed sponge cake!
If you want to make a ring at your next dinner party, we have this Tang Yuan recipe for you!
Tang Yuan is glutinous rice ball dumplings usually served in sweet syrup or savory soup.
They are similar to Japanese mochi and have a chewy, sticky texture, owing to their glutinous rice dough.
The glutinous rice balls can be large or small and filled or unfilled.
A tang yuan recipe can be as simple as this one for unfilled tang yuan balls.
And if you are feeling, try the red bean-filled or sesame-dusted ones!
Stuffed with red bean paste? Check.
Coated in sesame seeds? Check.
These three criteria are the hallmark of a perfect dessert, and we believe Chinese food really gets it right with their Jian Dui sesame seed balls.
They are typically served at the end of meals, either as part of a dim sum spread or at tea houses, though we are pretty sure you can eat them whenever you want!
One common filling used in Jian Dui is red bean paste, which you can buy at your local Asian grocery store or online.
But you can also use any filling you want, like coconut paste, mung bean paste, and black sesame paste–they are all great choices.
Pineapple Buns are a Hong Kong bakery tradition, and they are so light and airy that they literally look like a cloud.
But strangely, they have zero pineapple content.
They only got their name from the sweet crust on top of their buns, which look like pineapples when they are baked.
Also, the crust on these pineapple buns is thinner than traditional tops, but it is absolutely delicious!
It gets super crisp in the oven and pairs perfectly with the soft interior of the roll.
And the fluffy dough is made with a Tangzhong, a flour-and-water paste that helps the dough absorb more water and makes for an incredibly light texture.
Chinese Pumpkin Cake: three ingredients, infinite possibilities.
It is hard to believe how delicious pumpkin cakes can be when they are so simple to make.
These treats are crispy and crunchy on the outside, soft and sticky on the inside—and you can even stuff them with red bean paste if you want to take it to another dimension!
And another good thing about this recipe is that it only needs glutinous rice flour, pumpkin, and sugar.
Plus, these treats are a lot less sweet than most desserts because they show off the natural sweetness of the pumpkin.
But, it is also easy to change the amount of sugar, or you could serve them with sugar on the side to dip.
10. Tofu Pudding
We know what you’re thinking.
You are thinking, “What in the world is tofu pudding?”
Well, this dish is soft tofu/beancurd that has been served as a light dessert in Vietnamese cuisine and Chinese cuisine.
This smooth, silky dessert is just the perfect ending to any feast.
You can serve it chilled, especially during the summertime, but it can also be enjoyed warm from the pot.
And if you top it with some chewy black sesame balls, the whole thing makes for the kind of dessert your taste buds will thank you!
11. Fa Gao
If you want to have a full belly of Fa Gao in time for Chinese New Year, you might want to try doing some baking yourself!
Making this type of cake is a great way to get into the spirit of Chinese New Year and learn about its history, which dates back hundreds of years, and its symbolism.
The little puffs are made from rice flour, steamed in a mold before baking.
And the result is a cake that is light and fluffy, like angel food cake or sponge cake.
But what sets them apart from other cakes is their texture—they are really spongy and light.
You can even squish them in your hand, and they will bounce right back into place!
12. Nian Gao
The Chinese New Year is here, and families all over the world are celebrating with a big meal together.
While many parts of China have their twist on the traditional foods eaten for this celebration, there is one thing you will find in common: the deliciousness.
Nian Gao, or Chinese New Year cake, is one of the most popular dishes during CNY.
The soft, gooey texture and sweet taste of this rice flour dish make it a favorite among children and adults alike—but what exactly is it?
It is a sticky-sweet cake made with glutinous rice flour and brown sugar.
The texture is similar to mochi, but it has a bolder sweetness compared to mochi.
As a bonus, you can use it as an ingredient for savory dishes such as fried rice cake.
This Chocolate Chinese Five-Spice Cake will be the star of your holiday dessert table!
It is loaded with rich, delicious holiday flavors like clove, fennel, star anise, and cinnamon–but with a bit of zip from pepper!
And sure, there are lots of chocolate cake recipes out there, but this one is different.
The five-spice powder gives the cake a unique flavor that you will hardly find anywhere else, and the little bit of pepper gives it the perfect amount of kick.
Plus, this recipe is super easy to make!
Your friends, family, and loved ones will absolutely love it!
You probably think of egg tarts and mango pudding when you think of Chinese desserts.
But there is a whole world of dessert you have yet to experience, and one of them is the eight-treasure rice pudding!
Eight Treasures Rice Pudding is a traditional sweet rice dish from China.
It is a big favorite in the Cantonese region of China, and it makes a great dessert for after dinner.
Plus, this recipe is pretty simple to make and uses fewer treasures than you might find in typical recipes—but it has a more balanced texture and taste.
Try it, and we promise you will be coming back for seconds, thirds, and fourths!
This is the most simple recipe you will ever find for custard.
And if you are into cooking but still trying to figure out where to start, this is the recipe for you.
Baked Egg Custard Tarts are really versatile!
You can make them in cute little custard cups (so chic!), or you can use a pie crust to make these Chinese egg tarts.
They are also great for breakfast, brunch, dinner—we could go on.
So, whatever way you decide to make this dessert, it will be a hit!
The bottom line
If you love desserts, Chinese New Year is a great time to give yourself and your family the treat they deserve.
And we hope this list of Chinese desserts has provided you with some inspiration to prepare for this celebration.
Or you can either use this as a starting point or create your unique recipes by mixing different ingredients for the fillings, toppings, and wrappings.
Although making something other than pineapple buns and almond cookies may seem intimidating at first, there are still tasty things you can make.
So, try out some of the desserts on this list, and you will be sure to please everyone!
- Snow Skin Mooncake With Salted Egg Ice Cream Filling
- Chinese Almond Cookies
- Jujube Date Sticky Rice Cake
- Chinese Mango Pudding
- Rose Ginger Steamed Sponge Cake
- Peanut Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Balls)
- Jian Dui (Sesame Seed Balls)
- Pineapple Bun
- Chinese Pumpkin Cake
- Tofu Pudding
- Fa Gao
- Nian Gao
- Chocolate Chinese Five-Spice Cake
- Eight-Treasure Rice Pudding
- Baked Egg Custard Tarts
- Find your favorite recipe from our Chinese New Year Desserts list.
- Gather all the ingredients needed.
- Start baking and make us proud!