Chinese New Year Celebrations (and Cake)

The other day, I received this tweet:

Ami, I’m so glad you requested this – it made me realize that in the last 6 years, I’ve been SERIOUSLY LACKING in Chinese New Years posts.  I’ve blogged about the symbolism/importance of certain foods in the past, but haven’t really celebrated in the last decade.  And there’s a reason for this – it’s a family holiday, and since my mom/brother are on the other side of the country, I have nobody to feast with!  WAAAAAAH. That’s okay, I’m too old for red envelopes anymore, anyway. I did turn to people on Facebook to see how they celebrated, and what they ate.


There were many insightful comments on both my Acting and Personal Pages.  I even scored a recipe from Thi Tran, the mastermind behind Starry Kitchen.  Here’s her recipe for Chinese New Year Cake, which I’ve never even heard of before!

Chinese New Year Cake


  • 2 cups of wheat starch
  • 4 cups of glutinous rice flour
  • 2 Tbsp of dark brown natural molasses
  • 4 slabs of Chinese brown sugar in slabs
  • Dates/Sesame Seeds (optional)


  1. In a bowl, combine the wheat starch and glutinous rice flour. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Oil an 8" pan and set it aside.
  3. In a pot, add 4 cups of water and 4 slabs of the Chinese sugar. Once the water boils, add 2 Tbsp of dark brown natural molasses or coconut sugar/palm sugar, whatever you want to use. Mix well and let the sugar dissolve.
  4. Combine hot sugar liquid to the flour mixture and mix well. It will be lumpy, so you can run it through a strainer. The mixture will then be smooth. Pour the hot mixture into an 8" oil pan and steam on high heat for 1 hour.
  5. Stick a chopstick in the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean, it's done.
  6. Place your dates in the middle to cover the hole. You can garnish it with some white sesame seeds as well.
  7. You can eat this as is or you can pan fry it with some eggs. I like to pan fry using coconut oil. Depending on how sweet you want the cake, you will need to adjust to your liking.

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Thanks to my virtual family for helping me celebrate early!


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